How to restore architraves

Follow experienced renovator Sian Astley’s step-by-step guide to how to restore architraves

skirting board painted in Farrow and Ball School House White
(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

If you’re renovating or redecorating your home – and particularly if it's a period property – carefully restoring features such as architraves and skirting boards will give your new scheme a smart, professionally finished look.

With step-by-step instructions from experienced renovator Sian Astley, this guide talks you through how to restore architraves to ensure you get it right first time.

For more advice, inspiration and step-by-step instructions, browse our decorating hub page.

You will need

1. Prep the architraves 

Wipe away any dust from your architrave or skirting and remove, or open, doors if required.

2. Apply specialist paste

Using a spatula, apply the specialist paint stripping product for timber, such as Peelaway, to the architrave or skirting and spread evenly using a brush to reduce wastage and to make sure you get the paste into all areas.

3. Seal with plastic

Lay sections of plastic sheeting to the architrave or skirting where the stripping product has been applied. Press gently to ensure adhesion.

Top tip: Do a small test patch before tackling the whole area to see how your paint and timber reacts to the specialist paint stripper. This will give you an idea of how long the process will take for your particular architraves and skirtings.

4. Leave overnight

Once applied, leave the area for at least 24 hours and then test a small area to see whether the paint stripper has sufficiently activated and the paint can be removed easily.

5. Scrape away the paint

Using a medium-sized scraper, gently scrape away the set paint stripper and paint. Use a dish washing brush to carefully remove excess. Continue until all paint is removed.

6. Finish the look

Once all the paint has been removed, sand the timber until smooth. Then, apply a primer, undercoat and your chosen paint shade.

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