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Baseboard Trim

Good Evening
I am getting ready to replace the baseboard & window trim in several rooms in my house can some one tell weather I need to use a staples or a nails. I would like to buy a nail gun but I don’t know what size nails or brads to use. What is a decent medium price range and model for a staple or nail gun I also seem to always have problems when I stain the material for some reason I can never seem to get the color of the putty the same color as the trim and it makes the nail holes stand out like a sore thumb what is the trick.

A. Spruce
Re: Baseboard Trim

Definitely a finish nailer should be used. As for a gun, IMHO it will depend on how much you're going to use it. Prices range from around $30 (Harbor Freight ) to several hundred dollars for name brands like Senco, Bostich, etc. A mid-range gun would be a Rigid (Home Depot ) or Craftsman. I personally like to buy quality guns that operate more smoothly over their lifespan than to go cheap, but cheap does have it's place.

Finish nail guns typically shoot a range of nail lengths, the most common is 1" to 2-1/2". Brad nailers will shoot nails of a smaller diameter (that means a smaller, less noticeable holes ) and shorter length. As to the length of fastener that you'll need, that will depend on how thick the trim is and how thick the drywall is. Typically it's 1-1/2" to 2". You want to penetrate the wood framing of the wall at least the depth that your molding is thick, that is, if you're installing 1/2" x 2-1/4" colonial, then you'll need a nail that will reach through the 1/2" molding, through the drywall (typically 1/2" ) and at least a 1/2" into the framing. In this case I'd go with a little longer nail because if there are irregularities in the wall, a longer nail will hold the trim better and tighter.

Hopefully some of that made sense.

Re: Baseboard Trim

16 gauge minimum and shoot nails not a combo of staples and nails. If you shoot a combo unit you will need to fill the footprint of an elongated staple footprint in your woodwork if you have enough air pressure to seat the nails.

A. Spruce
Re: Baseboard Trim

On that note, I neglected to address the filler. Use Dap Color Putty. It is a premixed/colored putty that can be mixed with other colors to create a custom color to suite your needs. Rub it into the hole with your finger, wipe/polish it with a paper towel or dry lint free cloth and you're done.

Kent makes a good point about nail/staple guns and the driving pin size. If you do use a combo type gun, hold the gun as perpendicular to the trim as possible so that the elongated hole that is made runs end to end on the trim, this will blend in more easily than an elongated hole that runs side to side.

Re: Baseboard Trim

Make sure to adjust the air pressure just right .... otherwise it's too easy to fire the nail too deep .... better not enough than too much you can always go back and set them with a nail set and hammer.

Re: Baseboard Trim

I have to disagree with jkirk on this one. I use a 15 ga. nailer for baseboard and window trim. 18 ga. is to small and can pull through the trim if it starts to warp. He is compensating for this by using glue which I think is a bad idea because at some point you may want to replace part or all of the trim. I would accept a 16 ga.


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