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How To Paint Skirting Boards

How To Paint Skirting Boards


How To Paint Skirting Boards: Welcome to our comprehensive guide on transforming your space with perfectly painted skirting boards. Skirting boards, often overlooked, play a vital role in enhancing the aesthetics of your home. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a novice, this step-by-step tutorial will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to achieve professional-looking results.

We’ll walk you through the entire process, from gathering the essential tools and materials to preparing the surface effectively. You’ll learn valuable techniques for sanding, priming, and choosing the right paint, ensuring durability and a flawless finish. Our expert tips and tricks will help you tackle common challenges, such as corners and intricate details, with ease.

Emphasizing both efficiency and quality, we’ve condensed the process into 16 manageable steps, ensuring that you grasp each stage thoroughly. With clear instructions and practical insights, you’ll be able to transform your skirting boards, revitalizing your space and adding a touch of elegance to your home. Get ready to embark on a rewarding painting journey that will elevate the overall ambiance of your living space.

How To Paint Skirting Boards

Can you just paint over skirting boards?

While painting over gloss skirting boards is possible, we recommend not doing this as it doesn’t provide good adhesion to the skirting’s surface. It means that the newly painted gloss surface will end up chipping after a few days, leaving you once again with tired and worn out skirting boards.

Yes, you can paint over skirting boards, but proper preparation is essential for a successful and long-lasting finish. Before painting, it’s crucial to clean the skirting boards thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, and grime. Use a mild detergent solution and a soft cloth to wipe down the surface. Once cleaned, inspect the skirting boards for any cracks, holes, or imperfections. Fill these with a suitable wood filler and sand the entire surface to create a smooth and even base for the paint.

After preparing the skirting boards, apply a high-quality primer. Primer helps the paint adhere better and provides a more uniform appearance. Choose a primer that is specifically designed for the type of surface you are painting. Once the primer is dry, you can apply the paint. Use a good-quality paintbrush or a paint sprayer for a professional finish. Be sure to choose a paint that is suitable for woodwork and offers durability and easy cleaning.

It’s essential to apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This process ensures a smooth and flawless finish. Pay attention to details, such as corners and edges, and use painter’s tape to achieve clean lines.

While you can paint over skirting boards, proper preparation, including cleaning, filling imperfections, priming, and using high-quality paint, is vital for a professional-looking result that will stand the test of time.

What paint can I use on skirting boards?

For this reason, the paint finishes that are suitable for use on interior woodwork are eggshell, satin or gloss. Eggshell – with the same sheen as an egg, eggshell is perfect for a low sheen finish, but with the required durability and wipeability. For a modern look, eggshell is the best option to go.

When choosing paint for skirting boards, it’s essential to opt for a high-quality paint specifically designed for trim and woodwork. The best types of paint for skirting boards are usually oil-based or water-based satin or semi-gloss paints.

Oil-based paints provide a durable and smooth finish, making them an excellent choice for skirting boards. They are highly resistant to wear and tear, making them easy to clean and maintain over time. However, they do have a strong odor and require longer drying times between coats.

Water-based satin or semi-gloss paints are a popular choice for skirting boards due to their quick drying time, low odor, and ease of cleaning. They offer a smooth and durable finish and are available in a wide range of colors. Water-based paints also tend to be more environmentally friendly as they have fewer harmful fumes.

Before purchasing the paint, consider the color and finish that will complement your room’s decor. Satin or semi-gloss finishes are ideal for skirting boards because they are easy to clean and provide a subtle sheen that enhances the woodwork. Additionally, using a high-quality primer before painting can further enhance the durability and adhesion of the paint.

Investing in a premium quality paint and primer specifically formulated for woodwork ensures a long-lasting, professional-looking finish for your skirting boards.

What is the fastest way to paint skirting boards?

If you’re a little bit more experienced, you can always opt for a larger brush like the Ultimate Gloss Flat Brush to complete the job faster. As you are finishing a section, use the brush with very little paint on it and lightly brush the skirting boards for a unique effect.

The fastest way to paint skirting boards efficiently and effectively involves a combination of proper preparation, the right tools, and a systematic approach.

Ensure the skirting boards are clean and free from dust, dirt, and grease. Use a mild detergent solution and a soft cloth to wipe them down, and fill any cracks or holes with wood filler, allowing it to dry completely.

Use painter’s tape to protect the adjacent walls and flooring. This step prevents accidental smudges and allows you to paint quickly without worrying about precision.

Choose the right tools, such as a high-quality angled brush or a mini paint roller specifically designed for trim work. An angled brush allows for precise application in corners and edges, while a mini roller covers larger areas quickly.

