Skirting board paint tips: preparing and painting skirting boards

27-October-2016

If you’re searching for the perfect skirting board paint, our guide will help you make up your mind and prepare for painting skirting boards.

The nature of skirting boards is to protect walls from scuffs and stains caused by feet, doors and general wear and tear. So you want your skirting board paint to be as hard wearing as possible. Oil based paints tend to be harder wearing than water based paints.

Of this variety, eggshell finish paints are arguably the most commonly used skirting board paint, because of its slightly matte finish. However, it’s not as hard wearing as liquid gloss or satinwood finishes. Liquid gloss is the tougher paint of the two. You can find this type of paint with an added polyurethane resin to increase its resistance to dirt and abrasion.

Depending on the type of skirting you have, you may need a primer or undercoat before applying your skirting board paint. This is ideal for more porous skirting materials such as timber skirting. Most MDF skirting boards come pre-primed or pre-finished, making them the easiest option to paint.

Prepare walls and floors before using skirting board paint

Here’s what you’ll need:

Firstly, you’ll need to move any furniture out of the room to protect it and allow you space to work. If this isn’t possible, try moving everything into the centre of the room. It’s a good idea to clean your skirting thoroughly before you start, especially if you’re working in a kitchen or bathroom. Remove any dirt or grease from the surface with an all-purpose cleaner.

If you have timber skirting or the surface has been previously painted or vanished, you’ll need to sand it. Depending on the profile of your skirting, this can be tricky, but it’s crucial to achieving a professional finish. Sweep or vacuum any residual dust and wipe the skirting down with sugar soap.

Lay down dust sheets to protect your floor and secure with masking tape. If you have carpeted floors, make sure you flatten the pile away from the skirting and secure with tape. You can tuck your paint guard or plastic carpet protector under the skirting for added protection as you paint each section. Finally, apply masking tape along the wall at the top edge of the skirting.

How to use skirting board paint

When it comes to applying skirting board paint, it’s important to take your time. Don’t rush the job or you’ll end up with mistakes. Use a thin layer of paint at a time and work in small sections. It’s usually best to start in a corner of the room and work outwards, to avoid a build-up of paint.

You’ll probably need two coats of paint. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, make sure your first coat is completely dry before applying a second. Lightly sand the skirting between coats and always wipe away any dust with a slightly damp sponge. Depending on the surface and paint you use, you may want to apply a finish for added protection. Once you’re happy with the coverage and have checked for any drips or mistakes, allow the skirting board paint to dry completely before removing the tape.

For help fitting skirting boards or to find more home improvement ideas, check out our Expert Advice section.