‘Oh no, we do not have nails or a nail gun right now to attach the trim’ as you say it, you look at your clock and realize it’s almost time for your housewarming party.
A housewarming party with a firmly loose trim? What should be the solution then? Calling a carpenter? No, that would take a lot of your time. Canceling the party? Too late cause everyone must be on their way.
The only option you have is to do it without nails or a nail gun and all by yourself. How? Don’t worry! We are there to help you! Go through this informative guide on how to attach trim without nails or a nail gun, and don’t let the fun go away.
How to Attach Trim without Nails or a Nail Gun – A Definitive Guide
The time needed: 15 to 20 minutes per trim/baseboard
Please note that it takes approximately a few minutes to attach one single trim. The total time to finish the entire procedure depends on the size of your room. If you have a large room, installing the trims in your whole room might take hours.
Before starting the work, make sure you have few items in your stock.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Molding/ Baseboard / Trim
- Measurement Tape
- Marker (optional)
- Knives or saw
- Paint, paintbrush, or roller
- Primary Glue or Construction Adhesives
- Silicone caulk
- Secondary Glue/ Quick setting glue spray
- Cardboard (optional)
- Rod or stick (optional)
- Damp sponge/ Cloth
Yes, attaching a trim without a nail or a nail gun can be done in a jiffy. It is that simple! Now, what are you waiting for? You have the items, so follow the steps correctly and get this done before your guests start arriving!
Steps on Attaching a Trim Without Nails or a Nail Gun
Unless you are involved in house renovation activities, regularly using a nail or a nail gun is unnecessary.
So paying extra on something you would probably never use doesn’t sound like a more thoughtful approach. So ‘how to attach trim without nails or a nail gun?’
You probably have heard of the phrase ‘there is nothing a little glue can’t fix. If you have, then you heard it right! A smarter approach to attach trim without nails would be to use a construction-grade adhesive or glue instead.
Step 1: Clean The Baseboard Trim
First thing first, prepare the baseboard trim. Use a wet cloth and clean the trim to remove any dust or debris present because if not, it might weaken the glue’s hold to the trim and wall.
Step 2: Get the Measurement.
The second step involves the use of a measuring tape. Use the tape to measure the length or size of the area where you want to attach your trim. Make sure the measurements are accurate.
You may use a marker to mark the dimensions on the baseboard trim to make things more convenient for you.
Step 3: Cut the Baseboard
Use a saw to cut the trim accordingly so that you can insert it correctly in your desired place.
Tip: If you have a hand saw, then your trim measurements should be precisely on point. In the case of a power miter saw, the sizes can vary as tiny details and measurements can be fixed using it post-installation.
Step 4: Prepare the Edges – Smooth and Level.
Now it’s time to fine-tune your trim. Use sandpaper and stroke it around the edges of the baseboard trim to ensure a smooth edge.
Smooth edges allow a better insertion of the frames to the ends of the walls. After smoothening, wipe off any dust that remains.
Step 5: Test Fit the Trim.
Dry fit the baseboard trim in the place where you want to attach it and check if the measurements are correct. It is essential to check if the baseboard is leveled. If not, then you might see some bumps a few days after installation.
Step 6: Paint or Varnish the Trim Beforehand
Note: Skip this step if you have a pre-primed trim!
Before fitting the trim into the wall, paint and varnish it the same color as your wall or the color you desire. It is more convenient.
If you plan to paint it after the installation, you have to do it by keeping the wall and floor intact. Precision is needed to ensure that the paint doesn’t touch the wall, which can be a tad bit difficult.
Although some minor touch-ups might be required post-installation, they can be done quickly without causing the paint to spread.
So to avoid the hassle, try to paint it in advance. Place your trim in a stack of paper on the floor.
That way, you can ensure an overall coverage of the paint on the trim surface without worrying about paint splatter on the walls.
You can also use masking tape for better results. Doing freehand painting is fine, but to get the vibe of a professional, you can opt for masking tape.
Use masking tape to cover the area which you are not supposed to paint. This was you can avoid any paint splashing mishaps too.
Tip: Apply two to three coats for a more excellent and better finish
The steps (Step 1 to Step 6) mentioned above are common in all trim installation processes, even when using a nail or nail gun. The method of inserting trim into the determined area differs accordingly with equipment.
Now, we usually use two types of glue in this process – – primary glue and secondary glue. Primary glue can be either a construction-grade adhesive or even caulk, and Secondary glue is the setting glue.
Step 7: Spray! Spray!
Applying secondary glue isn’t at all necessary. But when you want a fast and almost instant attachment, then consider using setting glue. Spray the glue in the upper flat portion of your trim and in the area you want to attach your frame too.
