Skirting boards, skirting boards

Oak floorThe flooring project I posted about a month ago has progressed, and we now have oak throughout the ground floor, apart from the kitchen.

I’m not sorry to see the tatty old carpets go, but I do wonder whether wooden flooring is going to be sufficiently cosy in our Yorkshire winters. Time will tell, and we have various rugs to put down.

At present, the rugs and much of the furniture are still not back where they should be because we have a number of finishing-off jobs to do: inserting cork (and caulk) in the expansion gaps at the edge of the floating floor where it butts up to a rough stone wall; wiring up a couple of new electrical floor sockets; sticking down loose wallpaper edges that came away when the old skirting boards (aka baseboards) were removed; touching up paintwork where an architrave or wall finish has sustained minor damage; tucking away the phone and ethernet cables that previously ran under the edge of the carpet; and last but not least, fitting new skirting boards throughout.

My original plan was to re-use the existing skirting, and I insisted that my dear husband remove it all carefully so as minimise the damage. I even numbered each length on the back according to a master diagram so we could figure out what went where. He was very sceptical that it would be suitable for re-use, and I have to say he was absolutely right. (It does happen, occasionally.) Set against the pristine new floor, the warped, much-painted, knocked-about pine skirting looked very shabby indeed. It was plain that even a fresh coat of paint wasn’t going to redeem it.

Pencil round skirting

Pencil round

Instead, we ordered 30 metres of pre-primed MDF skirting which arrived last week. Ever since, we have been cutting it to length, priming the cut ends, gloss painting the back (to ensure it’s damp-proof) and then the front, lightly sanding the front and then sticking each length in place. I’m not a big fan of MDF, but for certain applications it’s a good choice, and skirting boards is one of them. It’s completely smooth and even, there are no knots to worry about and it is bendier than timber, which is useful when you live in a house with uneven walls. And once it’s had a second coat of gloss in situ, no one will even know that it is MDF.

Painting skirting

Painting the skirting boards

There are 29 individual lengths of skirting board to fit, the shortest of which is just a few cm long and the longest is over 4 metres. I am fed up to the teeth with painting, sanding, wiping down and sticking and will be glad when it’s all done. I am only too glad that we went for a clean, modern pencil-round profile rather than something more traditional like ogee or torus which would have been a lot more tedious to paint and sand smooth.

Norwegian Fir

I’ve finished the body of this little baby jacket and made a start on the first sleeve. As I feared, the second ball of yarn is a noticeably paler colour, but I really don’t think it will matter – a one-year-old certainly won’t care. Should have it done in no time at all now.

Norwegian Fir baby cardiIt has come out rather bigger than I expected. And yes, I did knit a tension square. Again, that’s not a problem, children of that age grow rapidly and I’m sure it will fit perfectly before this winter comes to an end.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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