When painting skirting boards, you need to consider a number of things. What paint will you use? How do you prepare the wood? How do you stop the paint from covering the floor and other parts of the wall? It’s not an easy job. Don’t worry, Express.co.uk chatted to the senior project manager at Ronseal Jimmy Englezos to find out how to paint skirting boards
Before you start painting your skirting boards, you need to think about what paint you’ll need.
Jimmy said: “You need to decide whether you want to use a solvent-based paint or a water-based one.
“Traditionally, solvent-based paints have been used to gloss the skirting, doors and trims in the home due to their high gloss and durability but water-based technology has advanced loads over the years, providing just as strong durability, equally high gloss sheen as well as much faster dry times and safer air for the home.
“Water-based will also flex with the wood (meaning no cracking!) and won’t lose its colour (no yellowing!).”
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Once you’ve figured out what paint to use, you can start looking at the condition of the skirting.
Previously painted skirting and bare wood need to be treated differently. Jimmy said: “You need to assess what type of paint has been used on your skirting previously.
If it has been painted white, look to see if the paint has yellowed. If it has gone very creamy in colour, then there’s a good chance it is solvent-based paint on there.
“This isn’t a problem but, if you want to change to a water-based paint, you’ll need to ensure you follow the correct preparation steps to get the best out of it.”
No matter what paint has been used on it, you’ll need to sand the skirting boards down before you paint to help the new paint to stick.
Jimmy said: “If the skirting is in good condition, use 240-grit sandpaper to give it a light sand.
“If there are areas where the old coating has started flaking or cracking, then you’ll need to sand this right back with 120-grit sandpaper.”
Always remember to wear a facemask when sanding and be careful if your home was built pre-1960s as paint used on the skirting at this time may contain lead.
Jimmy added: “After sanding, vacuum up any dust and repair any chips, cracks and holes with a wood filler. Our Ronseal Multi-Purpose Wood Filler will do the trick! Once that’s done, you can get to work painting.”
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How to paint skirting boards
Jimmy recommends using a primer on your skirting boards before attempting to paint them.
He said: “No one wants to do it but it really helps the paint stick and last!
“Using a synthetic brush, dip it about a third to halfway up the bristles to get the right paint loading then go in the direction of the wood grain.
“Once it has dried, give it a light sand with 240-grit sandpaper and wipe any dust with a damp cloth.”
Once you’ve primed, you’re ready to paint. Jimmy said: “Use the same method as with the primer and go in the direction of the wood grain.
“Most of the time you’ll need to do two coats, sanding with 240-grit sandpaper before the final coat.”
Painting on bare wood skirting boards isn’t too different, you’ll still need to sand down the wood.
Jimmy said: “First, lightly sand the wood with 120-grit sandpaper in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth and vacuum up any dust.
“Repair any chips, cracks and holes with a wood filler.
“For bare wood, you definitely need a primer. Follow the steps outlined above and your skirting will look great in no time; more importantly, it’ll stay looking great!”
Once you’ve finished painting, if you’re using water-based paints and primers then wash your brushes out in warm soapy water.
Jimmy added: “If you’ve gone for solvent-based trim paints then use white spirit or brush cleaners.”