A dilemma of skirting boards

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Skirtings traditionally are just there to cover the gap between shrinking timbers. For modern dwellings with masonry floors try something different. I like crisp contemporary square set plaster work and this works as an almost flush skirting. The wall was part of a trade show display for pivoting domestic doors without architraves and traditional skirtings.



I disagree with your analysis of the function of skirting and architrave. In my opinion, its primary function is to take the abuse that would otherwise damage a decorated wall.

No skirting/shadow gap walls and the like might look contemporary and fresh when new, but they wouldn’t hold up to more than a few years of use in my house with kids, furniture being moved and wayward feet.
 
If doing your own skirtings it helps to have them cut down to handleable lengths, so measure the room first. Usually reduces it to only one or two very long pieces. But a big spindle moulder can handle whole 5.1metre lengths, given a good power feed, a couple of rollers or a helper.
If you build up profiles anything is possible even with limited kit. This is a salesman sample left behind about 100 years ago when this place had a previous makeover. Some sort of dado rail or cornice
6 pieces, could have been done with moulding planes, router, hand saws. Could be really wild if you did some scroll saw work as well!

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If you decide to make your own make sure to use high density MDF. Finishing normal MDF to a decent paint finish is time consuming.

The cheapest ready made MDF skirting may well take a long time to finish while the better stuff needs no prep.

I bought a pile of MDF skirting from one company, name forgotten at moment, and the primed finish was excellent. Needed a small amount more recently and the original companies min order was much higher than I needed so bought from another company with no minimum order and very cheap. The primed surface had been badly sanded probably with 80G and still needed more sanding and a primer coat with more sanding to get a half decent finish.
 
I made all the mouldings including the skirtings/baseboards in my basement from MDF sheet and painted them. Making them myself was half the cost of pre-made. I'm retired so my time is considered worthless, at least when you calculate how much my government pension is per hour. Mine only had a 1/8"/3mm round over, hand head in a trim router but the MDF doesn't care what you use. For a bigger profile I would recommend a router table with a tall fence. Where joints fell in the middle of the wall I cut the baseboards/skirting at a 45º angle over a stud and used glue and brads. Easy enough after to fill and sand any slight mismatch or differences. You'll be doing it for the rest of the brad holes anyway. They won't be seen under the paint. I always start with the longest walls and work my way down to the shortest pieces, that way any cutting goofs can be shortened. The upside to making your own mouldings is you can pick the thicknesses you like, even glueing some together to make what is not readily available.

If I had to make large profiled mouldings I would use machines not normally found in the UK. Planer moulders like the Williams and Hussey or the planer, moulder,gang saw, drum sanders like the RBI, Woodmaster types. I have older versions of both. They make moulding a short run for a house easy.

Mike what about replacing your short stroke sliding table saw with combination version of the same with a tilting head spindle in addition to the saw? My buddy had a Hammer or Felder and he loved the ability to use the sliding table for both and it wasn't much bigger than the saw alone. Might cost more but you can't buy more space in your basement.

Pete
I just stick them on with no more nails. Few big blobs and a bead just at the top. Once in place you can just run a damp sponge over the joint between the top and the wall where the bead squishes out, same for any mitred outside corners. Once dried you can pretty much go straight go paint. If the wall isnt quite straight, then the telescopic props i have for plasterboarding cielings come into play. Either screw a batten to the floor for it to push against, or a suitable bit of 4x2 braced sgainst the opposite side of the room. Bit of a faff, but less so for me than flling fixing holes. Never had one fall off yet, but if you use the solvent free version then if you do need to remove one you can usually work a thin pallet knife behind and they pop off without too much effort, and without damagimg the wall.
 
If you decide to make your own make sure to use high density MDF. Finishing normal MDF to a decent paint finish is time consuming.

The cheapest ready made MDF skirting may well take a long time to finish while the better stuff needs no prep.

I bought a pile of MDF skirting from one company, name forgotten at moment, and the primed finish was excellent. Needed a small amount more recently and the original companies min order was much higher than I needed so bought from another company with no minimum order and very cheap. The primed surface had been badly sanded probably with 80G and still needed more sanding and a primer coat with more sanding to get a half decent finish.
Similar here, bought some years ago and the fimish was really good. Stuff I have bought recently looks like it was painted by hand by Stevie Wonder using a yard brush.
 
I just stick them on with no more nails. Few big blobs and a bead just at the top. Once in place you can just run a damp sponge over the joint between the top and the wall where the bead squishes out, same for any mitred outside corners. Once dried you can pretty much go straight go paint. If the wall isnt quite straight, then the telescopic props i have for plasterboarding cielings come into play. Either screw a batten to the floor for it to push against, or a suitable bit of 4x2 braced sgainst the opposite side of the room. Bit of a faff, but less so for me than flling fixing holes. Never had one fall off yet, but if you use the solvent free version then if you do need to remove one you can usually work a thin pallet knife behind and they pop off without too much effort, and without damagimg the wall.
I don't fully trust the nail in a caulking gun stuff thus the belt and suspenders approach. 😉 Bracing to the opposite side of the room when it is in a hallway or bathroom is easy enough but across a 15' room a little harder. I'll sometimes even resort to countersunk screws to pull in a piece on a wavy wall.😳 All good fun though.

Pete
 
I don't fully trust the nail in a caulking gun stuff thus the belt and suspenders approach. 😉 Bracing to the opposite side of the room when it is in a hallway or bathroom is easy enough but across a 15' room a little harder. I'll sometimes even resort to countersunk screws to pull in a piece on a wavy wall.😳 All good fun though.

Pete
Know what you mean, I suppose for me as I have got older the "fun" factor in these sort of jobs has diminished 😀
 
now thats a combo machine....
all I wanted was a decent table saw and she bought me this monster for my birthday.....it's around 2 tons.....
the forklift grunts a bit when I pick it up....lol......
it was out of a proff wood shop hereView attachment 152392
View attachment 152393she has suddenly gone deaf when I asked for a midi digger .......hahaha......
i do have an as new Kity429 spindle thats really nice for the smaller jobs.....
You lucky lucky boy, you are going to have fun with that 🙂
 
I am currently planning a major renovation, I don't know where to find everything for this, and also furniture, is it possible?
 
Not sure how handy you are and what you're planning to do yourself, but I suggest you explore some simple yet stylish options like square skirting board. This type of skirting suits any design aesthetic and offers a timeless look that can enhance the overall appearance of your space. Additionally, the installation process for square skirting boards is relatively straightforward, making it an accessible DIY project for those with varying levels of experience.
 

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