The skirting or base moulding installed on the walls of your home hides the seam between the flooring and the sheetrock on the walls. Skirting comes in a wide range of styles and materials. A popular material for skirting is medium-density fiberboard (MDF). MDF is made from particles of wood that have been fused together in sturdy sheets. The material is then cut into furniture, panels or trim moulding. MDF can be painted, but not stained.
Clean the MDF skirting thoroughly with a degreasing cleaner. Remove all dirt and debris from the top of the trim as well as the front. Dust tends to accumulate on the top of trim moulding.
Patch any holes, scratches or cracked areas with wood putty, using a putty knife. Scrape all excess putty from the front of the trim. Allow the putty to dry. Lightly sand the patched area with sandpaper so it is smooth.
Sand the entire trim lightly with medium-grit sandpaper. Run the sandpaper along the trim. Wipe away all sanding dust with a damp rag.
Apply low-tack painter's tape to the top of the skirting to protect the walls from paint splatter. Tape the floor as well.
Paint the skirting with a good-quality paintbrush and interior latex paint. Semi-gloss paint is the most common finish for trim moulding because it is easier to wipe clean with water than flat paints. Apply two to three thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
If the MDF skirting is new and has not yet been installed, paint the skirting before installation. This will allow you to skip the time-consuming taping. After installation, fill all nail holes with wood putty and touch up the paint with a small artist's brush.