Start by applying a high-quality primer to ensure better adhesion and durability of the paint. Once the primer is dry, apply the paint in thin, even coats. Using a mini roller can speed up the process for larger surfaces, while an angled brush can be used for detailed work and edges.

Work systematically, painting one section at a time, and avoid overloading the brush or roller to prevent drips. Be mindful of the drying time mentioned on the paint can, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next one.

The fastest way to paint skirting boards involves thorough preparation, the right tools, and a methodical approach. Taking the time to prepare the surface properly and using the appropriate tools will result in a quicker and more professional-looking finish.

Can you paint skirting without primer?

Do I need to prime my skirting boards? If you’ve got new or ready-primed skirting boards, or they’ve already been painted before, you can skip this step. But if your skirting boards are wood-finished or haven’t been painted previously, you’ll need to apply one to two coats of primer to them before painting.

While it is technically possible to paint skirting boards without using a primer, it is not recommended for the best results. Primer serves several crucial purposes that significantly enhance the quality and longevity of your paint job.

Primer provides a smooth and even base for the paint, allowing it to adhere better to the surface. This adherence is essential for a long-lasting finish, preventing the paint from chipping or peeling over time. Secondly, primer helps to seal the wood, preventing any tannins or stains from bleeding through the paint. Without a primer, these stains might discolor the paint, leading to an uneven and unattractive appearance.

Using a primer improves the coverage of the paint. It enhances the color of the paint, allowing it to achieve its true hue with fewer coats, which can save you time and money in the long run. Primer also helps in smoothing out imperfections on the surface, ensuring a flawless finish.

While you can technically skip the primer, doing so may result in a subpar paint job that lacks durability and a professional look. Investing in a good-quality primer specifically designed for the surface you’re working on is a wise choice, ensuring your painted skirting boards look their best and remain intact for years to come.

How To Paint Skirting Boards

What are the essential tools and materials required for painting skirting boards? 

To achieve a professional finish when painting skirting boards, it’s essential to gather the right tools and materials. Here’s a comprehensive list to ensure your painting project goes smoothly:


Paintbrushes: Invest in high-quality brushes suitable for trim work. A 2-inch angled brush is ideal for skirting boards.

Painter’s Tape: Use painter’s tape to protect adjacent surfaces from accidental paint splatters and ensure clean, sharp lines.

Drop Cloths or Plastic Sheets: Cover the floor and nearby furniture with drop cloths or plastic sheets to prevent paint drips and spills.

Sandpaper: Have various grits of sandpaper (usually around 120 to 220) to smooth the surface of the skirting boards before painting.

Caulk and Caulking Gun: Fill gaps and cracks with caulk, creating a seamless look. A caulking gun makes this process precise.

Sanding Block: Use a sanding block to ensure even and smooth sanding of the skirting boards.

Primer: Choose a high-quality primer suitable for the type of skirting boards you have. Primer ensures better adhesion of the paint and provides a uniform surface.

Paint: Opt for either oil-based or water-based paint, depending on your preference. Water-based paints have less odor and dry faster, while oil-based paints offer a durable finish.

Paint Tray and Liners: Use a paint tray to hold the paint and liners for easy cleanup.


Skirting Boards: Ensure the boards are clean, dry, and free from dust before starting the painting process.

Cleaner/Degreaser: Use a mild cleaner or degreaser to remove dirt, grime, and grease from the skirting boards.

Rags and Sponges: Keep plenty of clean rags and sponges handy for wiping surfaces and cleaning up spills.

Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in the room by opening windows or using fans to disperse paint fumes.

By gathering these essential tools and materials, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle your skirting board painting project efficiently and achieve a flawless result.

What are the recommended techniques for sanding skirting boards to achieve a smooth finish?

Achieving a smooth finish on skirting boards requires careful sanding techniques to prepare the surface properly for painting. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve professional results:

1. Gather the Right Sandpaper: Start with a medium-grit sandpaper (around 120) to remove any existing finish or imperfections. Then, move to a finer grit (around 220) for a smoother surface. If the skirting boards are in poor condition, you might need to begin with a coarser grit and gradually progress to finer ones.

2. Remove Old Paint or Varnish: If your skirting boards have old paint or varnish, sanding is crucial to remove these layers. Use a paint scraper or a chemical paint stripper followed by sanding to achieve a clean, bare surface.

3. Sand Along the Grain: Always sand parallel to the wood grain to avoid creating visible scratches. Use long, even strokes, applying consistent pressure. Sanding against the grain can result in uneven surfaces that are difficult to paint.

4. Round Edges and Corners: Use a sanding block to round off sharp edges and corners. This not only enhances the appearance but also ensures that the paint adheres evenly.