Here is a catch- The spray might cause the glue to splash all over the place, and it might be difficult for you to remove it.
So, it is better to use cardboard or a cork sheet or anything rigid to protect the region while spraying. Cover the areas you don’t want the glue to be spread at.
Step 8: Glue it Together.
Following the use of setting glue, smear the caulk or adhesive in the baseboard trim. Make sure to put it on the baseboard in a zigzag pattern. This way, the bond can cover the entire trim and provide a strong bonding.
Be careful not to apply the adhesives to avoid leaking the glue when pressing the trim to the surface.
Let the glue sit for 2-3 minutes!
Step 9: Trim Installation
Attaching the trim to the preferred area is the trickiest part of the entire process. Once you allow the glue to sit for few minutes, start placing the trim in its desired place by fitting one edge first.
Firmly press it into place and put pressure on it so that it attaches correctly. You may use a heavy prop like a stick or rod to hold the trim tightly against the surface.
Wait for some minutes. And now your trim is installed.
But your work doesn’t end here. It would help if you did a few additional finishing touches to allow your trim to give a well and polished appearance.
Step 10: Seal the Gaps.
If you notice any gap between the trim and the wall, do not panic! Use caulks to seal the gaps. Apply the caulk in a continuous streak along with the gaps of the trim and wall. Wet your hand and then smoothen the surface.
After it completely dries, use sandpaper again to ensure a smooth finishing. But be careful not to overdo it, as excessive sanding can damage the wood underneath. If needed, you can always re-prime the area!
Tip: Using a caulk tool will give a completely flat surface. Some caulks come with a caulk tool. If you have a caulk tool, use that instead.
Step 11: Clear any Excess Adhesive or Glue
Finally, repeat the first step. Clean it!
While setting the trim, some glue, adhesives, or caulks might seep out. Use a damp sponge or cloth and dab it over the surface.
Allow some time so that the sponge or cloth can absorb the excess adhesives or caulks from the surface. And there you have it- a fully completed and polished baseboard trim!
Congratulations, now you are good to go! See? It is absolutely not that difficult to set up a trim without the help of a carpenter or a nail and nail gun. Just follow the step to step instructions correctly, and we believe no one can tell the difference!
Replacing an Old Trim with the New One
What about replacing an old trim with a new one? Can I use the same methods? Hold on! We have the solution for that as well. Yes, obviously, you can follow the same steps.
But there are some additional steps that you need to follow because you first need to remove the old baseboard trim.
Additional tools and materials needed
- Utility knife
- Pry bar
To do so, follow the steps below-
Step 1: Cut through the top edges of the old baseboard with a utility knife
Step 2: Loosen the baseboard with a pry bar
Step 3: Pull out the old trim
Step 4: Remove any dust or debris
Step 5: Get the measurement of the wall you want to attach your trim
Step 6: Cut the baseboard trim according to the exact measurement
Step 7: Smooth the edges using a sandpaper
Step 8: Test fit the trim
Step 9: Paint or varnish the trim beforehand
Step 10: Spray the Setting glue on the baseboard trim and the wall
Step 11: Apply glue on the baseboard trim and the wall
Step 12: Install the new trim
Step 13: Seal any gap using caulks
Step 14: Clear any excess Adhesive or Glue using a wet cloth or damp sponge.
What is the Downside of Using Adhesives?
Removing trims attached using adhesives can be a somewhat tricky process, mainly if you apply too much of the adhesives. Some of the parts on the wall might tear off while you try to remove the trim.
However, in such a situation, you can opt for the use of a caulk instead. Caulks provide three times less adhesion compared to construction-grade adhesives.
If you dab the area with water, the caulk will soften, causing the trim to loosen up. You can simply then pull the trim without the fear of completely tearing off your wall.
So, if you feel the need to detach a baseboard trim later, then caulking is proper for you.
Which One Is More Preferred? Adhesives or Nail and Nail Gun?
A combination of nail and nail guns is considered better than using adhesives to provide better flexing to the trim and longevity.
Yet, it is essential to note that it also depends on the length and size of the baseboard trim you are planning to install.
If you plan to install a baseboard trim that is particularly small and not thick in size and shape, then adhesives can be a good choice.
Note: Using nails, nail guns, and glue together to install a board is probably the most reliable way to attach the trim. A mix of these three creates a highly close-fitting and tight attachment within the two.
The glue provides a solid attachment to the trim and wall, and the nails and nail gun allow the trim to stay put in place.
Are There Any Alternatives To Construction-Grade Adhesives?
