How to Repair Skirting Boards

Skirting boards and ceiling coving are both traditional features of interior design that make great difference to the appearance of a room. Modern skirting boards are usually less intricate in design when compared with older versions, although the same steps need to be taken when repairing them. If the skirting is cracked, split or rotten in sections, then it’s much better to replace the whole length or section rather than trying to cover up the damage with fillers and paint.


Tip 1 IconTools for the Job

The first step in replacing your skirting board is checking you have the tools and materials required to hand, there’s little point in starting if you can’t complete the job. You’ll need a chisel, claw hammer, hand saw, pry bar, pencil, tape measure, combination square, wood screws, nail fixings, flexible filler, filling knife and power drill with various size drill bits. You’ll also need the new skirting and paint to finish.


Tip 2 IconWrench away the Skirting

After you’ve checked you’ve got all of the above its time to get to work. Start with prising the skirting away from the wall, gently tap the chisel behind the skirting board from the top and pry it away using the claw hammer. Work from one end of the skirting to the other inserting the chisel each 20cm - 30cm loosening it at each fixing nail.


Tip 3 IconPull off the Skirting

The skirting board should now be loose enough to get the pry bar in behind and lever out the fixings nails. Work all the way along removing as many of the nails as possible, then gently pull the board away from the wall.


Tip 4 IconMeasure and Cut

Measure the length of skirting board that will be needed to replace the old section and cut it to fit allowing for mitred ends where the skirting meets with a door way or external/internal corners. If you haven’t a mitre block then use a combination square or at worst a plastic protractor to mark a 45 degree angle on the edges of the new board and carefully saw each mitre.


Tip 5 IconFixture and Finishing

Fixing the new skirting board to the wall should be completed using countersunk screws, taking care not to drill the fixing holes too close to any knots in the wood. After having fixed the skirting in place use flexible filler to fill the countersunk holes and any small gaps between the joints or along the top edge and wall. Once the filler is dry use a primer with a couple of coats of paint to finish the job.


If you're ceiling coving is cracked and damaged then read our article on replacing or restoring coving.