How to Remove a Skirting Board Without Damaging the Walls

Skirting boards serve a fairly simple purpose, and they serve it well: they hide the part of the room where the drywall meets the floor. Sometimes, however, they have to go away, whether because you need to remove them to complete another project, or because they are outdated and you want to replace them entirely. Either way, you want to remove them without damaging the walls.

How to remove a skirting board with a hammer and trowel

If you are a relatively comfortable person, you probably already have all the tools you need to remove skirting boards and protect walls from damage:

  • Painting tool ( five-in-one tool or spatula )
  • Hammer
  • Scrap
  • A small piece of wood to protect the wall
  • Utility knife

First, take a utility knife and cut through the baseboard where it meets the wall. This method clogs the skirting board to remove any paint or glue that is holding the skirting board to the wall – and this is especially important for homes with old skirting boards where paint has adhered to the skirting board making it difficult to remove.

Starting at one end of the skirting board, take a trowel or five-in-one tool and insert it between the skirting board and the wall to make room for the scrap. If you’re struggling to get stuck behind the baseboard with a trowel, lightly hammer in the curved end of the crowbar until the baseboard starts to separate from the wall.

Before you start digging any further, take a small piece of wood and wedge it between the crowbar and the wall. The wood plank provides leverage and displaces pressure as you pry on, preventing damage to the wall. Then use a crowbar to pull up and slowly remove the skirting board. Continue down the wall in the same steps, carefully removing the baseboard as you go. Watch a video on home improvement on a construction site to see an example of the process.

How to remove skirting boards with a trim stripper

No special tools are required to neatly remove skirting boards, although they do help. Craftsman Bob Vila’s website says that the only tool you really need is a specially designed trim remover. The puller combines the work of a trowel and a crowbar to easily lift off the wall without damage. Handyman Ron Hazelton shows you how easy it is touse a trim remover for multiple projects.

This specialized tool has a curved edge like a crowbar, but with a thin edge like a trowel. The wider frame allows the bar to wedge between the wall and the skirting board and swing from side to side to lift the board away from the wall.

Inside the curved edge is a smaller raised piece that uses the skirting board as a lever to lift from the wall, rather than a rod cutting into the wood plank to push the board away. This method allows the skirting to be removed by following the same steps above, but with less pressure than lifting with a hammer and crowbar.


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