Why am I garbage at fitting skirting board?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by mcooper2406, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    Hi All,

    I know this has probably been covered hundreds of times on the foum but I have the above mentioned issue.

    I can pretty much turn my hand to most things to an acceptable standard but my skirting is awful. To the point where my wife is banning me from doing it anymore if I can't do it better haha!

    I follow all of the tutorials and have even tried fitting it with expanding foam this time with little to no improvement.

    The problem I have is that the walls are old and so are not very even but they are just as uneven in the living room where we got a joiner and his touches the wall everywhere but mine has gaps at the top as the wall undulates slighty!

    Any help would be hugely apreciated as it's starting to really annoy me that I just can't seem to get it right!!!

  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Are you cutting by hand or with power tools?
  3. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    I've tried both. No joy!

    To be clear the gap is along the top the full length of the skirting. I'm not too bad at getting it the right length into the corners.
  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    So the top of the skirting isn't tight to the wall? Or the mitres have a gap at the top?
  5. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    The skirting isn't tight to the top of the wall, I know the walls are a little out but they are in the living room and the joiner got them spot on in there
  6. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Smash the plaster off the bottom of the wall with a hammer and either a bolster or a blunt wood chisel along the length, until the skirting fits without much of a gap, if the skirting is timber and its cupped or if the wall is like an in and out banana then gaps are more or less inevitable.
  7. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Cos that's the type of guy I am ;)
    JustPhil likes this.
  8. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    Seems a tad rude.

    Assuming this is the troll again?

    Yeah done that Jord. Am I right in thinking screwing is better when the walls are uneven?
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Don't be offended, everyone gets a bit of stick off him. If the walls are uneven then yes I find its best to plug and screw to pull it in tight, however as I said if the skirting is cupped then you will have an absolute mare, you'd be better off planing the back of the skirting in that instance. What is the skirting material, timber or mdf?
  10. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    I've used timber before but this is MDF and having similar issue.

    I'll take it off and plus and screw it and see if it helps!
  11. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    It depends on what looks best, no point screwing skirting tight to the wall if it creates a big bend that the eye picks up straight away, sometimes it's better to fit the skirting straight and caulk the gap on top, once painted it all blends in with the wall and looks pleasing to the eye.
    CGN likes this.
  12. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    I fully agree on this.

    I will on occasions if customers insist pull the skirting in tight to the wall all the way along but it looks much better left straight and the discrepancy filled.

    Especially on long runs it looks terrible wandering in and out in a wavy line.

    I tend to stick a silicon nozzle onto my foam gun, run a tiny bead along the top then when its dry trim it back a touch shy and fill across the top.

    When painted as Jord says it looks much better.
  13. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    Cheers for that GB. I agree the gaps are inevitable! the wife does not so at least this is some vindication haha.

    I love your idea about the foam before the filler as my problem with filler is sometimes that it shrinks and drops a little which just looks cheap.
  14. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    If it shrinks back then just add another layer.
  15. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    Always feels like I must have done something wrong to even need to do that in the first place. Although it sounds like it should be expected from my limited skill working with wood and the state of the old walls.

  16. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    I seem to spend my life doing up old houses with wonky walls, so am very familiar with the issues you're facing with your skirting boards. At least my wife is a bit more accepting of wonkiness and just puts it down to 'character'.
    In some situations I've had to apply caulk 3 times to fill the hollow that occurs when the caulk shrinks back. (Despite all the claims of the caulk manufacturers about no-shrink, I've yet to find one that actually doesn't shrink!)
  17. mcooper2406

    mcooper2406 Member

    Ahh that makes me feel better then haha! She is pretty accepting and the "ban" was only her taking the pi** but she is right i could do it a lot better than I do so I'll take all these tips on board!

    Caulk wise do you worry much about brands or are they all much of a muchness?
  18. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    I've tried them all now ... ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive. The one I tend to stick to now is the one from Brewers, I can't remember the brand, but it's cheap and good.
  19. robertpstubbs

    robertpstubbs Active Member

    In the past I’ve used skirting tiles (100x100mm) on wonky walls. Works well with tiled floors. But not cheap.

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