Short Answer, Before.
Skirting boards can get marks from the edge sander (at worst a very light pencil line) and also during the staining process. With this in mind our advice follows:
We recommend painting your skirtings to completion, with the view to re-touch any effected areas after the floors are complete. The reason for this is because it’s a lot simpler than trying to cut in over a newly finished floor.
When having your floors Stained, we still suggest painting your skirting boards before for the same reasons as above. They will however require an extra coat or two due to the pigments.
We take as much care as we possibly can when staining however, we have to work extremely fast in order to prevent over lap lines. I’m sure you can appreciate the odd mark to the skirting does occasionally happen.
Why not tape them you say? We tried this many years ago, the Solvents simply eat right through masking tape and as for using ducts tape, well this causes more damage than the stain when removed.
If however, you wish to paint them after, DO NOT apply masking tape directly to the floors as this can sometimes bond with the finish, thus causing it to peel when removed. Instead buy a roll of lining paper and simply slide between the gap from the floor to skirting, still while painting with caution and care.
Sanding skirting boards – do I really need to?
In short, yes.
Assuming you haven’t purchased a brand new primed skirting board, sanding skirting board is an absolute must. Sanding is essential as it removes old paint or impurities, gives your skirting a smoother surface, and the paint will stick much more easily. Sanding skirting boards can have a dramatic affect on the look and finish of your floor and entire room. With all the bending, crouching and lying on the floor it’s not most people’s idea of fun but trust us when we say it will be worth it in the long run!
To sand your skirting board, you will need equipment:
- Skirting Boards (new or existing),
- Sandpaper or Electric Sander,
- Knee pads or cushion to lean on,
- Eye Protection, and
- Dust Mask.
Sanding skirting boards creates a lot of dust so before you start, prepare your room. Remove tables, chairs or any other furniture. Also make sure the room you are working in is well-ventilated – open the doors and windows if you can.
How you sand your skirting board might vary depending on the size and length of skirting board you have. Most people use sandpaper as it is cheap and easy to purchase. However, sanding with sanding paper can be hard work, especially if you have a lot to do. If you don’t like the sound of that, an electric sander might be your new best friend. Although they involve spending a lot more money, they take the effort out of sanding and are remarkably effective.
As soon as you have kitted yourself out and removed all unnecessary furniture, you can start sanding. Go with grain, rather than against it, and keep sanding until you get a smooth finish. Run your fingers along the skirting board to feel if there are any rough edges or sections that you might have missed. Once you have finished sanding, give time for the dust to settle from the air. Then, wipe down your skirting board to remove the excess dust. Vacuum the room to eliminate as much dust as possible. We would recommend using a thin nozzle to get close around the skirting board too. When you are no longer able to see any dust, clean the skirting board using sugar soap. This is a brilliant cost-effective solution to remove any tiny bits of dust or grease that your duster or vacuum might have missed. Allow the skirting to dry and you’re ready to paint!