How to paint skirting boards?

UK Home Improvement

How to Paint Skirting Boards?

Painting is often a fundamental part of any interior design or DIY project. 

Providing a room with a fresh lick of paint can really elevate its aesthetics, making it a more welcoming space and helping you to achieve you’re desired style. 

While you may think you know everything about the art of painting, especially if you only need to apply paint to a wall or ceiling in what is a fairly straightforward task, however, there is one part of a room that can often become overlooked during the painting process. – The skirting boards.

No matter what type of room you’re painting, be it a living space, bedroom or kitchen, skirting rooms are sometimes neglected. 

Painting skirting boards is important if you’re to achieve an even and consistent look across the room, and in this article, we’ll examine the question ‘how to paint skirting boards?’ to ensure you fully understand how to do so effectively.

What Are Skirting Boards?

While it might seem obvious, it’s important to establish exactly what we mean by the term skirting boards. 

You’ll likely see skirting boards in every room of your house, and they’re a base that is usually made out of wood, MDF or vinyl that covers the lower part of an interior wall. 

The purpose of skirting boards is to cover the joint between the wall and the floor, protecting the walls from any damage. The lower part of the interior walls is most susceptible to wear and tear, scuffs and other types of marks. Therefore, having a form of protection, such as skirting boards, to act as a barrier is a great solution.  

In addition to protection, skirting boards actually provide a room with a wide range of other benefits which we’ll go into more detail on in the section below. 

The Benefits of Skirting Boards 

Skirting boards, also known as baseboards or simply skirting, are the narrow panels that are installed along the base of a wall where it meets the floor. While they might seem like a small and purely aesthetic feature, skirting boards actually offer several functional benefits in addition to their style. 

These include:

Protection For Walls

As previously mentioned, skirting boards act as a protective barrier for walls against impacts, scuffs and knocks, especially in high-traffic areas. They are great at preventing wall damage which can occur from the moving of furniture, vacuuming, people’s feet, or other household activities.

Aesthetic Enhancement

Skirting boards provide a stylish finishing touch to every room they feature in by covering the joint between the wall and the floor. They’re available in various styles and finishes which allow homeowners to select options that complement the overall aesthetic of their interior design.

Conceal Wires and Cables

Skirting boards are also useful when it comes to hiding unsightly wires or electrical cables. They are often designed with a hollow space or removable top section. This means wires, cables and even pipework can be discreetly placed inside. Not only does this improve the appearance of a room, but it reduces the risk of someone tripping on exposed cables or being chewed by pets. 

Easy To Maintain

Cleaning and maintaining skirting boards is a fairly straightforward task. They can be easily wiped or dusted which keeps them looking clean and fresh at all times. This is especially beneficial if you’re in a household with children or pets where spills are more common. 

Enhanced Insulation

You may be surprised to learn that skirting boards can actually help enhance a home’s insulation. In some cases, they are designed with an additional insulating layer which provides a barrier to heat loss and can improve energy efficiency. As well as making your home more comfortable, this can even contribute to reduced energy bills.

While skirting boards are often selected solely for their aesthetic contribution, they also serve a wide range of practical purposes. With this in mind, understanding how to properly look after skirting boards, including painting them, is hugely important.

What Do You Need To Paint Skirting Boards?

Before you begin painting skirting boards, it’s important you have the right equipment to hand to carry out the work most effectively.

When painting a skirting board you’ll need the following:

  • A primer 
  • Your chosen paint 
  • A paint brush 
  • Masking tape 
  • Sandpaper 
  • A sponge 
  • Dust sheets 

Once you’ve gathered all of these materials, you’re ready to begin painting!

How To Paint Skirting Boards?

Just like painting any type of surface, there are a few important steps you should follow to ensure you’re carrying out the process most effectively and to make sure you won’t have to repeat the painting again.

We’ve outlined the best way to paint skirting boards in the tips below. 

Clear And Prepare The Room

Before getting started it’s important to prepare the area you’re working in. 

Move any furniture in the room out of the way. Taking it out of the room entirely is preferable but if this isn’t practical then simply place everything in the centre of the room. You should also cover them with dust sheets to minimise the risk of any paint damaging your furniture’s fabric.  

Similarly, lay one down on the floor close to the skirting boards you’re working on to protect the flooring.

Apply Masking Tape 

Another layer of protection for your floor is to add a strip of masking tape to the edge where the floor meets the boards. This will also ensure no dust or debris gets on your brush when you are painting. 

Clean The Skirting Boards

Wipe down your skirting boards using a sponge and warm soapy water. This will make sure the skirting boards are clean before you start. Likewise, if you notice any chips or marks on the boards, use some sandpaper to smooth them out so you’re working on an even surface.

Apply The Primer 

Now, apply the primer to the skirting boards. While this step is optional, the purpose of the primer is to ensure your paint properly adheres to the surface so we’d always recommend it. If you don’t use a primer, you might find the paint doesn’t stick correctly creating an uneven and messy look.

Paint The Skirting Boards 

Once the primer has dried, you can use your paintbrush to add your selected coloured paint onto the skirting boards. Always make sure your final brushstroke goes along the length of the board for the best results.

Apply A Second Coat

If required, add a second coat of paint once the first has dried. This will help achieve your desired look. 

Then, once this has also dried, remove the masking tape applied earlier. You should now be left with freshly painted skirting boards that provides a great boost to the room’s aesthetics.   


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