I'm in the process of having my basement finished and the only item
remaining is trim. The walls have been painted and the carpet has
been put in. This sounds like it's out of order but I wanted to take
my own time and do the trim myself (unless I happen to get a really
good price for the labor). I will be purchasing pre-primed MDF trim
to match the rest of the house. The base, however, will be wood since
it will be on concrete. Before I move forward, I wanted to clear up a
1) Not being an expert painter, I was thinking of painting the trim
before cutting and installing it and then just touching it up at the
joints. I will also caulk the gap between trim and wall and joints
over the paint. Does this make sense or should I cut, install, caulk
and then paint (may have to touch up the walls after I'm done)?
2) I wanted to use a semi-gloss off-white paint. Any suggestions for
good paints that will require the least number of coats? What about
good brushes if I decide to paint after installation and try to
"cut-in" the paint instead of masking?
3) I will be using 7" base molding and the electrical outlets are
positioned horizontally about every 8 ft and low so they end up in the
center of the base. Are there any tricks for figuring out exactly
where to cut out the openings. I was planning on coping the inside
corners to make this a little easier.
4) Would an electric finish nailer work or should I invest in an air
powered one? Any suggested brands which would be cost-effective?
5) The crown molding inside the tray ceilings will consist of 3 pieces
set touching against each other. Any tricks to get the angles right?
6) I did get one estimate for the labor: 75 cents per linear foot per
molding. So, for example, the 3 piece crown will add up to $2.25 per
foot. Does this sound like a good price? I did an estimate and it
came up to about $1800 for a total of about 2,368 ft of trim. The
moulding will cost me about $2100.
7) Any other general suggestions?