Back Button

How to Cut Wood Baseboard Trim Already Installed

Doug Berthon

During remodeling, it is often desirable to cut a baseboard in place rather than removing and cutting it. Removing the baseboard may leave marks on the wall or tear the drywall, resulting in unnecessary repairs. Cutting the baseboard in place is not that difficult, but cutting it so that the casing fits nicely against it requires patience and skill. There are special tools to make this task very easy; but if you only have a few cuts to make, or you do not want to spend anywhere from $100 to $160 for the tool, the old-fashioned way works well.

  1. Mark the cut with a utility knife. If you are cutting the baseboard for a door casing, place the casing against the baseboard and scribe a line.

  2. Cut through the baseboard as much as is possible starting from the bottom using a thin pull-saw. Avoid cutting into the wall. If you have a hard time starting the cut, hold a block of wood against the baseboard as a guide. Keep the cut square or slightly angled so that the casing will fit up to the baseboard without forming a gap.

  3. Finish the cut with your utility knife.

  4. Nail the end of the baseboard with finish nails that are long enough to penetrate the wall studs, about 1 inch. This is necessary only if the piece removed contained nails.