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How to Remove Skirting Board

Published : 11/10/2018 13:33:25
Categories : Video Guides

Removing your existing skirting board can seem like a daunting task if you have never done it before, but it is actually a fairly simple procedure. The only thing you have to focus on when you remove skirting board from a wall is that you don’t cause damage to the plaster in doing so.

If you are concerned about damaging the plaster when you remove skirting board you might want to consider using a skirting board cover. We manufacture these special skirting boards that fit over your existing skirting so that there is no need for you to have to worry about the process of removing skirting board!

This quick guide will demonstrate how to correctly remove skirting board from a wall without damaging the plaster as you do so.

Tools Required to Remove Skirting Board

Before you begin to remove the skirting board, make sure you have the following tools to hand:

  • Hammer
  • Stanley Knife
  • Crowbar
  • Chisel
  • A piece of scrap wood (approx. 300mm x 150mm x 18mm will suffice)

tools needed to remove skirting board

Here is our video guide:

Before you Begin

The first task is to make sure there is no unnecessary debris around the skirting board. In the example we filmed, there was a telecoms cable running along the top edge of the skirting board, so this had to be removed along with the pins holding the cable in place. In most cases, this step won’t apply, but we have included it here for the sake of completeness.

Removing cables

Removing the Skirting Board

To begin removing the skirting, the first thing you will need to do is break any caulk that has been applied to seal the top edge of the skirting board when it was initially fitted. To do this, grab a Stanley knife and insert it through the caulk between the back of the skirting board and the wall. You will need to apply a bit of pressure initially to break through the caulk and get behind the skirting board. With the blade in position, slide the knife along the top edge of the skirting board applying the same firm pressure necessary to cut through the caulk. Continue this process for all skirting boards you are going to remove.

Tip: It is important to properly break the caulk in this way so that the skirting board can be removed cleanly. If not done properly, the skirting board could have adhered to the wall still, so in the next few steps as you pull the skirting away from the wall you risk pulling plaster off the wall if the caulk is not properly broken!

cutting culk off skirting board

Next, position the chisel a couple of inches in from the outer edge or corner of the skirting board. Use a hammer to push the chisel down between the back of the skirting board and the wall. With the chisel in this position, place your piece of scrap wood between the wall and the chisel. With the scrap wood in position, you can no force the handle of the chisel back towards the wall so that the sharp end of the chisel pushes the skirting board away from the wall.

Tip: The scrap piece of wood is essential to the successful removal of the skirting board. By placing a scrap piece of wood on the wall it evenly distributes the pressure you apply to the chisel over a greater surface area, massively reducing the likelihood of causing damage to the plaster above the skirting board.

chisel behind skirting board

You should now have enough of a gap to place the crowbar in between the wall and skirting board. Again, using the scrap wood to protect the wall you can now apply force to pull the skirting board away from the wall. Do this in sections, starting at the end and gradually moving the crowbar and scrap wood along the piece of skirting until the whole piece of skirting board comes away from the wall completely.

Tip: The skirting board should come off in one piece, but don’t be alarmed if it splits like it did in our video. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about, simply continue the same process until the whole skirting board is removed.

removing skirting

Finally, you will need to make sure the exposed surface of the wall where the skirting boards were is safe and appropriately prepped to take new boards. If there are any protruding nails, use the hammer to pull them out of the wall. If they cannot be removed, you will need to knock them into the wall flush with the plaster.

removing nails

About the Author

Kieron Miller is the Managing Director of Skirting 4 U and has been working in the skirting board and online retail industry since 2012. Kieron has been using his extensive product knowledge and problem-solving experience to help both trade and private consumers all over the country find the perfect skirting board products for their projects. He continues to innovate new solutions and product ideas as the market continues to grow.

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