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Old 10-31-2018, 10:39 AM   #1
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Remove baseboard without damaging drywall


I would like to remove some of my baseboard molding. It's oak, about 3 1/2" high, and is nailed into wall studs and, in places, into the bottom plate. The wall surface is 1/2" drywall.


What's the process for doing this without damaging the drywall?
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: Remove baseboard without damaging drywall


I usually locate the nails holding it and with a nail set, drive the nails on through. Remove the baseboard and then pull the nails. When you put it back you can use the next size up nail to reattach.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
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Re: Remove baseboard without damaging drywall


Go slow. Be patient.
Score the top of the moulding where it meets the wall to break the paint bond (assuming it's painted or the wall paint has met the trim).
Get a wide flexible scraper and slide that behind the trim. Wiggle it a little bit to get a little gap. Use a stiff scraper or a thin pry bar to pull the trim. You don't have to pull it completely off, just get it separated from the wall a little bit. Slide down a little bit and repeat.
Once you've gone the whole length, go back and pull it a little further.
To save and reuse the trim it's often better to pull the nails through the back instead of trying to pull them out the face. A nail puller (kinda like pliers) or even vice grips will do short work of pulling the nails through by clamping on the nail right at the surface and using leverage to pull it through.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:25 AM   #4
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Re: Remove baseboard without damaging drywall


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Old 10-31-2018, 09:32 PM   #5
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Re: Remove baseboard without damaging drywall


I usually do as UncleBob described but Mike's approach is good too. Cutting/releasing the paint or caulk bond between the wall and trim is important to prevent wall damage. If the trim was attached with a pin nail as opposed to a finishing nail it should come off easier and leave a smaller hole on the outer surface.



For the prying part, I find a 'restorer's cat's paw' to be the handiest darn thing.


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