The walls on the sides and back of my fireplace are plaster on masonry. How can I attach baseboards to these walls? I tried bonding with HMA but eventually that just peels the paint off.


Paint difficulties can be resolved by scraping and priming with a shellac or oil based primed. I prefer the polyurethane based construction adhesives for strength and toughness. Their down side is cure time (overnight)

Another scheme would be to cut back the plaster to 75% of the baseboard height with a diamond blade in an angle grinder (yes, very messy: floor to ceiling tarping, shop vac.. ) Then place 1x or thicker wood and blue screw (one brand of masonry screws are blue and need only a pilot hole (also comes in counter sinkable flat heads))(Tapcon brand, GRK and Spax are also good) it to masonry. Overfill with setting joint compound to flush surface. Nail baseboard normally.

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Not afflliated with either company. Have used both.

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    PL Premium is like the duct tape of the adhesive world. (i.e. I use it for everything). +1 for polyurethane! – ryanwinchester Apr 23 '13 at 13:30
  • What does "blue screw it to masonry" mean? Also, pictures make everything better ;) – Tester101 Apr 24 '13 at 11:59
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    I agree with everything here - except I would definitely apply pressure to the baseboards until they cured - at least 12 hours. – DMoore Apr 24 '13 at 15:54

If by HMA you mean Hot-Melt Adhesive, that stuff is for arts & crafts, not construction.

Hot Glue gun

You should be using construction adhesive.

LOCTITE®, LIQUID NAILS®, DAP®, and possibly other adhesive manufacturers offer a molding adhesive.

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  • If HMA sticks the baseboard to the paint instead of the wall, why would these products behave differently? – ArgentoSapiens Apr 22 '13 at 20:14
  • Not sure, I'm not a chemist. All I know is hot glue hardens and becomes brittle over time, where as construction adhesive does not. – Tester101 Apr 22 '13 at 20:20
  • It could be the hot glue interacts with the paint in a strange way. I do know I've used Liquid Nails on baseboard in a similar situation (drywall over one course concrete blocks - in case you're wondering why I didn't use strapping) and never had a problem for the 4+ years I lived in the house. I'd also suggest doing this with a proper construction adhesive, and if there's still a problem, come ask about that. – gregmac Apr 22 '13 at 20:55
  • Thanks for your opinions. I've had only terrible experiences with construction adhesive so I'd like another option. In fact, my experience is the opposite: I've seen EVA (same substance as HMA) stay pliable after 30 years of outdoor exposure in direct sunlight and construction adhesive hard and brittle after <5 years indoors protected between layers of construction materials. – ArgentoSapiens Apr 22 '13 at 21:12
  • I agree with using adhesive designed for the job. Test some different products with scrap if you are concerned about performance. – ryanwinchester Apr 23 '13 at 3:13

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