How to Install Baseboards on Wood Stairs

  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 125-250
What You'll Need
Scrap baseboards
Measuring tape
Adhesive (carpenter's glue)
Miter box
Nail gun
Caulking material
Paint (optional)

Baseboards on wood stairs go around the edge of the stairs and onto the drywall. Installing baseboards on wood stairs can be tricky due to the angular slope of the stairs. These instructions will guide you through the process.

Step 1 – Take Precautions

Always wear protective eye gear when you work with wood.

Step 2 – Measure the Lengths

Measure the lengths along which you want to install baseboards. Add an extra 10 percent to the lengths in case of errors during the installation. Attaching baseboards to stairs can be tricky; therefore be certain of the lengths and measurements before you cut the actual baseboards.

Step 3 – Buy Your Baseboards

Baseboards are available in a wide variety of designs. Because you are working with wood stairs, make sure the color of the baseboards matches the color of your stairs. If you wish to paint your baseboards, buy paint and paint the baseboards before the installation process. Go for trims that come in lengths so you don’t have to cut in too many places.

Step 4 – Use Scrap to Determine Exact Angles

There is a chance that you will get the angle of the baseboards along the stairs wrong and end up wasting money. Therefore it is advisable to use scrap baseboards to determine the exact angle of the stairs. Always start at the top, whether you choose to "trace" your wood stairs or go for a straight line down the stairs. The latter is much more complicated because you need to get the angle perfectly right, whereas cut blocks are easier to deal with.

Step 5 – Transfer the Measurements to Your Baseboards

Once you have the measurements on the scrap, transfer them onto the baseboards. Make points for where you want to nail the pieces in.

Step 6 – Cut and Sand Your Trim

Now use a miter box and saw to cut the new trim. Use sandpaper to sand the edges so that two consecutive pieces fit perfectly for a neat finished look.

Step 7 – Install the Baseboards by the Wood Stairs

Use adhesive on the back of the baseboards to set them in place by the wood stairs. Use nails to permanently fix them. In some cases there will not be much for the nails to hold onto; in such a scenario, use carpenter's glue to hold the trim in place. You need to exert pressure for a strong hold.

Step 8 – Cover Nail Marks and Clean Up

You can cover up those nail marks with caulking material. Make sure that it matches the color of the baseboards. If you painted your baseboards, you can mix a little bit of the paint into the caulking material to get the exact color.

Make sure you clear up the work area before you start using the wood stairs.