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Should I install new skirting boards before, or after, painting my room?

Published : 14/08/2017 09:42:30
Categories : Guides

On a recent project I was working on in my own home, I needed to replace the old skirting boards, architrave and coving with a new design. I removed all of the old stuff, took out the carpet and underlay and was essentially left with a blank canvas from which to begin.

I needed to decide how to proceed. Should I install the new mouldings and then set about painting the walls, or vice-versa?

When I thought about it, I could see a major benefit of painting the walls before adding the skirting boards, architrave and coving. I thought that by painting first I wouldn’t need to do any ‘cutting in’ around the woodwork, which would be much faster since I could use a roller for the whole wall instead of switching to a small brush when I got close to the moulding.

Because I was installing fully finished skirting boards pre-painted in white satin, I also didn’t want to run the risk that my sub-par painting skills would result in me getting dark blue paint all over the fresh white skirting boards! By painting first and then installing the skirting afterwards I felt comfortable that this risk would be avoided.

I made the decision to paint the room first, which was quick, easy and relatively painless.

no skirting boards decoration

Architrave removed

I brought in Stephen from REDS BESPOKE CONSTRUCTION to fit the new skirting boards, architrave and coving. It was soon after that I realised that I should have done this before painting!

When it came to fitting the architrave around the bedroom door a pretty major problem was identified almost straight away. The architrave that I had removed was a standard 70mm width, so I opted to replace it with a wider 95mm architrave so that it would be wide enough to mask any damage that may have happened to the plaster when the old architrave was removed.

Because my house is very old (mid-19th Century), the walls are not perfectly square as you would find in new builds. The door around which the new architrave was being fitted is very close to the internal corner where the walls meet, and the extra width on the new architrave meant that it now did not sit flush against the wall as the old architrave had done. This resulted in the fitters having to chisel into the plaster so that the architrave could be fitted without a gap between it and the wall behind. This created a large amount of dust and debris which wasn’t great for the newly painted room!

We then discovered that the power socket on the rear wall was not straight. This meant that the new skirting board would not fit underneath it as planned, so the socket had to be moved further up the wall. This again caused some damage to the new paintwork.

Generally, I found that fitting skirting boards and particularly coving a lot messier than I had assumed. Because we had painted the room dark blue, the white caulk smudges where the newly fitted mouldings had been sealed were very obvious and coupled with the dust from the alterations to the plaster the room was left in need of another coat of paint to get the finished look I originally set out to achieve.

fitted skirting boards

More fitted skirting board and architrave

Interior Mouldings fitted

Therefore, although it may seem logical to paint a room before installing new mouldings I would recommend doing the reverse and having your new skirting boards and architrave installed before painting the walls. Having to go back and re-paint to fix the mess was a stress and an extra expense that I could have avoided by doing things in the right order.

finished room with skirting board and architrave

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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