DIY Skirting Boards

Written by nicole byerly
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DIY Skirting Boards
Wall trim divides the floor from the wall, covering gaps and unsightly imperfections. (Jorg Greuel/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Skirting boards, more commonly known as wall trim, are an option many homeowners turn to when trying to cover the gap between the wall and the floor. Skirting boards can cost up to £3 a foot, making this decor project a rather expensive one. Creating your own skirting boards can save you a lot of money, while allowing you to personalise the trim in your room. To create your own skirting board, begin with 1/2-inch plywood panels and craft them to your own preference before installing.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plywood sheets, 1/2-inch wide, 4-feet-by-8-feet
  • One box finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Table saw
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Tape measure
  • Straight edge
  • Paint
  • Paint brush

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  1. 1

    Measure the entire perimeter of the room. Measuring along the base will give you the most accurate measurement as the wall skirting will be installed at this location. Divide the entire perimeter by 8 feet to calculate the number of strips you will need to cut from the plywood.

  2. 2

    Cut the 4-by-8-foot sheets of ½-inch plywood into 4-inch by 8-foot sections, with the total number of sections needed calculated by your room measurements divided by 8 feet. Always round up. For example, if you need 37 feet of wall skirting, you will cut five 8-foot sections.

  3. 3

    Lay all 4-inch-by-8-foot sections on a flat surface running horizontally and measure down ½-inch from the top edge of each section.

  4. 4

    Set your table saw to a 45-degree angle and cut along each 1/2-inch mark to angle the top down. You will be creating a 45-degree angle from the top, back edge of the skirting board that will slant forward, and down to the remaining width of the board.

  5. 5

    Sand away any rough edges of the board using the 120-grit sandpaper. This will provide a smooth finished product that can be painted easily.

  6. 6

    Paint skirting the desired colour. Allow paint to dry completely before continuing.

  7. 7

    Select one end of the skirting, and measure in ½ inch. Set the saw at 45 degrees and cut back towards the back corner from the ½-inch mark to angle to the end of the skirting. This end will be placed in the corner, joining another angled section of wall skirting to create a clean finish.

  8. 8

    Place the cut angle of the skirting in the corner of the room and allow the remaining area of the skirting to lay flush against the bottom of the wall. Drive in one finish nail every 18 inches along the length of the baseboard.

  9. 9

    Measure the space remaining along the wall and cut one section of 4-inch-by-8-foot skirting to size. Angle the opposite corner in the same manner as the first corner installed, and line the second skirting board along the wall, nailing one finish nail every 18 inches along the remainder of the wall.

  10. 10

    Repeat steps 8 through 10 until the entire base of the wall is covered with skirting. Touch up paint over any nails or roughed up sections of the skirting.

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