Painting Skirting Boards Tips – Your Simple and Easy Guide

November 26, 2020

A room simply isn’t complete unless it has all of the right finishing touches and your skirting boards are certainly no exception. Skirting boards that have become dirty and scuffed over time can drag down the appearance of an entire room. The good news is that painting skirting boards is quite straightforward when you follow these simple tips and tricks.

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Preparing Skirting Boards For Painting

Preparing Skirting Boards for Painting

The best way to ensure that your skirting boards look top notch is by preparing them properly. Below we’ve included 5 simple steps to follow when preparing your skirting boards.

1. Sanding Skirting Boards for Painting

Sanding your skirting boards will smooth out any imperfections and scuffs on the boards. This should leave them smooth and even.

As well as removing scuffs, sanding them will also help to prepare their surface for painting. Sanding the boards roughens up their surface. This will make it easier for your new coat of paint to adhere effectively.

If the previous paint you used on the skirting boards was glossy, sanding is especially important. A new coat of paint simply won’t stick to your skirting boards if they have a coat of high-gloss paint still covering them. However, if you sand properly and roughen the surface this won’t be a problem.

Clean Skirting Boards First

2. Clean Them Up

Now that you’ve gone ahead and sanded your skirting boards, chances are your place will be a tad dusty. You will need to clean this up before you can paint.

A vacuum is the most effective way to capture all of the dust that you create when sanding. Pay special attention to the tiny space between the skirting board and the floor. It is all too easy for sanding dust to gather and hide here.

For good measure, after you have vacuumed up all the pesky dust you should wash the area as well. A sponge and bucket of soapy water should do the trick here.

Then once your skirting boards are all squeaky clean, take a break and let them dry off thoroughly.

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3. Prep the Surrounding Area

While the skirting boards dry, if you don’t feel like taking a break you can jump right into the next step and begin preparing the surrounding area.

When you’re painting your skirting boards flecks of paint are bound to land on the floor that rests nearby. It is best to cover this area with a drop sheet in advance to prevent those paint flecks from landing and becoming permanent. If you don’t have a drop sheet, a newspaper should work just as well.

You will also need to protect the edge of the wall along the skirting board as well. To do this just apply a strip of painter’s tape along the wall where it meets the skirting board. That way when you go to paint the edge of the skirting board the paint won’t transfer to the wall.

How to paint skirting boards near carpeting

4. Painting Skirting Boards Near Carpet

If you have carpet, the prospect of painting your skirting boards can seem terrifying to say the least. There’s simply no way you want to get paint all over your carpeting. It can be quite a challenge to remove paint from carpet once it sets.

To protect your carpet from paint splatters, you will need a plastic sheet. You may even be able to find a special carpet protector in a nearby shop. Then just lay your plastic sheeting over the carpet. Taking the time to align it as closely as possible to the wall. To add an extra layer of protection lay a strip of masking tape along the edge of the carpeting that is closest to the wall.

5. Prime It

When you have effectively protected the surrounding area and your carpeting it’s time to prime. To prime your skirting boards you will need primer and a paint brush. Like sanding, the primer will help your new layer of paint to adhere effectively.

If there was an old varnish or paint in a darker colour on the skirting boards the primer will also cove this up. Then when you apply your paint the colour will be opaque rather than streaky.

Tips For Painting Your Skirting Boards

Tips for Painting Your Skirting Boards

Now that you are all prepped for painting your skirting boards, it’s time to paint! We’ve outlined some top advice on painting techniques below to get you started.

Use a Little Bit of Paint

In this case, less is certainly more. A little bit of paint can go a long way when it comes to your skirting boards. Just dip your brush enough so that a small amount of paint covers it. This will prevent drips form gathering along the bottom of the skirting boards as you paint.

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Check for Drips

Even if you follow the tip above and just use a little bit of paint, you may still end up with a few paint drips. This doesn’t have to be an issue if you keep on top of it and frequently check for paint drips as you go.

If you do notice a paint drip, use your paint brush or a cloth to wipe them up immediately. When you remove them quickly there is less chance for the paint to set and leave an unsightly bump.

Paint Brush

From Right to Left

If you are right-handed paint the skirting boards from right to left. If you are left handed then paint the opposite way. While the direction you paint won’t prevent you from painting effectively, it will make the project easier. When you are right-handed and paint from left to right, you won’t need to lean awkwardly while you paint. There’s nothing like a bit of comfort to make a project easier.

Painting Skirting Boards White

White is perhaps the most popular colour choice for skirting board paint. Yet, if there has been a darker colour painted beneath it, covering this up can be tricky.

To ensure that your coat of paint is smooth, even and opaque. First, sand to roughen it up so the paint adheres. Then, apply an even layer of priming paint. Depending on the shade of the previous paint you may need two coats of this.

After you’ve primed your skirting boards it’s time to paint them white. To do this paint the white coat evenly along the length of the board. Again, as with the primer, you may need two coats of paint here to ensure the previous colour is completely covered.

Remember to let the primer and paint dry thoroughly after each coat. Depending on the type of paint this may take 24 hours or more. For precise drying times, it is best to check the paint can itself for instructions.

While painting your skirting boards white might take a little longer, when you look at clean white skirting boards, in the end, it will all be worth it.

varnish for your skirting boards


Do you have pets or small children? Then you may want to consider topping off your coat of paint with a coat of varnish. Varnishing your skirting boards will make them more resistant to bumps and scratches which can scuff the paint over time. You’ve put this much effort into getting here, make sure your hard work stands the test of time.

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