The most effective way of rejuvenating an interior is to give it a new lick of paint, however one consistently overlooked, high impact renovation is to renewing your skirting board. The transformation is impressive, however if you have a whole building to renovate, re-skirting it might quickly begin to feel like you’ve embarked on a never ending task - especially when a chest high stack of mouldings gets delivered to site.
There are five major things you can do which will significantly reduce installation time. This guide will give you some pointers on these.
Use a Fixing Adhesive
Although in the past nails and screws were used extensively to fix moulding, they are now less relevant due to the development of adhesives like Grip Fill.
A few blobs of a fixing adhesive on the back of board, followed by a minute holding it against the wall and you’re board is fixed perfectly, probably more securely than with a nail or screw fixing. This will save you having to drill hundreds of holes in each wall.
If you add up the number of times this would have to be repeated for a whole house, this is a big labour saver!
You should be able to buy fixing adhesive very easily from most builders merchants/DIY store.
If your mouldings are going to be painted, then some materials will be far easier to work with than others.
Although softwoods were regularly used in years gone by, they have significant natural drawbacks, being susceptible to warping, bowing, twisting and splitting. These natural defects mean you have to check each piece and if necessary remedy defective pieces to suit, which can be time consuming with large quantities. Natural knots in timber will also draw out the installation process, particularly if you are painting them, as knots tend to ‘bleed’ through paint layers, discolouring the area. To prevent this each knot has to be ‘knotted’ (treated with a knotting solution – available from DIY stores). This process will also add to your installation time.
For these reasons the last decade has seen a significant shift away from pine as the dominant second fix material towards MDF. Being a man-made fibre board, MDF does not share the defects mentioned above, and as such most carpenters will breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing they are working with MDF.
Buy a Mitre Saw
A mitre saw is a time saving essential. Not only is it a circular saw saving you the effort of manually sawing each cut, but the head and fence on most mitre saws are easily configurable allowing you to cut at 45° for all of your mitre and scribing joints! Just make sure you and keep your fingers away from the blade and its path at all times.
Shape selection – Shape choice has a definite impact on installation speed. If your shape is just a simple rounded edge, this is going to be much easier to scribe than a highly decorative, ornate moulding. Although it is only normally a smaller section of the board, cutting around a large number of detailed mouldings can be a significant time consumer.
Although they may be more expensive than un-primed (raw) mouldings, pre primed (white)boards will save you having to seal the boards with primer before you begin finishing them – that’s a lot of metres worth of painting you have just saved yourself – especially as you normally prime twice!
If MDF has a drawback it is undoubtedly the fact that any cut edge will absorb a lot of paint. Therefore if you are opting for MDF, making sure you buy pre primed boards is an absolute must, and is the biggest time saver on this list regardless of material!
Considering these points and preparing before tackling a second fix project is one of the most worthwhile things you can do and even if just a few points are followed you’re going to be well on your way in minimising your installation time.