How to Cut Base Molding Around a Bullnose


Rounded drywall outside corners are often used in today's homes. The bullnose is a tight curve on an outside corner or edge meant to replace the sharp lines of a right angle. Installing baseboard or other trim around a corner like this might seem intimidating, but it isn't much harder than a regular 90-degree outside corner. Instead of joining two pieces cut at 45-degree angles, use three pieces cut 22 1/2 degrees at each end.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Framing square
  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch finish nails
  • Yellow wood glue
  • Latex caulk
  • Place a 3-foot piece of baseboard against the wall, extending it 6 inches past the bullnose corner. Draw a line on the floor with a pencil, using the face of the baseboard as a guide. Place the baseboard on the adjoining wall and draw another line so the two lines intersect.

  • Place the framing square on the floor so the inside edges line up with the lines made on the floor. Place a short piece of baseboard upright on the square with the back against the corner. Adjust the baseboard's position so the face crosses the square the same distance from the square's corner on both sides. Mark the lines on the floor where the baseboard crosses the square.

  • Measure between the marks on the lines, using a tape measure. This is the length of the front of the small piece of baseboard that will be used to turn the corner. The marks indicate the point at which the pieces join on the face of the baseboard.

  • Place a piece of baseboard against the wall. The end opposite the corner should already be cut to fit the previous piece of baseboard. Mark the baseboard at the mark made on the line. Repeat this for the adjoining wall.

  • Place the baseboard upright on the miter saw with the back against the fence. Set the table angle to 22 1/2 degrees. Make the cut so that the face of the baseboard is longer than the back. Repeat this for the second piece of baseboard.

  • Place a piece of baseboard upright on the miter saw. Set the table angle to 22 1/2 degrees right. Cut the right end off the baseboard. Measure from the right end of the baseboard to the left, using the distance measured between the two marks on the floor. Mark the baseboard, set the table angle to 22 1/2 degrees left and cut the baseboard, leaving a small piece.

  • Test-fit the three pieces and make any adjustments to get the fit perfect. Nail the two long pieces in place with the finish nailer. Apply glue to the four cut ends of the pieces and place the small center piece in place. Apply painter's tape around the corner to hold the piece in place and let the glue dry.

  • Drill pilot holes for small finish nails and nail the small center piece to the two side pieces with four nails, two on each side. Place a dab of latex caulk on the small gaps between the pieces and the bullnose corner and smooth it with your finger.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's a good idea to cut the pieces 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch long so you have some adjustment room. You can always cut them shorter, but can't make them longer.
  • Always wear safety glasses while using power tools and hammering nails.

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  • "Finish Carpenters Manual"; Jim Tolpin; 2003
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