Gorgeous, glossy skirting boards, door frames, windows, cupboards or doors are the devilish details which transform a good paint job into something truly special. Slapping on a coat of left-over wall paint – or worse, ceiling white – is simply not going to give you both the beauty and durability that hard-wearing, designated trim paint guarantees. It is absolutely worth taking the time and effort to perfect this part of your painting project. You will regret the couple of hours saved when you have to stare at chipped window frames or flinch every time Junior uses your skirting boards as the finish line in his toy car race.
How to paint skirting boards
- Freshly painted skirting boards adds the finishing touch to any room.
- Pick your colour. As a general rule, your skirting boards should follow the same colour tone as your walls. 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.
- Choose your brush. For 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.
- Sand your surface. 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. If your boards are chipped or dirty, give them a good clean with a solution of mild soap and water (washing-up liquid or sugar soap works perfectly).
- Tape up your edges. Applying masking tape around the edge of the floor will help you to create clean lines with a professional finish. If your floor is carpeted, press the edge of the tape down with a blunt edged tool. This will ensure the paint doesn’t ‘creep’ under the tape.
- Start painting. Work the paint into the brush up to about half of the bristles, wipe away the excess paint and cut in to the top of the skirting first, applying the paint evenly and working in sections about a metre long. Always make your final stoke of the brush along the length of the board.
- Apply a second coat. You should give solvent-based paint 24 hours to dry but water-borne paint takes less time, so follow the advice on the can before applying your second coat. There’s no need to sand between coats.
- Remove the tape. Once the second coat is fully dry, carefully remove the masking tape. If the carpet has been masked, push down the edge of the tape to “break” the seal before removing it to unveil your perfectly painted skirting boards.