Skirting boards are an understated feature of interior design. They are well known to be the one element of the home that gets knocked about the most, from vacuum cleaners, kids’ toys and pets, and it is therefore easy to dismiss them as a feature which merely requires maintenance, when actually they carry much more aesthetic value than that.
The main purpose of skirting boards is to hide joints and cracks between the wall and floor, and therefore they provide a functional purpose, but because they also have a visual quality – ie. to provide a neat and tidy finish to a room – they do frame a room and play an important role in the overall design. For this reason, it is important that you pay close attention to skirting boards, and hence there are several ways in which you can work to enhance them and subsequently improve the overall interior design of a room.
Try different colours
Gone are the days when skirting boards were automatically painted white and forgotten about to blend into the background. Why not make them a feature and an integral part of your room’s colour scheme? Done right – with a contrast or a subtle change in colour – you will really notice skirting boards if you paint them and you might start to wonder why you had never considered doing so before.
New skirting board design
If you don’t have a strong period theme in your room you can consider changing the design to enhance the appeal of your skirting boards. You can select from different design profiles such as Edwardian, Victorian, Georgian or contemporary, but you need to ensure there is consistency with other features in the room, such as architrave, picture rails or ceiling mouldings.
Upgrade to timber
Many modern homes have skirting boards made from MDF, but traditional hardwoods are more robust and hard-wearing and are easier to treat and paint. So upgrading to timber skirting boards will make them last longer and look much better.
Change the height
In a room with higher ceilings you should aim to maximise the height of your skirting boards so that the framing matches. Likewise, if you have low ceilings then you should shorten your skirting board height. It is all about finding a balance and an aesthetic appeal and this will be much easier to live with if you get the balance right.
Get the prep right
If you have chosen to paint your skirting boards, spending a little bit of time on preparing them will pay dividends in the end and will really enhance their visual appeal. So sand the skirting boards down, then remove the dust with a damp cloth and make sure there are no obvious imperfections. Then you should ideally use a primer base coat before applying a top coat. This all takes time but is the best way to enhance your skirting boards.
Choose the right paint
The traditional choice for painting skirting boards might previously have been a matt paint, but you should ideally use a gloss. Again, this might take a little longer to apply but it will be worth it in the end. Gloss is much more hard-wearing and given the damage that skirting boards are regularly subjected to, you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run if you paint them with gloss.
Use masking tape
With any internal paint job it is tempting to get the brush and paint tin out and crack on, but it is worth adding masking tape to your list of prep jobs, and particularly because skirting boards have long lengths of straight edges which invariably are required to be a different colour or a different paint type to the walls. So patiently applying masking tape ensures that the edges are much neater and also avoids drips from any coverage you undertake above the skirting boards on the walls.
If you need any advice on treating, painting or preparing skirting boards, you can speak to our sales experts at Period Mouldings. We can advise on the best woods to use for your skirting boards and how different period designs match certain rooms. So contact Period Mouldings today and we can help you really enhance your skirting boards to get the most out of your home refurbishment.