Quarter Round Molding is a small strip of molding that’s added to the bottom of a baseboard. It gives your baseboards a more finished, elegant look and is also very handy in hiding imperfections. Adding quarter round molding is a super easy and inexpensive DIY project that can be done in just a few hours. Read on to learn how to add quarter round molding in 6 easy steps!
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Quarter round molding and shoe molding are often used interchangeably but they are actually different. Shoe molding comes in a variety of different sizes and is typically a bit taller than quarter round molding. Quarter round always looks like one quarter of a circle (hence the name). It features two flat sides, one to sit flush against the baseboard and one that sits on the floor, and a curved edge.
The addition of molding to baseboards makes a huge difference in the overall look and feel of a space.
I used quarter round molding to hide the edging of the stenciling on our powder room floors. I also just LOVE the way it looks! Check out this post to learn how I painted and stenciled our powder room floor.
Before I knew anything about quarter round molding, I thought it was just a part of the original baseboard. I had no idea that it was actually an additional piece you could add on. This makes it easy because there’s no need to remove the current baseboard.
There are two ways to attach molding to your baseboard:
- Use a brad nailer (preferred)
- Tap small nails in with a hammer.
Both ways work well (I’ve used both methods) but the brad nailer is about 100x faster.
One of the best things about shoe molding is that it makes a huge difference for just a few dollars!
For my bathroom remodel, I purchased quarter round for $0.73/foot. That means the molding for my entire half-bathroom cost around $14!
When you’re measuring the length of each wall to determine how much quarter round molding you’ll need, I suggest adding a few inches to the length of each piece. This will allow for the extra inch you’ll need for outside angle corners and it will give you a little wiggle room for minor flaws when cutting.
The molding comes primed already (depending on which kind you purchase) so all you have to do is paint it, cut it, and nail it in!
You could cut your quarter round with a find-toothed hand saw but I recommend using a miter saw or circular saw if you have access to one.
For the corners, you’ll want to make sure you cut each piece at a 45 degree angle so they’ll fit right up against each other.
One of the best things about this project is that it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. You’ll finish the job with caulk so if there are small gaps in the corners, you can just fill them in with caulk! For me, there are few things more satisfying than to fill cracks and gaps with caulk and create a perfectly smooth, clean, finish.
OK, here’s what you’ll need to install quarter round molding:
- Quarter Round molding
- Brad Nailer with 1” nails or a set of small 1” nails with a hammer
- White Trim Caulk
- Miter saw, Circular saw, or fine-toothed hand saw
- Recommended: A caulk smoothing tool like the one I used above. It provides a perfect finish and keeps the yucky chemicals off your skin.
Here’s how to install quarter round molding:
- Begin by completing a 1st round of cuts that will give you pieces of molding that are roughly 2 inches longer than the actual size you’ll need for each section of wall. This will get your molding into more manageable pieces and allow you to give each piece of quarter round its own “assigned” place. Label the back of each piece with its assigned place so you’ll know where it goes.
- Then, carefully mark where to make the 45 degree cuts on the first piece of shoe molding. Keep in mind that if it’s connecting to another piece at an inward corner, the angle will be one way, if it’s connecting at an outer corner, it will be the other way. Most connecting points in a room will be at an inward corner.
- When it’s time to cut, set your saw at a 45 degree angel and carefully cut your piece. Don’t forget eye protection! I suggest measuring and cutting the pieces one at a time to make sure each piece connects nicely with the next.
- When you’re done making all of the cuts, paint the molding your desired color.
- Once the paint is dry, you can begin nailing! Space nails 6-8 inches apart.
- After all of the molding is attached, caulk along the top edge (where the quarter round connects to the baseboard), in the corners, and over any inset nail holes.
That’s it! Adding molding to your baseboards is a quick and inexpensive DIY project that really enhances the look of a space. It also comes in super handy when you need to hide imperfections along the wall!
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