Removing and replacing baseboard trim is a fairly straightforward DIY project. Reasons to remove the baseboard may be to replace damaged pieces, paint or stain the existing piece for an updated color, or completely replace the trim for an updated style. If you want a more traditional look in a room try a baseboard trim with a series of curves or detail. A more modern and minimal trim piece with straight edges will have a contemporary look.

baseboard trim

Tools needed

  • Flat pry bar
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Thin scrap of wood
  • Tape and marking pen
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • Optional: new baseboard trim pieces

Skill Level: Low

Removing and replacing your baseboard trim

  1. If your baseboard trim has quarter-round trim piece (the piece that is attached to the floor), remove it with a small flat pry bar tool. Start at one end and work slowly to avoid damaging the floors. If this piece is being re-used, be sure to label the backside so you know exactly where to replace it. If you need to use the quarter-round piece as a template for a new piece, label it to create the pattern.
  2. If your baseboard trim incorporates a top molding piece (the piece that is attached to the wall), remove it using the same technique as in step one.
  3. Using your pry tool, slowly pry away the baseboard trim piece from the wall. Use a think piece of wood or shingle to act as a wedge between the baseboard trim and wall. Move it along the baseboard as you pry it away from the wall. Label the location of each piece.
  4. If your baseboard trim is not popping off the wall easily, place the metal pry bar between the trim and the wall and place your scrap piece of wood on top of the face of the baseboard. Gently tap the scrap wood to force the nails out from the trim piece and remove them with your hammer.
  5. With your new or updated trim in hand, and all the pieces labeled with the appropriate locations, lay out all the pieces so you can work efficiently. Spread wood glue on the back side of the wood trim (enough to cover the back side but not so much that it squeezes out the sides) and push the trim against the wall. Use finishing nails (nails with a small head) to fix the trim to the wall. Use a nail punch tool to sink the nails in.

If your baseboard trim needs repair or replacement, and you’d like to find a professional to do the work for you, find a Handyman on

Top image credit: Debra J Interiors