Removing Skirting Boards & 'Cutting' Plasterboard...


Ex Member
Jan 15, 2003
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My soundproofing mayhem is now getting underway, but before the real grit begins, just two little 'problems' I need a bit of help with...

I've got to remove the skirting boards from my existings walls first before I start applying things onto the walls. To I just need a giant hammer/screwdriver to literally force these things off? Or is there some 'special' way of doing things?

And the plasterboards I'll be ordering are a little 'taller' than my room height, how easy is it to cut these down to size (if it's okay to do so)?


Dimmy :).
Hi Dimmy,
dead easy to cut plasterboard , all thats needed is a straight edge and a stanley knife.You only need to score the board and then snap it along the line ,very easy :smoke: .
Skirting boards , best to find where they are nailed or screwed to the wall .Pry it off at the point its nailed to the wall ,with a little brute force .If its screwed to the wall , take them out.Probably best not to try to brute force them :lesson:

finally , sit down all day infront on discovery home and leisure (you can be excused the fishing programes) one of the diy programmes are bound to have someone putting up a plaster board wall :rotfl: :rotfl:

I REALLY do HATE Skirting boards, I really do. I'm probably not going to put some back on when I've ripped them all off. Well, either that or get some descent looking ones in which I can hide all my Home Cinema cabling...

Thanks for the advice Johnscarlet :smashin: - I think they're nailed into the wall, so brute force it is...
use a scrap piece of wood behind whatever your using to pry the board off so you don't damage the wall too much ,also gives extra leverage
Careful with the skirting boards, as ours are stuck on with 'no more nails', or something like it. i don't understand why the joiner who fitted them didn't nail/screw em in, then seal round the edges.
Because sometimes block walls can be as hard as hell and getting nails into them results in a mess. No more nails is perfecly acceptable and is much quicker than screwing which also causes alignment problems unless done very carefully.

Dimmy, to cut plasterboard just put a straight edge along the cut line. Run a stanly knife along it so that it jsut breaks the paper covering. Then, snap the board away from the cut over a pivot of some kind (plank, dowel etc.) Turn the board over and you will have a clean break but the paper on the other side will need the knife down it to finish the job.

WHen you are fixing the board, do not screw the screws right in. You need to just catch them so they do not go though the paper. So, you want them to be a tiny, weeny bit in from flush. If you screw them in too far the board will just fall away. A quick skim with some filler and it's done.
Removing skirting boards is easier with a small crowbar with the wall protected by a scrap of wood or ply.
Start in the middle so that it bows outwards and pop scraps of wood behind as you get the board away from the wall. Bowing helps to shorten the board enough to remove it if it is of full room length. Though you can only remove it after all the nails are free of course. If you try and pry one end of the board in a corner it will drag along the nearest wall and damage it. It will probably be mitred in as well. Which means it is locked into position unless you can shorten the board somehow. Wedges are most useful to keep the board away from the wall as you go long. But scraps of wood will probably have to do.
I would start in the middle with a very strong & broad firmer wood chisel. But a bolster is very much cheaper for odd jobs. A bolster is a broad all metal chisel for cutting stone and brick. It greatly reduces damage to the wall by being broad enough not to dig in.
A great deal depends on the age of the building as to how easily the skirting boards are removed. They used to use some horrible great big nails sometimes. Modern narrow boards are mere shadows of their former selves from older times. Some ran to 10"-15" wide (high) or more in Georgian houses. :rolleyes:

Use tough builders gloves to protect your hands from the nails and from being trapped behind the board every few minutes. Two people usually work better than one on skirtings unless you have three hands and very long arms. Remember to bow the boards to get them back in!

Have fun

If you've got bad knees and are not too worried about re-using the skirting use a sharp garden spade. Slide the blade briskly down the wall face to get behind the wood and lever off. Unless the walls are pretty soft, the spade should be wide enough to prevent damage to it. As Nimby says use some wedges to keep the skirting off of the wall, this will reduce any damage to the skirting should you be worried.

If taking a lot off in the house, your knees will thank you!


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