Transform plain baseboards into distinctive customized mouldings that add a dash of color -- all for less than $1 per foot.
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Clean and paint the existing baseboard and shoe moulding for a fresh look. (If your baseboards lack a quarter-round moulding, now's a good time to add one.) Paint the entire base cap the same color (we used Valspar Signature in Wedding Bells for all mouldings). Let moulding dry overnight before continuing.
Apply painter's tape to the top of the baseboard. Press it down firmly with your finger for a tight seal to keep paint from seeping underneath.
Paint a roughly 1-in-wide strip of accent color on the wall above the taped baseboard (we used Valspar Signature in Fall Leaf). If necessary, apply a second coat. Remove the painter's tape.
Cut 1/2-in-thick scraps or a square dowel into pieces about 1-1/2-in long to use as spacers. Then cut pieces of painter's tape 1/2-in x 4-in long. Roughly every foot, tape a spacer to the wall so it rests on top of the baseboard.
Rest the base cap on the spacers and tape it in place while you mark miter cuts for outside corners and coped ends for inside corners. Cut mouldings to length and tape them in place while you nail them to the wall. Remove and reuse the spacers as needed.
Note: "Coping" a moulding means you'll cut one end in the same shape as the profile of the moulding. This keeps the joint from showing gaps as the wood shrinks. Cut these ends for inside corners before cutting the outside corner miter or square-cut end. To make a coped end, first cut a 45-degree miter on the end to be coped to reveal the moulding profile. Cut 90 degrees to the back of the moulding with a coping saw so the blade follows the edge of the miter.
Fill nail holes with putty and touch up the putty and corners with paint as needed.