I never posted about my other winter project: installing base shoe molding throughout the house! So here is a quick overview:
The previous owners had ripped out (in some cases, apparently violently) the baseboard shoe molding through the entire house. This did make it relatively easy to refinish the floors, because there was a little border around the edges of all the rooms where the floor did not have to look perfect. But I did eventually need to replace that molding for a finished look that did not include big gaps under my walls.
I ended up deciding that I do not need to be a pure DIYer: painting 300′ of molding by hand would have taken me forever and barely saved me any money. So I bought prepainted base shoe molding at Home Depot. The price was reasonable and that meant all I had to do was measure it, cut it, and install it in the house.
Measuring: I started with a measuring tape and writing things down on a piece of paper, but ended up just lining up the molding around the whole house and marking it with a pencil. Easier to keep track of where all the pieces had to go, and very easy to mark them correctly that way.
Cutting: I did not have a miter box, and when I borrowed one from my parents, I discovered that it was very difficult to anchor the box firmly enough to use it properly (since it wasn’t mine to install anywhere permanently). I did not at this point have the workbench constructed, so I did the next best thing: mount my little portable table vise to my dining room table (with padding to prevent scratches), cover the surrounding area with newsprint, and go to town with a hacksaw. I lined up a protractor with the pieces that needed to be cut on an angle (like in the corners) and carefully marked the angles, and tried (with reasonable success) to keep the hacksaw on those marks. I was able to cut all the molding for the whole house in two nights.
Installing: I rented a nail gun from Home Depot. Nail guns are really fun for humans, but they terrify dogs, so maybe wait for a nice day and put the dog outside while you do this. Overall this was really, really easy, but 1) use a knee pad, and 2) it is a little tricky if the baseboard molding behind the shoe molding isn’t flush with the floor, such that you are nailing into a gap. It takes some practice to angle the gun correctly to nail the shoe molding in that circumstance.
When I have a chance to refinish the replacement floorboards, I’ll have to do this again for the few areas that need those floorboards (I couldn’t install the molding without floorboards). More fun with nail guns in my future!