How To Properly Paint Your Pine Skirting Boards

Painting your pine skirting boards isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, but it makes a massive difference, especially if you have a smaller home like me. I am sharing tips on how to paint your dark, varnished, pine or pre-painted skirting boards.

Depending on how much dark woodwork you have in your home, this can be a costly job to have outsourced. So, why not save some pennies, and have a go at painting your skirting boards and internal woodwork yourself.

I have a small house and to make it look bigger, I painted my internal woodwork white. Now, its fifty shades of white as different rooms have different shades.

You can also get creative with colour and paint your skirting boards in the same shade as your wall paint. So, whatever shade you decide to paint your skirting boards, I hope you find these tips helpful.

A step by step guide, How to paint your skirting boards and internal woodwork. A before and after image of a Door frame and skriting boards painted white and grey, the before image of a brown door.
How To Paint Pine Skirting Boards and internal woodwork.

How To Paint Your Skirting Boards. Step By Step Guide!


How To Paint Your Skirting Boards. Step By Step Guide!

  1. Clean your skirting boards first.

    Use a degreaser to clean the surface before painting your skirting boards. The paint will not stick to dirt, so always thoroughly wash your project first. You can use sugar soap, Krud Kutter or a 50/50 mix of methylated spirits and water to clean your surface. Krud Kutter

  2. Lightly sand your wood skirting boards.

    You do not need to sand your skirting boards back bare. You only need to scuff the surface to create small scratches, as this will give the paint something to grip. A sanding block is perfect to scuff your skirting boards before painting. Also, remember to wipe away dust. Ryobi cordless sander

  3. Apply one coat of primer.

    If you have knotty pine or varnished skirting boards, you will have to use a stain-blocking primer to stop the knots from bleeding. Zinnser B-I-N is a shellac-based primer that will stop knots from bleeding. Primer gives your topcoat the perfect base to stick. If you skip this step, your paint job will not last as long and will chip. Believe me, when I say, I am speaking from experience. I have the chipped skirting boards to show for this. Zinnser BIN Shellac based primer

  4. Apply two coats of topcoat in your chosen colour.

    When painting skirting boards, you want durable paint. You can choose a satin, eggshell or gloss finish paint for painting your skirting boards. My best advice is to avoid cheap oil-based paint as from experience, these go yellow over time and smell bad. Also, with a good surface prep, water-based paints shouldn’t chip or discolour over time.Colourtrend Keystone

  5. Allow them to cure.

    For the first 2-3 weeks, be extra careful with your freshly painted woodwork. Although paint will be touch dry, to avoid chipping allow it time to cure. Try to avoid bashing your painted skirting boards with the hoover, at least for the first two weeks anyway. Once the paint has cured, it should be able to withstand a bit of wear and tear.

Patience and planning.

The one important thing I need to add is patience. I had a lot of wood to paint in my home. It can be overwhelming when you have a lot of skirting to paint. I also painted my internal doors.

Also, you do not have to do this in one go. I painted my woodwork one area at a time. As a result, that meant I wasn’t rushing, and I gave each area a good prep. So, Take time to plan your project and allow extra time for prep and drying.

Painted internal woodwork. Painted internal doors and skirting boards.

Internal woodwork painting FAQs.

Do I have to sand my skirting boards before painting?

A light sanding, or scuffing, will give your paint a better grip. Also known as “keying”, sanding will prevent your paint job from peeling and chipping. Make sure to wipe away any dust from sanding before painting.

What primer do I use to paint my varnished or pine skirting boards?

If you have pine skirting boards, I recommend a shellac-based primer like Zinnser B-I-N. A shellac-based primer will stop the oils from the knots in the wood from bleeding.
There are hundreds of paint primers on the market. Most paint brands will have a range of primers to choose from. So, do your research and ask your local paint shop for more information.

How do I stop my painted skirting boards from chipping?

To prevent your painted skirting boards from chipping, ensure to do a good prep. Clean, lightly sand, Prime and Paint. Allow each coat of paint time to dry between applications. Also, allow time for the paint to cure after it has dried. Also, take extra care with hoovers and sweeping brushes after application.

Do I need to apply a varnish over my painted skirting boards?

If you used a satin, eggshell or gloss finish paint for painting your skirting boards, the answer is no. These paints are self-sealing, unlike chalky paint.

Can I use chalk paint to paint my skirting boards?

I wouldn’t recommend it, and here is why. Chalky finish paint is harder to remove compared to a satin, eggshell or gloss finish paint. You have to seal chalky paint with a wax or varnish after and this can cause discolouration. So, If you do not prime, it will allow the oils in the wood to bleed through over time. Also, it is harder to paint over, especially if sealed with wax. From experience, I would keep chalky paint for projects in low traffic areas. Chalk paint is better for creative furniture painting and smaller projects.

How to prepare skirting boards and door frames for painting.

A good prep will give you a longer lasting paint job and stop chipping. Use a degreaser to clean the surface before painting your skirting boards. The paint will not stick to dirt, so always thoroughly wash your project first. You can use sugar soap, Krud Kutter or a 50/50 mix of methylated spirits and water to clean your surface. Then lightly sand and wipe away any dust before applying primer.

