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How to remove skirting boards

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Removing skirting boards

Tools

  • Utility Knife
  • Chisel
  • Small pry/wrecking bar
  • Hammer
  • Timber wedge

Step-by-step visual guide for removal

1 Score the top of the skirting board

Run your sharp utility knife along the top edge of the skirting board at the intersection where the skirting meets the wall. There is normally a build up of paint at this point that needs to be penetrated with the knife so the bond is broken between the two. Failing to carry out this process could cause the plaster wall surface to come away from the wall from above the top of skirting line, causing large areas of damage to the plasterboard wall surface, to be repaired.

2 Loosen the skirting board from the wall

Place your chisel at a vertical plane between the top rear edge of skirting board and face of wall and gently hammer the chisel in a downward direction to gently cause the two materials to part. Start at one end of the skirting and work your way along to the other end of the skirting board with the chisel to form a gap along the top edge of the skirting. This gap should give you enough scope to see where the fixing or nail positions of skirting to the wall frame and substrate.

3 Pry the skirting board off the wall

Place your pry wrecking bar into this gap immediately next to the fixing nails and lever the skirting away from the wall so you have totally separated them for removal. You may like to use a piece of timber wedge between the bar and wall to reduce the risk of damage (if there is enough room).

4 Final removal of the skirting board off the wall

The base of the skirting may be held in place by pressure from carpet or tile floor. In this situation you will also need to apply some upward pressure by either gripping the top edge of the skirting and pulling up and away from the wall and floor, or using the wrecking bar by inserting in the gap between the top of floor (you may need to put some protective material between top of floor and wrecking bar to protect the floor from any damage) and underside of skirting, and gradually lever away from floor to totally remove the skirting.

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