Ripping Plywood for Wide Baseboard – Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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bluebuddha
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 11:27 am

Ripping Plywood for Wide Baseboard – Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Post by bluebuddha »

Hello, all.

We have a 1950 ranch, with a strong 1940’s feel, that has very wide baseboard (9”) and door casings (5”). Due to lead paint contamination, it all has to come out.

We would like to replace the trim as close to the original as possible. Our budget is also extremely tight so we will be doing as much of the work ourselves as possible.

Our baseboard trim is a two piece unit: a 1”x 8” board with a decorative cap on top. There is a ½” quarter-round shoe molding on the bottom (shoe molding is unpainted, and will be salvaged if possible). The replacement baseboard will be painted.

To recreate the baseboard, we will need to buy 1”x 8” pine/poplar boards and the decorative trim piece on top. My money saving idea is to rip cabinet grade plywood into 8” widths instead of buying boards. The cost would be approximately ½ of the cost of solid wood.

I would like to know what people think of the idea. Both edges will be covered and the wood will be painted, so I cannot find any reason _not_ to do this…

Schag
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Post by Schag »

Due to lead paint contamination, it all has to come out.
Why?

Why not strip the lead paint?
It'll be hard to replace the look of the original.

mhodge44
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Nashville

Post by mhodge44 »

That is what I did only I used MDF. It is good and smooth and paints up terrific. I took sheets and ripped them in 9.75" strips and then ran them through my router to put a fancy profile on the top edge. All my baseboards, window, door, and built-ins are now made of MDF. I love the stuff. I get 40 lineal feet of huge baseboard for $19.96.
I know I am not the only one that does it, the guy that rehabbed the house beside me put me on the tip.

bluebuddha
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 11:27 am

Post by bluebuddha »

Stripping is a possibility, but there is really only one lead-approved stripper and though it works well (from what we have read), it is still a lot of work and pretty messy...

I think we can duplicate the look as the trim is very basic in profile, just _really_ big.

The MDF idea is really good...! How did the parts where you routed it paint up? Was it smooth enough out of the router?

jtjgvle
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Post by jtjgvle »

Why not just encapsulate the lead paint with new paint. This is an accepted method of dealing with lead. The only concern really woudl be if you have small children that might somehow gnaw on the wood.

mhodge44
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Location: Nashville

Post by mhodge44 »

The routed edge is pretty clean. It is a little hairy and can be sanded if you want but not completely neccasary. If I were going to sand I would prime first the raise all the "hairs" then lightly hit it with sandpaper and it as god as wood

Don M
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Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Post by Don M »

How about taking all your wood trim to a dip & strip place? It will raise the grain a little but you can sand lightly, prime & paint it. It will save a lot of wasted wood that way. Don

Tujo
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Post by Tujo »

I plan on taking mine to be dipped - just need to get all the nails out first. I heard that it's best to pull the nails through, but I haven't had much luck with that - the trim was installed with framing nails, not finishing nails :evil:

Don M
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Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Post by Don M »

I think that pulling nails through the trim only applies to finish nails. Nails with heads on them are probably best driven back out rather than trying to pull them through; I'm sorry, that's a bad deal! Don

Texas_Ranger
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Post by Texas_Ranger »

*head sinks on keyboard in disbelief*
Some of you _do_ take the whole lead issue a bit serious, don't you?
Ripping out all trim for fear of lead paint!
Listen: most people who died of lead poisoning from paint were painters who used that stuff on a daily basis, sanded it, stripped with a blow torch and ate without washing their hands! Lead is a cumulative poison, that means it accmulates in your body if you're exposed to it over a long period of time. But stripping that paint, venting the area good, wearing a respirator and thoroughly cleaning afterwards should do the job!
Lead approved stripper :?:
Sorry to use such harsh words, but what do you think you're looking at? Cyanide???
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

http://whatapigsty.blogspot.com

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