repainting skirting advice(9 Posts)
Just moved house and the skirtings are really grubby. They aren't very smooth in places either. I don't want to just paint/gloss straight over- should I sand? How do I do that/ what should I buy? I will give them a good wash down prior to painting (obviously)
If the paint's really terrible you can get chemical strippers to take it off. I hate doing it because they're pretty horrible, but my hubby swears by them!
If it's not too bad, sand it with a fine-ish sandpaper. I can't remember off the top of my head what we use- it's the black stuff. Buy a sanding block, wrap the paper around it and rub it over the paint. Change sides/paper as it gets used up. You don't need to go down to bare wood, just until you have a smooth surface.
After sanding wash down with sugar soap solution, then rinse in plain water.
Mask off the wall, and then put down dust sheets and tape to the floor, under the skirting board.
Use an undercoat, then whichever paint you are using as your topcoat. 2 or 3 thin coats are better than one thick coat.
Get one of those hand-held sanders. sanding skirting by hand is soul-destroying, especially when you have a whole house to do <eyes own building site>
We are doing ours which have at least 100 years of paint on them - literally!
You need a mouse sander, to take off and smooth the outer layer of paint. Wash down with sugar soap. Then fill with decorators caulk or polyfilla if holes and dents are bad. Then re sand any overfilled bits. Finally paint with undercoat on any areas that are bare wood or filler. Then two coats of good quality water based acrylic paint. I dont like gloss.
They look much better. I also put radiator pipe sleeves afterwards to cover any grotty looking pipework.
I'm afraid we've taken the more brutal approach of ripping ours off and replacing. They aren't of a period with the rest of the house and the walls are being skimmed so I'm not precious about them.
New skirting is nearly as much of a ballache to paint though, so OP's approach probably makes more sense not to mention costing less
You could try sanding and stripping if really bad but...
We had horrendous fake wood brown paint on all our skirtings in a couple of rooms I stripped it off and sanded it (with a machine) - it was a really long, fiddly job -took hours and cost a fortune in paint stripper and special paper for the sander (I bought a blow torch in the end) honestly I hated it.
Short of time I got a handyman to finish decorating the living room (approx 5m by 4m) - I had almost stripped all the skirtings (with a blow torch) but not sanded. He told me (as they are standard shape etc) it would cost the same to replace them as to pay him the time needed to finish stripping and sanding them properly. Worried about the environmental impact and the fact I had partially stripped them - I said to sand but not to spend more than a certain number of hours on it. After the time was up (and he was working -I was in) they weren't perfect but I told him to go ahead and paint. I regret it as the finish isn't perfect -but if he had spent any longer I would have been paying more than the cost of replacement....I wish I had had them replaced.
(In another room I didn't strip -just sanded and I regret that as the dark paint shows through every time it gets a small chip -whatever you do don't paint woodwork (or ceilings) a dark colour!!!!)
Just a word of warning regarding old paint on skirtings - beware sanding if the paint has lead in it. You can test for this. Use a removal method that doesn't create dust.
If you are putting new skirtings on, it is easier to paint them before they are put on. I say this as someone who spent over an hour contorted on the bathroom floor yesterday evening priming the new skirting boards!
I would definitely replace them. I did go down the mouse sander route, paint gun, paint stripping with nitromors etc but it is soul destroying. I ripped off the remaining skirting in my 1930s semi and there was minimal damage to the plaster.
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