What is the best material to use when painting skirting boards and architrave?

This is an excellent question. One which we have been asked by customers on several occasions. We do get approached by customers looking for new skirting boards or architrave for redecoration projects who often ask us about which material we would recommend if they are going to be painted. We hope this article will help answer that question.

A large number of people tend to assume that pine skirting boards would be the best skirting board or architrave option to paint as it is the traditional style often found in older Victorian or Edwardian properties and are very common within the market. Pine makes an excellent material for skirting board and architrave as it is a budget timber however as a softwood it is prone to being dented and knocked overtime as a result of everyday living after being bashed by the vacuum cleaner and knocked with shoes/furniture. Pine makes a fantastic material for skirting boards and architrave in older properties but looks more the part when unfinished or lacquered.

The better alternative that we would recommend is MDF when painting skirting boards and architrave. There is a common misconception in the marketplace that MDF skirting boards are flimsy and break easily as a result of being cheap however this is simply not true. MDF skirting boards are a more rigid option compared to a softwood like pine, it is true that they are substantially cheaper though but at no compromise making them a more suitable product for interior re-decorating. The only downside with MDF skirting boards and architrave is that they will always have to be painted as they would be the standard green or brown buff colour that people find quite ugly!

MDF skirting boards and architrave are now also typically sold in moisture-resistant (MR) versions making them more suitable for kitchens and bathrooms where timber is usually a complete no-no.

However if you insist on using a timber rather than MDF for skirting boards or architrave we would recommend a paint-grade tulipwood to do so. This is usually a more expensive option but as a hardwood it offers similar properties to the MDF in terms of density. The truth is that once several paint coats are added to the skirting boards or architrave you cannot tell which material is used for your mouldings. If you plan on lightly coating to allow a wooden grain to show through then obviously MDF would be the worst option for your skirting and architrave as it has no visible grain whatsoever!

So if you are looking for new skirting boards or architrave for redecorating your property we would recommend MDF if you are looking for a more robust skirting board or architrave for your home, pine and tulipwood are good alternatives but ultimately the decision lies in what you want to achieve.

Designing skirting for the modern home

Designing skirting for the modern home in modern times it is important to get the correct styling and modernisation to achieve the best value for your home.matching colours and styling is therefore a great key.therefore when choosing skirting boards, wall covering and also the flooring, you need to pay attention to designs that will fit together, rather than something just off the shelf.the good news is that there are lots of new designs of skirting boards coming to market, with innovative designs offering you a wide choice, just as there is with your curtains or other furnishings.

choosing the wood is a large part of making the decision on your skirtings.if you want a low cost option, that you can paint readily in different colours, then mdf skirting is your best option.if you want to go for style, or an expensive look, you can got for a snooker cue esque wood such as maple for your skirting boards, or even other hardwoods such as beech skirting, oak skirting, walnut skirting etc.hardwood skirting will give you the natural and expensive look but will also require some care and attention.with hardwood, a lacquer or varnish will prevent it from getting damaged but it must also be prevented from getting damp.more traditional designs of skirting can still be found and used such as ogee, torus, bevelled, bullnose and others.however you are no longer limited to the standard designs as you can now find ribbed skirting, reeded skirting and even a jazz skirting that has been released!once you have the skirting boards sorted, you will want to lay a nice floor.carpets are the standard throughout time, however laminate floors, engineered floors and solid wood floors are becoming more and more popular.

engineered floors are a fraction of the cost of real wood flooring however they offer a great comparable finish.stair rails, hand rails and picture rails are also up for grabs when you're chomping at the bit to add some finesse. these are usually best purchased in hardwood such as oak, as they will get more wear and tear than the skirting boards.using a spirit level and adhesive you can usually fit your picture rails quite easily.

when fitting your stair rails however, you may like to have a professional carpenter visit to do them correctly.at this stage, you may also be considering your furniture.if it is just a space that you're looking to fill, you can get a standard range that will fit the bill.alternatively you can go for a higher end furniture that will often be made from solid oak and will give a look of elegance to any room.the skirting boards will need to match the furniture, whichever choice you go for.matching hardwood furniture to hardwood skirting will offer the best results and the best overall finish.you can always use mdf however without the need to go to great expense and still get a neat and tidy finish.if you are looking for the best design on the market, be sure to go for a solid oak or walnut skirting boards.