Painted internal wood work, painted skirting boards and doors.

As you can see from the before and after pictures, the painted woodwork made my house look bigger and brighter. What I love about your home is that you can experiment with different colours.

Also, if you want inspiration for what colours to paint your skirting boards, check out Pinterest and create a mood board.

So, let me know if you plan to paint your skirting boards and internal woodwork, and if you found this post useful. Also, I love seeing the changes you make in your home, you can tag me over on Instagram in your pics.

Comment below if you have any further questions regarding painted woodwork. So, I can update this post with your questions.
Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine.

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  1. daintydressdiaries
    June 20, 2022 / 7:44 am

    Thanks, Aine, congrats on the new home!

  2. Áine
    June 19, 2022 / 11:35 am

    As a new home owner, your blogs and tips are a God send. Love your style and approach to projects xx

  3. daintydressdiaries
    September 1, 2021 / 11:29 am

    Hiya Emma, my best tip is to get some sample pots, as each home has different lighting. So, I could recommend a colour I use, but it could look totally different in your home depending on your natural lighting. My best tip is to go water based, a water based Satin or eggshell and oil based will yellow over time.

  4. Emma
    September 1, 2021 / 9:33 am

    Hi Catherine,
    Love your DIY projects. I want to start painting the skirting boards a white/off white colour. Have you any recommendations on what colour paint to use for this project? Thanks 😊

  5. Lucinda S
    February 20, 2021 / 9:07 am

    Hi from across the pond. Please tell us about the florals on the sofa. I don’t remember them being there previously

  6. daintydressdiaries
    January 27, 2021 / 6:04 pm

    Hiya! So, I personally remove it when it’s slightly damp, just because when I have left it over night it has peeled some paint when I removed it.
    Also, from practise and painting so much. I don’t use any masking tape, just a roller, small brush and clothed for any mistakes.

  7. Mena
    January 27, 2021 / 5:59 pm

    Hi Catherine, great information there. What do you recommend about masking tape? Do i wait for paint to dry before removing or what do you think? Ive heard different advice about it. Thanks

  8. daintydressdiaries
    January 27, 2021 / 2:23 pm

    Thanks for reading Meghan ❤️

  9. Meghan
    January 27, 2021 / 1:59 pm

    This is really helpful,thanks a mil xx

  10. The dainty dress diaries
    May 8, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    My best advice is do definitely prep and use a stain blocking primer! The last thing you want is your white skirting to turn yellow over time so lots of stain blocking primer X

  11. Unknown
    May 8, 2016 / 8:04 am

    Just brought my house two bed terraced and it does lack light ! All the wold is mahogany doors skirting boards pvc Windows which is a nightmare I can't change the colour of the Windows without paying to have new ones! I was looking around and wanted to chalk paint all the mahogany skirtings and doors ? I have no children so the traffic is going to be minimal any advice would be of help! Never done diy really! Love white 🙂

  12. The dainty dress diaries
    January 29, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Aw thanks so much Susi for stopping by and reading! It will look amazing once done .Like that take your time as it can be hard when you have distractions X Tag me in pics too on Instagram X Can't wait to see X

  13. Susanne Hoffmann
    January 29, 2016 / 4:30 am

    I love how your doors are looking now! ��We habe also pine wood doors in our house, and because nearly the Rest is white and ligthly, it doesn't match… And youre right when you say that everything looks even brighter in white ����So i want to Start this project for even two years but im afraid to loose patiens because i would habe to paint 6 doors ��Your post helps me to act brave and looks forwards for the results �� thank you… I hope i find the time to Start soon, its not easy with two little kids in the house�� habe yourself a nice day and of course a happy weekend!I'm looking forwards to your posts on instagram because they brightens up the day!��Greetings from Susi Hoffmann in Germany!��

  14. a writing place
    January 11, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    My Instagram….We built this family home nearly 50 years ago, so it is an old home. Comfortable for us. I would love a cottage with just enough rooms, for us now. But we live next door to family, so we won't be moving. So I 'make believe' that the rooms we still use, are "in" a cottage. :-)And if I don't already follow you on IG, I will.Gentle hugs…

  15. The dainty dress diaries
    January 7, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    Aw thanks for reading, are you on Instagram i would love to see more pics of your home, it sounds so warm and cosy. I imagine its like a warm famrhouse style. you must tag me in pics my username is @daintydressdiaries x

  16. a writing place
    January 6, 2016 / 1:56 pm

    Delightful!!!And I agree, there is nothing 'wrong' with wood trim, etc. But white looks lovely, with certain decor. So enjoy your freedom, to choose yours. :-)Being married to a lifetime wood worker and lover of wood, I can't really go painting everything white. -grin- Plus, we have an older home, so it wouldn't 'fit.' But I can enjoy seeing your 'lots-of-white'! And before I forget, I'm so impressed with you, for having purchased your own home. Yes!!! Your investment. Your canvas, to do up, as you wish.Gentle hugs…

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