removing old skirting boards

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  • removing old skirting boards
  • nealglover
    Member

    You won’t find them, they will be nailed into noggins set in the wall.
    Then the nails will have been sunk in and the holes filled.

    To remove them will be messy and will more than likely rip some of the bottom of the wall to bits.
    Nothing that can’t be repaired, but not an easy job overall.

    mrmo
    Member

    I was hoping if i could find the nails, i could make this less messy…. Not really wanting to replaster the wall as well as lay a new floor, repaint the walls, etc etc etc.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    As nealglover says, they’ll most likely have been nailed into wedges hammered into the brick course. This is not such a bad thing as it makes removing them a tad easier than if they’re screwed in. If you’re laying a new floor, any minor damage to the walls from removing the skirting may well be covered if the new skirting goes on top of the new floor.

    If you do go ahead and try and remove them then:

    Run a very sharp edge along the top of the skirting to break the seal between the caulk and the wall.
    Then run a chisel along the line made by the sharp edge – helps if it’s a cooking chisel rather than a shagging chisel.
    Use a pry bar and small wrecking bar to ease the skirting off. Slowly slowly catch a monkey is key here. Use the pry-bar, then wrecking bar to ease out the skirting bit by bit. Put downward pressure rather than upward on the wrecking bar as you go. If at any point, you notice the plaster wanting to come away with the skirting, stop and cut it using the sharp edge or chisel. If there are any pieces behind a radiator pipe, then using a 10mm-ish drill bit, drill a line of holes (vertically), inside the envelope of the pipes very close to one another which you can then smash through with the chisel to “break” the skirting. How you then remove this piece is up to you. 🙂

    There are lots o original features things worth saving in a victorian house when it comes to refurb, etc. Skirtings aren’t one of them IMO as you can easily find exactly the same thing with which to replace them and decorate to a better standard than you can achieve trying to tart up old ones.

    mrmo
    Member

    thanks dd, i was wondering how to get the skirting off form behind the radiators.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Take the radiators off

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I just crow-bared mine off, didn’t do much damage. I stripped, sanded and varnished them and then re-fitted them using screws in the original nail holes.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Take the radiators off

    +1

    My method is only if this is a no-go.

    mrmo
    Member

    currently removing paint from old skirting boards in the new house. Looking at the colour and the number of paint layers on top i wouldn’t be surprised if the boards are original. ie 1890 ish.

    Problem is i can’t see any sign of any fixings? would they have been nailed, glued etc. Am i just not looking hard enough? Assuming there are fixings where would i expect to find them?

    mrmo
    Member

    Take the radiators off
    +1

    My method is only if this is a no-go.

    i will need to do some more investigating, the pipes coming out from the floor appear to extend beyond the height of the skirting before i can see any joints. which suggests even if i remove the radiators i will still have the pipes to deal with. Or is there some other method i can’t see?

    wrightyson
    Member

    Why would taking the radiators off help? If you’ve hot rads at skirting level then your plumber was a dwarf! It’s the flow and return pipes that cause the problem not the rads…

    qwerty
    Member

    Refit slightly bigger skirting that hides the damage caused by removal.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    A bit of damage to plaster etc isn’t anything to worry about. With expanding foam / decorator’s flexible caulk it’s really quick to patch / repair holes etc of pretty much any size.

    wrightyson
    Member

    I think it’ll be a little more than that flaps. If they are original you’ll probably get big chunks of hollow backing coming off….

    hairybiker84
    Member

    If you can work out the fixing locations you can split the skirting with a chisel or bolster and take it off in slithers/strips. The nails will be proud of the wall and can be sheared off flush or slightly below wall surface by gripping with mole grips or claw side of hammer and twisting. If you do the whole thing fairly carefully you will have no repairs to do to wall and can just fit a new section of skirting over the old location. Some of the MDF pre-primed sections are quite good provided they’re never going to get wet and save a whole lot of grief dealing with the miriad of knots in poor quality modern ‘white wood’. I usually rawlplug/screw to wall with a bit of gripfil for good measure. Obviously countersink screw holes and then fill afterwards with something like Ronseal resin based woodfiller.

    mattzzzzzz
    Member

    Flattish spade behind skirting and lever off every few feet, patch damage to walls with patching plaster and a float*

    *I did this on dot and dab walls – lots of replastering needed where i crushed the wall in

    avdave2
    Member

    Just be aware that boards that old will almost certainly have several coats of lead paint on them so be careful how you strip them.

    sobriety
    Member

    This is great until you discover that the walls are lathe and plaster, and that the plaster has blown away from the lathes, and then that the radiators were put in second hand and are at the end of their life span. At which point the rip the lot out and start from scratch.

    Which is when you discover that you have no upstairs ring main, the exterior bricks have become porous and need resealing, and that the piping upstairs is all odd sizes to accomated the second hand radiators from various places. Ahhhh the joys of ‘redecotating’.

    andyl
    Member

    ^ this!

    Found 4 double sockets run as spurs in my flat, cut and bodged wires on the main ring etc etc

    I’ve just had to replace the skirting and dado rail on a flat I’ve had tanked so none of the walls are straight, none of the angles are 90 degrees and I have to glue it all on as no nails/screws allowed. First time I have ever done it and actually quite pleased with the results (minimal filler).

    Radiators also glued on (gulp). Need to make some feet for them.

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