A portion of the cleaning around the home that is many times ignored is the skirting board. Most often this is made of wood and encases the entire perimeter of the floor; giving a finished look to the juncture at which the wall meets the floor. It takes a great deal of abuse from furniture, mops and vacuums, shoes and our indoor pets. Many of us go to great lengths to keep our floors clean and wipe down our walls without ever giving a second thought to the skirting board which ties these two surfaces together. The skirting board usually has intricate molding etched into it or a tiny horizontal lip. This can gather dust. It’s also in a natural position to catch any foot or furniture traffic, leaving it with scuff marks or maybe even a blemish or slight damage. With a little bit of care and some various inexpensive products, you can keep your skirting board in pristine condition giving a very polished, new look to your home.
The vast majority of the skirting will only require cleaning. This can be done routinely with household furniture polish. The same product you would use on a dining table or fireplace mantle. If used regularly, this will keep it shiny and new. If you’ve neglected the skirting for a while then a bit more time, effort and products will be required. First, inspect your skirting board to determine the amount of care it will require. Stoop to your hands and knees to get a close look. Survey the entire perimeter of your floor. Obviously, rooms that are subject to higher amounts of traffic will show a greater amount of wear and tear.
Depending upon the extent of the damage, one of two solutions can be used. For lesser damage such as scuff marks from shoes or furniture you should purchase a small can of stain. There are many colors and grades to choose from. Select the one that matches what you have. Dab a bit of this on a rag and cover the minor damage as needed. Be sure to use a separate rag to wipe away the excess as you apply it. For the skirting that has suffered a higher degree of damage I would recommend purchasing a small jar of wood filler. This can be purchased at most any hardware or home improvement store and is available in most colors. If you don’t find an exact match, purchase 2 jars. One jar of the color that closest matches your board and another jar that will darken it or lighten it, depending on which alteration you need. You’ll simply use the filler to cover any nicks, dents, marks, or holes that are visible along the skirting board. This can be done using only your finger tip and a rag to wipe away the excess. An additional step would be to wipe the entire run with stain to blend the filled places with the old wood. This small amount of work can add a rich look to your rooms while showing your keen eye for detail.