How to End Baseboard Trim on a Wall

Instructions on How to Terminate Baseboard Trim without Showing End Grain

By Mark J. Donovan

In this video, Mark Donovan of shows how to end baseboard trim on a wall using three different methods.

When installing baseboard trim sometimes you have a situation where the baseboard trim needs to end abruptly on a wall leaving the baseboard trim end exposed. If terminated incorrectly, the baseboard trim end can look less than professionally finished. There are a few methods to deal with this type of situation and I have summarized them below.

Square Cut Baseboard Trim End Method

First you can simply make a straight cut to end the baseboard trim. 

This method, however, leaves the end grain exposed and does not look very professional. In addition, if you plan on staining the baseboard trim, the end grain will not stain the same as the surface of the rest of the baseboard trim.

Tapered Cut Baseboard Trim End Method

The second method involves cutting the baseboard trim end at a 45 degree angle so that the end of the baseboard trim terminates gradually into the wall. Though this type of miter cut is more aesthetically appealing then a straight cut, it is still not the best type of cut for terminating a piece of baseboard trim. Like a straight cut, this method again results in the end grain still being exposed. If planning to stain the baseboard trim, the end will look different in color than the rest of the baseboard trim.

Use of Filler Piece with Baseboard Trim End Method

To achieve a professional finish for ending a piece of baseboard trim, the best method involves first cutting the end of the baseboard trim at a 45 degree angle with the short point being up against the wall, and then installing a short mitered 45 degree filler piece.

To fasten the filler piece just apply a little glue to the end of it and push it into place. If you need to hold the filler piece with a finish nail or two, use 4d finish nails or smaller and pre-drill pilot holes in the filler wood piece so that you do not split it when nailing it in place.


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Though others may prefer to cut the end of the baseboard trim at a 45 degree angle with the long point being up against the wall, I find my approach better.

The reason for this is that the friction between the end of the main length of baseboard trim and the wall help to hold the filler piece in place until the glue dries, thus eliminating the need for nailing in most situations.

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