How To Paint Your Skirting Boards

Transform your skirting boards with a fresh lick of paint, using our tutorial as a guide to achieve flawless results.
Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
How To Paint Skirting Boards
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Before you begin painting your skirting boards, it’s important that you prepare them and choose the correct paint. Whether you’ve fitted MDF or wood skirting, in our tutorial below, we walk you through each stage of how to paint your skirting boards for the perfect finish.

What You’ll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Dust sheet
  • Decorating filler
  • Knotting solution (for wood skirting)
  • Masking Tape
  • Skirting board paint
  • Primer/undercoat

How To Paint Skirting Boards

1. Mask Up Areas & Protect With Dust Sheets

If you want to paint skirting boards without getting paint on the wall or carpets, it’s important that you mask up correctly. If you don’t want to get paint on the carpets, you’ll want to tape down dust sheets as close to the skirting boards as possible.

While taping up the dust sheets, push down on the carpet, as this will prevent any paint from creeping underneath the tape and ruining the clean lines of the paint.

In terms of masking up the walls, you will want to use a low tack and high-quality masking tape because this will help to prevent any paint from being pulled from the surface.

2. Fill Any Imperfections

Depending upon how the skirting board has been affixed to the wall and its general condition will determine how much filling will be required.

As shown in the photo, our skirting boards have been screwed into the wall rather than glued as we wanted a more secure fit. However, this meant that we needed to use decorating filler to fill the holes made by the screws. As well as filling any imperfections, it’s also a good idea to caulk any gaps in the skirting for the perfect finish.

how to paint new skirting boards

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

3. Treat The Wood Knotting

Depending upon whether or not you have used wood or MDF for the skirting boards will determine if you will need to use a knotting solution.

If you’ve used wood skirting that’s not been treated, you will need to do so yourself before it’s painted. However, as MDF is man-made, it doesn’t require any treatment, and this is a big bonus that can save many hours of prep work.

The purpose of applying the knotting solution is to prevent any seepage from the knots and avoid any discolouration of the paint. As shown in the photo, we applied a solution with a brush over all the knots on the skirting boards.

Knotting On Skirting Board

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

4. Sanding The Skirting Boards

In order for the paint to adhere better to the skirting, it’s always recommended to sand them before painting. You only need to lightly sand them, but you’ll want to ensure that you wipe down any dust before applying paint.

5. Apply A Primer

Now that the skirting boards have been fully prepared, you can then proceed to paint them. Firstly, you’ll need to use a primer, as shown in the photo below, before applying the final coat.

Depending upon your personal preference, you can use a dedicated primer paint or a light coating of emulsion paint that’s then followed by an undercoat once it has dried.

In terms of painting the skirting boards, you want to dip the brush into the paint so that the bristles are covered halfway up. You can then begin to paint the skirting boards by starting at the top and positioning the brush at a 45-degree angle. It’s important that you avoid overloading the brush with paint, as this can lead to drips or streaks appearing.

Primer Paint On Skirting Boards

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

6. Apply A Second Coat

Using the skirting board paint of your choice, begin to apply the paint after the primer is dry. In terms of the application, follow the same technique as you did above with the primer.

Depending on the paint you are using, you may need to apply a second coat of it. Within this example, we used the Dulux Once, which we rated as the best satinwood paint on the market.

7. Remove Any Tape

After you have finished painting and the paint is still wet, remove any masking tape away from the wall and carpets. If you’ve masked the carpets, push down on the edge as this will break the seal and prevent it from touching the wet paint.


Whether you use satinwood or gloss paint for painting your skirting boards, the preparation is by far the most time-consuming part of the process. The above guide is the exact process we use to achieve perfectly painted skirting boards. However, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch, and we can provide our assistance where possible.

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