How to Install Skirting

Although skirting has many practical uses, it has also become a way to add stylish finishing touches to your home. Learn how to install wooden skirting here.

What you will need:

  • Enough of your desired quality skirting (plus additional, just in case.)
  • Wood sealer that will suit the needs of your skirting.
  • The finish of your choice (enamel paint, stain, varnish?)
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Nails
  • Measuring tape
  • Pliers
  • Crack Filler
  • A compound mitre saw
  • Wood Filler
  • A high grit sandpaper
  • A suitable adhesive (optional)

Method:

  1. Of course, the first thing you will need to do is measure your walls. Once you have done this, you may go and purchase your desired skirting. Remember to accommodate for the 45º angles on the corners. (For inside corners, the 45º angle will be cut inwards. For outside corners, the 45º will be cut outwards – you may want to draw a diagram showing the inside and outside angles). It may be a good idea to purchase a little extra, just incase.
  2. Use a hammer and chisel to remove the old skirting. Place the chisel between the wall and the skirting and gently tap it with the hammer until it pops free. Start from one side and work your way to the other until the whole piece is free.
  3. Finish the wall behind the skirting. Remove any screws that have been left behind with pliers. Fill the holes with crack filler, wait for it to dry and then sand it to a smooth finish. If your plan is to repaint the wall, this is the point at which you’d do it.
  4. Measure out your skirting and cut it to size, once again remember to accommodate for the 45º angles in the corners. The best way to use a mitre saw is to secure it to a workbench or something similar.
  5. Before installing them, apply your sealer (2 or 3 coats with a light sanding in between). Then apply the finish of your choice. Apply at least 2 coats so that you get a smooth finish. Allow the skirting to dry completely before attempting to install.
  6. Make sure the area has been cleaned and vacuumed.
  7. Start with an inside corner, if using adhesive, apply it to the back of the skirting in a wide zigzag pattern. Make sure you cover enough of the height of the skirting. Push the bottom down first and then the rest. Hold it in place for a few minutes and then hammer nails along the length of the skirting a regular intervals. Do this with all of the skirting until it is all neatly installed.
  8. Finish it off: if there are parts where the wall and the skirting don’t quite meet up properly, fill the gap with crack-filler. If you have countersunk any nails, fill the holes with wood-filler. Once the filler is dry, sand smooth and add a final coat of your desired finish.

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