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To install shoe moulding, also known as base shoe, it involves covering the gap between the baseboards and the floor. In addition, shoe moulding is a beautiful detail of a thin strip of wood. It is painted or stained to match your trim and if placed in the right angle, your floor and baseboard will look quite straight. Baseboards are usually straight, but floor coverings are not. Especially in older homes because sags between joists are a relatively familiar showing. Even in newer homes, it would still be difficult to make sure the floors are flat and smooth. Thus, fixing the gap is very important for this installation to work. Although it is not a clean solution, interior painters suggest injecting caulk to the baseboards, but installing shoe moulding is better.

Let’s dig into how to install shoe moulding!

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Shoe Moulding Installation 

Shoe moulding sounds like a complicated task, but the installation is fairly easy. It is inexpensive and will give your floor a very polished and elegant look. There are two types of moulding: shoe and quarter-round. You will notice after installing them that while they look the same, the profiles are different. Based solely on the name, quarter-round looks like one-quarter of a full circle and the flat faces are the same width. he length of a quarter-round sticking out from the wall, is the same as its height. Shoe moulding, on the other hand, allows the trims to give off a finished look. Think of it as “hugging to the baseboard.”

Usage of shoe moulding Or Quarter Round 

Shoe moulding and quarter-round are long lengths of wood that start off as long round dowels, then you can cut them into respective shapes. They are extra-lengthy so that you can use the entire wood to cover your walls. You can easily turn this extra-length wood into smaller pieces, but an interior painting company would advise against that, seeing as full-length gives a smoother look. Don’t worry though, the wood comes straight, but it can easily be bent during installation.

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How to install shoe moulding

  • Firstly, if you are removing old base moulding, use your utility knife to cut through paint that is stuck on the base moulding. That way, the paint is not chipping onto the baseboard as you try to pry it away from the base moulding.
  • With a hardened putty knife, loosen the base moulding by pushing it behind and under the base moulding. Be careful not to hinder the baseboard or the floor. Now, pry the moulding away from the baseboard using a flat bar and remove all the nails attached.
  • Now, you have the opportunity to sand and paint the baseboards. If they are in excellent shape, continue with the base moulding installation. Preparation is key though, so don’t forget to prep and apply a finish to them, before cutting the moldings to the right length. Then, gently sand your new wood mouldings, and lay them on a set of saw horses.

Four cutting and joining techniques

Installing the new mouldings is actually an easy process. There are four cutting and joining techniques that work best with shoe moulding and quarter-round shapes.
  1. End of run: When the base moulding ends at a door casing, you need to cut a 45 degree miter and butt the tip of it up against the object. For it to be successful, it needs to end at the same point the baseboard ends. When it is complete, do a light touch up of the ends, with the same finish on the face of the base moulding.
  2. Mid-run joint: Let’s say you have a long run that requires two pieces of molding: do not put together the two ends of moulding. However, you should use the miter cut (45 degrees) to both ends, so that they eventually overlap at the joint. This will not create a gap as the wood shrinks and expands.
  3. Outside corner: Cut two 45 degree miters and compare them on the outside corner. If the corner is not perfectly 90 degrees, you would have to crave the miters slightly greater or less than 45 degrees.
  4. Inside corner: On this last technique, run your base moulding all the way to the perpendicular baseboard corner. You do not need to miter the first piece. Instead, miter cut (45 degrees) the other piece coming into the corner. Then, using the coping saw, follow the curved edge of your miter cut to trim off the back part of the moulding.
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Materials Needed: 

  • Shoe moulding
  • 2 inch finishing nails
  • Wood filler
  • Wood stain
  • Varnish
  • Sandpaper

Tools List: 

  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Coping saw
  • Nail set
  • Utility knife/Putty knife
  • Flat bar
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Final steps 

You are almost done installing shoe moulding! In the last few steps, use a utility knife to remove any wood that would prevent a tight fit into the corner. Place the mitered piece into the other piece that is flush on the wall. Now that you finally know how to handle the various types of cuts and joints, you can begin to instal the base molding from a corner. Then, slowly work around across the room. Cut each piece and put it in place. Drill pilot holes to prevent splitting when you nail it. Drill the holes at an angle, so that the moulding is pulled shut to both the baseboard and floor. You are essentially nailing the moulding to the baseboard. Lastly, use two inch finishing nails and set them, while filling the holes with wood filler. You have now installed shoe moulding!

How to avoid common mistakes

To install shoe moulding, you need preparation and precision. The time it takes to complete this installation depends on if you are a beginner or have the help of an interior painting services. If you are a beginner, it will take you roughly 1 to 2 hours. If you have the help of an interior painting services, it would take roughly 30 mins to 1 hour. Always try to wear protective gear, such as eye protection, because you are dealing with heavy power tools. There are many common mistakes that beginners can make, especially during this particular installation. The biggest mistake is if you have quarter-round moulding and you install shoe moulding, it will not cover as much of your floor as quarter round. Instead, your new exposed part of the floor will not match the rest of the floor. A helpful tip is to access the entire perimeter of the room you want to install. That way, nothing can interfere with the task at hand. 

Don’t forget to visit our Pinterest page for all sorts of interior painting inspiration! 

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  4. Deck Painting: Backyard Beach Inspiration

If you aren’t feeling up to the extra work, why not let Home Painters Toronto take a load off your back! With over 30 years of experience in home painting and renovations, allow our professional house painters to handle the hard work for you. Call us NOW at 416.494.9095, or email us at Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com to get a FREE estimate for your exterior painting project and consultation about what paint to choose.

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, our painters take their jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.



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