I hope that title didn’t mislead you into thinking we would be talking about how I cope being a working mother, or how I cope being home alone all day, or how I cope with my children growing up in the blink of an eye. Nope, we are going to talk about a different type of coping…how to cope baseboard for almost perfect corners (because nothing is perfect, nor need be).
Coping was one of those things that always seemed like a nice idea but it never really clicked. On past trim projects we have always just cut corners at a 45 degree angle and called it good. I didn’t want good for my basement baseboard project, I wanted great.
I studied up on coping again and found a method that finally clicked. This short video on coping struck a chord with me and I had an ah-ha moment. It gave me the confidence to try coping again. I never knew you were supposed to cut a 45 degree angle to start with.
To get nice pretty corners on my chunky white baseboard, I have been getting chummy with a new tool. My coping saw. Coping saws are less than $10. They have a very narrow blade designed to navigate tight corners with ease…or as much ease as a handsaw can have.
Coping an Inside Baseboard Corner
Install your first baseboard with a 90 degree cut into the corner (board on the right in the picture below). Cut the opposing baseboard at a 45 degree angle in what seems like the wrong direction (board on the left in the picture below).
Now using a coping saw cut the profile back at the opposite 45 degree angle. The profile to follow with the saw is where the primer meets bare wood. On this piece I used a pencil to mark the profile.
You have to make sure to keep the saw angled back at 45 degrees.
The resulting piece you cut off will be triangular.
When you put them together, the seam is much less noticeable than straight 45 degree angles. The difference with coping versus cutting 45 degree angles on both boards is most noticeable if you have a corner that isn’t perfectly square, which is often. Unless the corner is a perfect 90 degrees, there would be a gap the whole length of the seam where the two angled pieces meet. That type of gap is difficult to conceal with caulk. With coping you avoid that problem.
This was my first attempt at coping for this baseboard project. It is not perfect, but I will get better with practice…and I have a lot more corners in the basement to practice on. After a little caulk and paint touch up, you can’t even tell there is a seam.
Have I told you how much I LOVE my chunky white baseboard?!?! I have started working on the baseboard in the family room and love how finished it makes the whole space look.
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