Yes, a very good alternative to construction-grade adhesive is a liquid nail. These provide latex-based adhesion for an extended period.
To get a similar result as the nails or nail guns, try to get a heavy-duty liquid nail. That will do the work like magic.
However, it usually takes about seven days for the liquid nails to reach their maximum strength and provide a firm connection between the trim and the surface.
So you can wait few more days and observe if there is any problem. If you have doubts, it is better to call a carpenter.
Any Safety Measures to Follow?
It probably sounds like a reasonably straightforward process to put in trim. But there are few precautions that you need to take.
Be careful while working with a saw. A lot of people are not familiar with the usage of saws. If you are one of them, you can wear safety gloves for better protection to be on the safe side. After all, you don’t want to hurt yourself in this process!
Construction Grade Adhesive – PL Premium:
Many different types of construction adhesive are available on the market, but PL Premium is one of the most popular and reliable options. It’s a high-quality adhesive that can be use to attach trim without nails or a nail gun.
PL Premium is a two-part adhesive that comes in liquid and powder forms. Mix the powder with water until it forms a thick paste, which you then apply to the trim using a brush or your fingers. Once it’s dried, you can remove it with standard tools like scissors or a saw.
PL Premium is very versatile and can use in many different situations – from attaching small trim pieces to large wallboard sections. It’s also durable and doesn’t require any special care once applied. PL Premium is an excellent choice for those who need to attach trim without nails or a nail gun.
Liquid nails are your best bet if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to attach trim without nails or a nail gun. These thin, transparent sealant strips you apply to the wood using a rubber applicator. Once it’s dry, you can easily remove it by scraping it off with a knife or scraper.
Liquid nails have several advantages over traditional nails and wire nails:
– They’re fast and easy to apply.
– Flexible and can adjust to fit any curve or shape.
– They’re watertight and resistant to moisture, so they’ll last longer than traditional nails or wire nails.
– They’re also environmentally friendly because you don’t need to use any hazardous materials when applying them.
Trim can be tricky to attach without nails or a nail gun, but there’s an easy solution: silicone caulk.
Silicone caulk is a type of sealant made from silicone rubber and acrylics. It’s often use to seal joints and gaps in wood, metal, and other materials.
You simply need to apply it to the area you want to protect and then wait for it to dry. When it does, it will create a durable seal that prevents water and dirt from entering the area.
Attaching Baseboards Without Nails Or Nail Gun:
There are a few ways to attach baseboards without nails or a nail gun.
The easiest way is to use double-sided tape. Take one side of the video and stick it to the wall near where you want the baseboard to be attach. Then, take the other side of the tape and stick it to the board, sticking it above the surface, so it is visible. Make sure that the edges of the video are pressed firmly against each other, so they don’t move. You can then neatly nail or screw the board into place using a hammer, nails, or screws.
Another way to attach baseboards without nails or a nail gun is using wood glue and screws. Start by attaching one end of the board to your wall using wood glue. Once it’s dry, drive screws through both pieces of wood into your wall (make sure they’re tight). Then, attach the other end of the board to the first piece of timber precisely. You can now hang items on this board as you would with any other furniture part.
Installing trims has been one of the conventional ways to add aesthetics to your interior and increase the splendor of a place.
Now that you have read this guide on ‘how to attach trim without nails or a nail gun,’ we believe you have the idea of setting up a baseboard trim all by yourself and bring your own artistic touch in your place.
Just use the readily available tools and materials and add beauty to your home by giving a carpenter-like finish!
Have a happy and safe house renovation!
Can I Use Adhesives To Attach Trim On All Surfaces?
Adhesives are apt for any type of surface, be it concrete, tiles, metal, plastic, ceramic, glass, rubber, or even timber.
I Do Not Have A Setting Glue. Will It Be Okay, Or Do I Need To Get It?
It is completely fine if you do not have a setting glue. Using a setting glue is not mandatory at all. But, the combination of setting glue and adhesives is a killer one.
It gives a strong adhesion similar to a nail and nail gun and provides three times stronger attachment.
Can I Attach The Trim To A Wall To A Freshly Painted Wall?
It is best if you attach the trim to an unpainted surface. Your freshly-painted wall might get scratches due to trim installation. So it is better to be careful in advance.
Can I Use Putty Instead If The Caulk Is Not Available?
Both putty and caulk serve the same purpose: sealing the gaps within the trims and between the trim and the wall.
Given that it has been applied and maintained correctly, putty will last longer compared to a caulk. Putty can be used neatly and is easier to handle.
But it takes very long for the putty to dry out completely; it might even take several days. Caulks, on the other hand, takes few hours to dry after applying.