Re: Finishing Nails
As I mentioned in my original post, the rule of thumb is that the fastener needs to penetrate into solid substrate at least the thickness of the material being fastened. That would mean that a 1/2" thick baseboard would need a nail long enough to penetrate the baseboard, the drywall (1/2" - 5/8" ), and then into the wood framing of at least 1/2", totaling 1-1/2".
Originally Posted by dcalabro
You are correct in smaller moldings needing less holding power and the dangers of splitting such moldings with larger and longer nails. In cases such as this I am inclined to use a smaller gauge nail and maintain the length necessary for good purchase into solid substrate.
I will note that there are some cases where a solid substrate can't be found, in such cases, driving the nails next to and opposing each other at roughly a 45* angle to the face of the trim will secure it to the drywall. Caulk will not only help to cover minor gaps, but also help to "glue" the trim to the wall.
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