View Full Version : Skirting Boards

9th Jan 2006, 02:06 AM
Could someone please tell me the best way to remove skirting boards...Regards Rob

E. maculata
9th Jan 2006, 08:08 AM
Dunno if it's the best way, but I cut along the paint line with a stanley knife, then gently pryed with a variety of implements, also made some pine wedges (see it does have some uses:p )to keep the pressure spread over the area. Worked a treat, no busted anythings.

9th Jan 2006, 10:25 AM
Usually I insert a paint scraper - a medium to large one - between the wall and the skirting board.
I try to push it down as far as possible
Then I insert an old chisel - which as not use anymore -between the scraper and the skirting board with a hammer.
you can then pull the chisel like a lever and slowly the skirting board will come out
Works fine for me

9th Jan 2006, 02:16 PM
Welcome TeamUN,
Both of the above methods, and variations there-of, work well. When I'm removing skirting I have on hand a selection of old bits of timber and ply, wedges, scrapers, chisels plus a large and small pry bar to choose from depending on how reluctant the skirting is to come off the wall. Whatever lever you use, the trick is to spread the load as much as possible. Generally you'll be working at the bottom of a gyprock sheet that doesn't take kindly to being pushed away from the centre of the room.

Cheers and good luck


11th Jan 2006, 05:54 PM
G'day teamUN. Welcome.

I just pulled off a few thousand metres of skirting boards. A few thoughts may help you.

1. it's much harder with the carpet/carpet strips (the timber with the nails in holding the carpet in place) in the way. It is possible, but much harder.

2. I use an old chisel, as I seem to hit nails every time. I also use a stanley pry bar (I think they call it a wonder bar). The bastards who built this house really wanted the skirting boards to stay on as they use huge 100mm nails to fix them to hardwood studs. Really hard to get out.

3. Start at one end (make sure that end isn't jammed in by another skirting board) and push thye chisel in between the board and the wall. Try and get a small gap (enough to get a pry bar in).

4. get a square of mDF/ply etc about 250 square. Push one end of the pry bar in, drop the board in behind it to spread the load over a big area of gyprock and gently lever out. I use both ends of the bar. Usually the straighter end to start and then the 90 deg corder end later on. Make sure you leverage against the middle of the board otherwise the corners tend to dig in. You could round the corners, but if you are careful, you don't need to.

5. Keep working your way along the board. Once you get a decent distance along, you can usually just pull it off with your hands.


12th Jan 2006, 10:12 AM
I agree with everything that has been said here before by others.

The only bit I would add is to first locate as many nails/screws as possible that hold the skirting to the wall/studs. If they are painted over, try to find them with a basic metal detector, or use the wide-scraper-behind-the-board method as suggested by emistral to find them.

Before levering the skirting away from the wall try to remove as many of those nails/screws as possible. This will then result in you having to use less leverage force against the wall to shift the skirting.

Also, make sure you use a sharp scraper to break any adhesive that may have been used to glue the skirting in place.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
12th Jan 2006, 11:17 PM
Here's a trick that works well with very old timber skirting-boards; I've no idea whether it'll work with modern MDF ones, I think they may be too soft. Used in cases where I know the wall-lining will be marked by normal methods, like when the boards've been in place 60 years and the nails have rusted in. :(

I drive a 3/4" firmer chisel, bevel edge down under the bottom of the board, enough to lift it 5 mm or so. This usually is enough to break the "grip" of old nails... or start to pull the head thru the board. Either is normal. Then, with a piece of scrap to prevent marking, I tap the board back down with a hammer, which leaves a gap at the wall of about 7mm... enough to go back to a normal jimmy bar and offcuts.

13th Jan 2006, 10:10 AM
Hi, Once skirting boards have been removed, are they ever re-used for the same areas, or replaced with new? Just curious.:confused:


13th Jan 2006, 10:18 AM
Rufflyrustic, If you're using the same kind of skirting boards, absolutely! Obviously if you're going to use them again it's even more important to take them off carefully. Also it's by far easier to use the same boards if they're going to be painted because paint hides a plethora of filled holes. If you're going for the natural timber look, used skirting boards may end up looking a bit more rustic or distressed.
Mark the back with an appropriate code stating which wall and which piece each is and slap them back into place when you're ready. My advice from previous experience is the longer you expect the boards to be in storage, the more explicit you should make the code because the memory becomes fuzzy after a while. A good example might be 'dining room / window wall / L-R / 1 of 3'.
Cheers Big Ears