5. Fill Gaps and Holes: If there are gaps or holes in the skirting boards, fill them with wood filler after sanding. Sand the filled areas gently once the filler has dried to blend them seamlessly with the rest of the surface.

6. Check for Smoothness: Run your hands over the sanded surface to check for smoothness. Any rough spots or imperfections should be sanded again until the entire surface feels uniform.

7. Remove Dust: After sanding, thoroughly clean the skirting boards to remove all dust and debris. A damp cloth or tack cloth is effective for this purpose. Ensuring a dust-free surface is crucial for achieving a flawless paint finish.

By following these techniques and being patient with the sanding process, you’ll create a smooth, even surface on your skirting boards, providing an excellent foundation for the paint and resulting in a professional-looking finish.

How do I properly prepare the surface of skirting boards before painting? 

Properly preparing the surface of skirting boards is a crucial step in achieving a flawless paint finish. Follow these steps to ensure your skirting boards are well-prepared before painting:

1. Clean the Surface: Start by cleaning the skirting boards thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, grime, and any other contaminants. Use a mild detergent solution and a sponge or cloth to clean the surface. Pay close attention to corners and crevices where dirt can accumulate.

2. Remove Existing Finish: If the skirting boards are painted or varnished, it’s essential to remove the existing finish. Use a paint scraper or chemical paint stripper to strip off the old paint or varnish. Sand the surface lightly to ensure it’s smooth and free from remnants of the old finish.

3. Repair Damage: Inspect the skirting boards for any damages such as cracks, holes, or gaps. Fill these imperfections with a suitable wood filler. After filling, sand the repaired areas to make them level with the rest of the surface.

4. Sand the Surface: Even if the skirting boards are in good condition, it’s essential to sand the surface lightly. This helps in creating a slightly rough texture, providing better adhesion for the primer and paint. Use a fine-grit sandpaper (around 220) and sand along the wood grain to avoid scratches.

5. Prime the Surface: Applying a primer is vital for ensuring the paint adheres well and provides a uniform finish. Choose a high-quality primer suitable for your skirting boards and apply it evenly using a brush. Primer also helps in sealing the surface and preventing stains from bleeding through the paint.

6. Tape Off Adjacent Surfaces: To achieve clean, sharp lines, use painter’s tape to mask off adjacent surfaces like walls and flooring. This prevents accidental paint splatters and ensures a professional-looking result.

By diligently following these steps, you’ll create a clean, smooth, and well-prepared surface for painting your skirting boards, ensuring that the paint adheres correctly and delivers a long-lasting, attractive finish.

Can you provide tips on choosing the right primer and paint for skirting boards? 

Choosing the right primer and paint is essential for ensuring a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish on your skirting boards.

1. Consider the Material: If your skirting boards are made of wood, opt for a high-quality wood primer. For MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) skirting boards, choose a primer specifically formulated for MDF surfaces. Each material may require a different type of primer to ensure proper adhesion and longevity of the paint job.

2. Choose the Right Paint Type: Water-based paints are popular for indoor use due to their low odor and quick drying time. They also provide easy cleanup with water. Oil-based paints, on the other hand, offer a durable finish and are suitable for high-traffic areas. Consider the location of your skirting boards and your preference for ease of use when choosing between these options.

3. Select the Finish: The finish you choose impacts the appearance of your skirting boards. Gloss finishes are shiny and easy to clean, making them suitable for areas prone to dirt and moisture. Semi-gloss finishes offer a subtle shine and are also easy to clean. Satin finishes provide a smooth, velvety look and are often chosen for a more contemporary feel. Matte or eggshell finishes have minimal shine and can hide imperfections but might not be as easy to clean as glossier options.

4. Test Colors and Finishes: Before committing to a color and finish, it’s a good idea to test them on a small, inconspicuous area of the skirting boards. This allows you to see how the paint will look in different lighting conditions and against other elements in the room.

5. Consider Low-VOC or VOC-Free Options: If you’re environmentally conscious or sensitive to odors, look for paints and primers labeled as low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or VOC-free. These options emit fewer harmful chemicals into the air, creating a healthier indoor environment.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose the right primer and paint that best suit your skirting boards, ensuring a professional-looking and long-lasting finish.

How To Paint Skirting Boards


By following our comprehensive guide, you’ve not only revitalized your space but also gained valuable skills in home improvement. A well-painted skirting board adds a finishing touch, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of any room.

The key to a successful paint job lies in patience, attention to detail, and using the right techniques. With your newfound knowledge, you can confidently tackle future painting projects, transforming your home one brushstroke at a time.

As you step back and admire your work, take pride in the effort you’ve put into creating a polished and sophisticated atmosphere. Regular maintenance will preserve the beauty of your skirting boards, ensuring they remain a focal point of your interior décor.


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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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