How to Install baseboard without nail gun easily

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While a nail gun is certainly the best way to go when it comes to installing baseboards, you can still install baseboard without nail gun

Below we share some easy ways of installing baseboard without a nail gun…

You see, you probably feel that you’re not yet ready to invest in a nail gun for just a single project (and you’d also want to hire a nail gun as a last resort for some reason).

Or you want something that will do a clean installation- we all know that nail guns damage moulding pretty easily if pressure isn’t right..

How to install baseboard without nail gun

Here is how you can securely install your baseboards to walls without denting anything when you don’t have a nail gun:

Glue baseboards instead of nailing

installing baseboard without nail gun

You can go the liquid nails way to secure your baseboards to interior walls.

Now, there are two major advantages of gluing baseboards using construction-grade adhesives like Liquid Nails Fuze It:

It will save you a lot of time in addition to giving you a much better-finished product (There are neither hammer marks nor nail holes that need to be filled!).

In a nutshell, you are likely get to the best-looking trim ever because there is no paint/nails!

One big drawback of liquid nails is that the bond they make between your baseboard molding and the wall is near unbreakable.

For that reason, you’ll struggle like crazy to remove the boards in the future if you want to renovate.

In fact, for the most part, you’ll end up destroying the drywalls as you try to remove the baseboards!

Another possible issue is that glue might release if it gets wet/damp.

Just to be clear, this works best if the walls are not overly dusty/smooth (if it is the case, you should rough it up a bit with sandpaper).

Another product that works in a similar way is Silicone adhesive brands.

The thing is not only is Silicone an excellent adhesive but it’s also more flexible.

Besides, it rarely dries out like conventional liquid nails do.


Use a nail set + a hammer+ finish nails

install baseboards without nails

Alternatively, you could just get a cheap nail set (some call it nail punch tool) and use it with a hammer (you hammer nails by hand).

For starters, a nail set is a small, inexpensive tool that can do the job of setting your nails perfectly.

Keep in mind that you first drive the nails as far as possible with the hammer (be sure to avoid denting the trim as you hammer in the nails)

You then “set” the nails which simply means you gently hammer the nail set (you will have placed the blunt end of your nail set on the nail’s head) until the nail sinks beneath the surface.

Yeah, it will not be as fast as when you’re using a nail but I have seen guys use a nail set to fasten baseboards even for spaces as large as 1000 sq.ft – and everything will look just fine once you’re done.

I should mention that you might need to put some putty to make the holes disappear 100%.

So the second approach I suggest is Hammer + Nail Set (or nail punch tool)- This combo is what people used to work with for baseboards before nail guns happened anyway..

Bonus tip: You can opt to first drill pilot holes (to prevent the pieces from splitting) then you grab your nail punch and set your finish nails beneath the surface (for putty, sanding, painting).


Try a nail spinner +a nail set+ a hammer

can you install baseboard without a nail gun

There is another small that could save you: a nail spinner!

Sure, the efficiency of finish nail guns is hard to beat for big jobs but when you are installing in a small room, why not chuck a nail spinner into your cordless drill then spin finish nails into the boards, tap them in (probably to the last 1/4-inch), and then set them?

It won’t split anything no matter how hard/brittle you spin the nails – and remember it spins the nails nearly all the way in-to the baseboards so it should take a tap (with your hammer) and your nail set tool to put the nails below the surface.

After that, you just fill and finish the project..

It’s quite easy..No missing, no fuss!

Try T10 trim screws if you have a Cordless driver

If you have a cordless driver, you can try T10 screws instead of nails…

They are almost like deck screws that typically use large T25 bits.

However, T10 screws have a very tiny head and use the way smaller T10 bit.

This can be especially easy if you have the brushless Ridgid drill because it has one of the shortest drive-heads which makes getting into any tight spots easy peasy.

Install baseboard without nail gun – other ideas

Automotive Trim Tape –You can as well use automotive trim tape- it will hold anything including baseboards.

Glaziers tape – Glaziers tape is not used often  (it’s usually used to hold glass panels on high-rise buildings) but I have seen a couple of people use it with baseboards successfully.

How to Install baseboard without nail gun- Final word

Whichever you look at it, a nail gun is the best option for baseboard installation because you will be10x faster than most of the above methods.

That being so, I recommend that you rent a finish gun for about a day from local hardware stores if you do not want to buy one.

And if you want to purchase one and money is tight, consider getting a used one on second-hand items marketplaces or craigslist- they’re way cheaper.

The greatest advantage is that once you get one, you will do so much more with it in the coming years as finish nails guns are quite versatile.


Best nail gun for baseboards- our favorite air and cordless picks

What size nails for trim? Here is what you need to know

Liquid nails for baseboards – Do they really work?

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