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Removing and refitting skirting boards

Skill Level: Beginner

Introduction

There are a few reasons why you might want to remove and refit skirting boards in the home. It could be that you have given a room a complete new facelift – have skirting boards with several layers of paint, built up over the years – and you want to replace them; they can take quite a few knocks and bumps over time too. Or, you are going from a stained finish to a painted finish, whatever the reason, there are a few easy steps to follow that can make the job that bit easier. There’s no real skill required…just a few basic tools, and some thought to your own safety. It’s a job you’ll want to do (and finish, quickly) with the minimum of mess and inconvenience.

 

Generally Speaking

You’ll find that wooden skirting boards can be easily levered away from the wall without too much trouble. But, levering the board off will be more difficult if it’s been either nailed or screwed on! If you want to refit the same skirting board, then lever it off carefully. If you are renewing – then it doesn’t matter

Removing skirting board

If you find that the wall plaster is laying on the skirting board, then chip away a leverage point/recess, but only at the point you are going to lever. Keep these points to a minimum. There’s less to touch up afterwards.
 
If the skirting board is in more than one length/ piece, then take out first the piece that is overlapping.
 
Also, where possible start levering at an external corner or where the skirting butts against a door frame.

Using the lever tool correctly

You will need a wrecking bar ( crowebar?) and a club hammer for this next bit. Take hold of the wrecking bar near the curved end and insert the blade behind the skirting board and put a thin piece of wood behind the top of the blade in order to protect the wall
 
Lever the skirting off the wall (using the “buffer” of wood) moving progressively along the length you are removing.

Nail and screw fixings

If the boards are fixed with screws, the heads may be covered with filler, in which case you can gently probe around top locate the screw head – you’ll get an idea of their location if you can lever the board off the wall, just slightly. You may even be able to get a hacksaw blade in there to cut off the screw.
 
If nails have been used to fix your skirting boards, then you will be able quite easily to lever the boards free, but you may slightly damage the face of the boards.

Refitting skirting boards

You will find that plaster is rarely applied far down the wall behind the skirting board. Try and fit skirting boards of the same height, where possible.
 
Before refitting skirting board lay it flat along the floor and mark on the front face the fixing positions. Where possible refit the boards to the existing fixing points.

Gluing skirting board

Today’s sealants and adhesives are so strong that there is in fact little need to drill, plug and screw skirting boards. Contact adhesives are so much quicker. But it is all of course, a matter of preference.

Tools you will need:
Faithfull 1.8Kg / 4Lb Fibreglass Handled Club Hammer
Faithfull 1.8Kg / 4Lb Fibreglass Handled Club Hammer
- Faithfull 38mm Bevel Edge Butt Chisel
Faithfull 38mm Bevel Edge Butt Chisel
- Roughneck 450mm x 25mm Cold Chisel & Grip
Roughneck 450mm x 25mm Cold Chisel & Grip
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