How to Paint Skirting Boards

Painting your skirting boards is relatively simple but being careful and precise is of utmost importance.

Some of the problems you might encounter includes getting paint meant for the skirting board on your clean walls. With that in mind we’ve created this helpful guide to ensure you give your skirting boards a new lease of life without getting paint on anything else.

How to Paint Skirting Boards Without Getting Paint On the Wall

Step 1: Protect the floor

Getting paint on your walls might be your main worry but protecting the floor or carpet is equally as important. Remove any furniture from the area you’ll be painting and put down a dust sheet to stop any paint from dripping or splashing on to the floor. After you’ve done this, use masking tape to tape over the dust sheet as well as an inch or two of your floor that’s adjacent to your skirting board. This will both ensure the dust sheet doesn’t rise up over the skirting board and will also give your paint a nice straight line at the bottom of the skirting board.

Step 2: Prepare the surface

As we always say, preparing the surface is key to getting a high quality finish that lasts. At this point you’ll want to assess whether you need to remove any old paint first. If you do, use a good quality paint stripper and scrape away the top paint layer.

Once the old paint is removed, gives your skirting board a good sanding down to give the paint a key with which it’ll easily adhere to. Clean away any dust or dirt with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Apply an undercoat or primer

Depending on the paint you’ve chosen, you’ll want to either do a first coat or use a suitable primer. At this point you’ll want to use an angled brush to cut in the skirting board where it meets the wall as shown in the image below.

cutting in on a skirting board

Being careful, precise and using the best brush for cutting in will make the process much easier and you’ll avoid getting any paint on the wall. Alternatively, you can use masking tape and apply it to your wall but you run the risk of the tape leaking paint on to the wall. The best method is to back yourself.

Once you’ve cut in, finish the rest of your first coat using long strokes along the length of the skirting. This will help minimise any brush marks.

Step 4: Check for any imperfections

Once your first coat has dried, check for any imperfections along the surface. If you feel little bumps anywhere, use a fine sandpaper just to even them up in preparation for your top coat.

Step 5: Apply the top coat

Once your first coat has dried, you can go ahead and repeat step 3 with your top coat.

Step 6: Removing the masking tape

Once you’ve finished painting, give it some time to start drying. When the paint is about half-way dry, that’ll be the best time to remove the masking tape. You DO NOT want to wait until the paint is fully dry as you run the risk of taking off chunks of dry paint.

When the paint is at the half-way dry point, gently push down on the masking tape and pull away from the skirting board. Doing this as you’re peeling the masking tape off will create separation and ensure you don’t take any paint with you while you’re peeling.


Painting your skirting boards doesn’t need to be difficult and by following our simple guide above you’ll ensure that the paint doesn’t get on your wall, floor or carpet.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to help.