Painting skirting boards – an easy step by step guide

Painting skirting boards can be a quick job that can smarten up a room speedily. Here's how

Painting skirting boards
(Image credit: Skirting boards)

Painting skirting boards – or baseboards, as they're called in the US – is a quick fix if cleaning just won’t get rid of the dirty marks, or the paint is looking chipped. Doing so can transform the look of a room – and you should plan to do this decorating task at least every couple of years if you want your spaces to stay looking smart – and especially if you are thinking of selling your house. 

Read on to find out how – and don't miss all our paint related guides and buys to get your decorating spot-on.

Painting skirting boards: a step by step guide


(Image credit: Painting)

1. Painting when you have carpet down can be tricky as there is a risk of spills or marks where the fibres meet the wood. The best option is to pull up the carpet at the edges before you start and fold it back so it is out of the way of the paintbrush. It’s not the simplest, but it is the most effective.

2. If you can’t pull up the carpet, use masking tape. Vacuum the carpet so there’s no dust or debris on it, use wide-set masking tape and apply it along the carpet ‘s edge.

3. Rub down the existing paintwork, using sandpaper along the grain of the wood (that will almost certainly mean sanding in a horizontal direction). 

4.  Fill any holes or cracks, allow to dry and sand back so that the filler is level with the skirting board.

5. Vacuum thoroughly then use a damp cloth to remove every spec of sanding dust you can.

6. Run low tack tape along the base of the wall where it meets the skirting board for a crisp line and to prevent the paint you are using going onto the wall or wallpaper.

7. Paint the skirting board in the same direction your sanded so that any paintbrush lines go in the direction of the wood grain. This will give you a neater finish. Allow to dry and add another coat if needed.

8. When you have finished and the paint is completely dry, gently remove the tape from the carpet and walls. Or fold back the carpet, press down and tack it back into place.