How to paint skirting boards

Wednesday, 3 January 2018  |  Admin

How to paint skirting boards

When recreating your room, giving your MDF skirting boards a quick coat of paint can be a quick style update to a dull room. A slight tint of colour on an old skirting board could completely change the overall style of your room. When trying to find the best way to paint skirting boards you should remember, most skirting boards will require an oil-based or gloss finish due to their hard-wearing properties.

Resist the urge to paint them using any kind of flat emulsion or else you will find they will easily mark and get dirty much quicker. If you’d like a subtler finish, then consider a satin-based paint instead.

As a general rule of thumb, your skirting boards would follow the same colouring as your walls but for a child’s bedroom or a ‘fun’ pop of colour, why not try some pale shades to add some colour to your rooms  [ see this amazing example from a customer of ours – Donna Ford]

Picture of Ogee skirting

Darker skirting boards will give your space a more modern, contemporary feel, while lighter colours will help make small rooms appear larger. If you’re still unsure, play it safe and choose a crisp, pure white.

If you are painting an entire room (It's really not uncommon for us to hear questions about which you should paint) "What do I paint first, skirting boards or the walls?" Or how to remove spills from painting skirting. If you are unsure which you should paint first, the skirting or the walls. The skirting should be first.

Wall paints such as emulsion will easily wipe off of a gloss or oil based paint – the skirting board or the walls – start with the skirting boards first. The emulsion will easily wipe off of a gloss or oil-based paint whereas you will find it difficult to remove gloss that’s been accidentally painted over emulsion. So you’ll want to start here first!

Things you may need:

• 2” paint brush

• Oil-based or gloss finish paint

• Painter’s Tape (the green stuff works best!)

• Sheets to protect your furniture

• Fine sandpaper

• Sugar Soap, water and a sponge

• Primer (optional)

Choose the right tools; the brush (For painting most skirting boards) a two-inch (5cm) brush is ideal. If you’re using a water-based paint, be sure to use one with synthetic-bristles. Masking tape may also be beneficial for making clean and professional lines on pre-installed skirting boards.

Sand your surface to ‘scuff up’ the skirting boards edges, this allows the paint to bond and prevent future chipping. Use a soft dry brush to remove loose paint and dust.

Create a clean base surface. If your boards are chipped or dirty, give them a good clean with a solution of soap and water (washing-up liquid or sugar soap works perfectly). Have a look at our guide to cleaning skirting boards for the quickest and easiest management of your home.

Note: If you have carpeted floor paint can get under the tape, by pressing the tape into the edge of the skirting with a sharp tool you can avoid any spillage on your carpet. A dust sheet is always beneficial but not entirely necessary for those who have some experience in painting.

When starting to paint, work in easy to manage sections. When moving to the next section, start at the far side and brush into the section you just painted to ensure an even finish.

Remove the masking tape before the paint dries to prevent any from peeling away. Wait a further 8-12 hours (or overnight) before moving the furniture back against the wall.


Unfinished: Our unfinished products are 'as is', meaning they have had no treatment or procedures applied to them.
Primed: Our primed products are products with a 'white paint' applied. It's a treatment that goes with sandpapering the wood to create a base for painting. We recommend primed to all of our MDF products or products that may be painted in future.


Tip: Our skirting and architrave products that are primed may benefit from an additional 'sandpaper' treatment to help heavy paints adhere and creating a smoother finish. This isn't necessary but could help improve the look and style of the products when they are fitted to your home.