Do I need to replace the drywall that was ripped out?

Nail-gun or hammer and nails?

What type of nails?


Baseboard 1 Baseboard 2

  • 2
    Replace the drywall or add something so that the area you are attaching the baseboard to is all one level. If you put it back the way it is now, one strong kick or bump on the bottom is going to loosen the board up again.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 6, 2015 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


No you do not need to repair the drywall, but you will need to fill it back in around the metal plates that are there. If you have the scrap drywall that was cut out, set it back in place at least over the studs, but, I say again, not over the metal plates. You DO NOT want any fasteners there, the metal is protecting something inside the wall cavity. If you do not have the scrap drywall handy, 1/2" plywood cut to size will work too. The idea is the base you need to reinstall, is well supported at the bottom as well as the top. The spaces where the metal is, the base will span that short dimension with no problem.

The length of finish nails (pictured in Testor 101's post) you will need are 2" long. Set 2 at every stud location. If there is no stud available because of the metal plates, you can nail into the bottom plate, that will always work. The amount of nails you need to drive do not warrant a compressor and nail gun, unless you have one handy. You will only need about 20 or more well set nails, figuring you have about 10 studs along that line. Keep your nails about 1" from the top and bottom edge. Piloting is a good idea for a novice. A 3/32" or maybe an 1/8" drill bit will do nicely for a 2" finish nail.

As suggested before, do use blue tape where you want to nail. Use it to mark the ends of the metal plates so you will know where you nails can go without hitting the metal plates.

  • Normally would just glue drywall on metal in those locations, along with fastening where you can.
    – DMoore
    Oct 7, 2015 at 4:02
  • I would, in some cases add something to the metal as a shim, I did not want to state that here for the metal looked like it was not uniform over the plate, some places a 3/8" shim would work, other places something different. If the OP does not take that into consideration, the thin base will be bowed here and there.
    – Jack
    Oct 7, 2015 at 4:44

You could use a finish nail gun, if you have access to one and a compressor. Or you could use a hammer, finish nails, and a nail set.

finish nails
(source: finehouse.net)

nail set http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/14/146e2a3a-2197-464b-8c1d-252d4f65d4e4_300.jpg

  • Mark the stud location by sticking a piece of painters tape on the wall, above where the molding will go.
  • Put the molding in place.
  • Predrill holds through the molding (optional).
  • Tap the nails in close to flush using the hammer.
  • Use an appropriately sized nail set, to set the nails just below the surface of the molding.
  • Fill the nail holes with filler, sand, prime and paint, or stain and urethane (optional).
  • 1
    Avoid nailing too hard to the bottom portion. If you don't put any drywall or backing to your baseboard and you nail too hard then you'll end up with crooked base. I would ideally put backing or drywall up but I think you could get away without it if you wanted.
    – Dano0430
    Oct 6, 2015 at 16:56
  • You predrill your finishing nail holes? How small is that drill bit?
    – DMoore
    Oct 6, 2015 at 19:46
  • 2
    @DMoore Yes, sometimes. Depending on the type of molding, the age, how dry it is, species, etc. sometimes predrilling is required. This may especially be true with older stuff that's being put back up. The bit size varies based on the nail size, but sometimes a nail of the same size can be used to drill the hole.
    – Tester101
    Oct 6, 2015 at 21:06
  • 1
    Nowadays nail guns are typically used, so predrilling is only required when small intricate pieces that require hand nailing are installed.
    – Tester101
    Oct 6, 2015 at 21:09

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