Step 9: Nail on the cap molding

Tom Silva installing baseboard
Photo: Craig Raine
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When using a cap molding, place it on the base to see if the back of the molding fits snugly against the wall. Secure it at each stud with an 8d nail driven at a slight downward angle through the thicker parts of the molding.

If there are gaps behind the molding and no stud to nail into, squeeze a bead of construction adhesive on the back of the molding at those spots and nail the molding to the studs, as above. Then nail the molding to the wall between the studs to hold it in place until the adhesive sets.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Compound miter saw,
      for straight and angled crosscuts
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for cutting copes in the ends of molding
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level,
      for finding low spots on floor and marking height of baseboard
    • circular saw
      6-inch circular saw,
      for ripping back-bevels in trim
    • speed square
      Speed Square,
      for guiding crosscuts made with a circular saw
    • 30-foot tape measure
      25-foot tape measure
    • pencil compass
      Compass (for scribing
    • block plane
      Block plane,
      for tuning the fit of a scribed piece
    • biscuit joiner
      Biscuit joiner,
      for cutting slots in miter joints
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping the lines that establish baseboard height
    • hammer
      Hammer or pneumatic nail gun
    • nailset
      Nail set

    Shopping List

    1. BASEBOARD MOLDING

    2. CAP MOLDING

    3. SHOE MOLDING

    4. 6D AND 8D FINISH NAILS

    5. NO. 10 COMPRESSED WOOD BISCUITS
    (for holding together baseboard miters)

    6. CARPENTER'S GLUR
    (for adhering joints)