How to fit skirtings
Skirting boards protect your walls from bumps and knocks and decorate the join between your wall and floor. They were traditionally quite thick and decorative but they tend to be more functional and thinner nowadays. If you've chosen the type of skirting boards you desire, the next step is fitting them; here's how.
Level of difficulty
Level 2: Intermediate
What you need
- Dust sheets
- Safety goggles
- Skirting boards
- Tape measure
- Mitre box
- Straight edge
The steps to follow
1. Cover your work area with dust sheets.
2. You can either use a crowbar to lever the existing skirting board away from the wall, or lever it with a chisel and insert blocks of wood to create a gap between the boards and the wall so you can saw off the board.
Skirting boards butted against the door architrave are easier to lever off. Longer skirting boards, with ends joined in internal corners of walls, will need to be sawed off and removed.
3. Saw off the board at a 45 degree angle.
4. If you plan to lever the top edge of the skirting board, carefully tap between the skirting board and the wall with a chisel and hammer.
5. To protect the wall from dents while you remove the skirting board with the chisel, slide a piece of thin wood between the blade of the chisel and the wall
6. Gently tap the side of the skirting board to loosen the nails that are securing the board to the wall.
7. Remove the nails with pliers.
8. Measure the length of the wall where you plan to fit the new skirting boards.
9. For scribed, butt-jointed and moulded skirting boards at internal corners, you'll need to cut the end at 45 degrees, and cut along the contour line on the moulded face with a saw. You can use a mitre box to achieve an exact 45 degree angle cut.
10. Skew-nail the skirting board on the wall.
11. Apply a thin coat of primer before you decorate your new skirting boards.