5 Best Paint For Skirting Boards

Review of the best paint for skirting boards. In a hurry… then our top pick is Johnstone’s Quick Dry Satin Paint for the skirting.

Best Overall
Johnstone's Quick Dry Satin Paint
Price not available
Best Overall
Johnstone's Quick Dry Satin Paint
Price not available

There is nothing like a nice finish. From fine wine to skirting boards, a nice finish is a critical piece of the equation. But where to start… to get the right finish? We want our skirting boards looking their best, richly tying our home decor together with the look we want.

The project ultimately begins with choosing the best paint for the job. But with the dizzying array of information out there, how to navigate those myriad products to find the best paint for your skirting boards and your particular needs?

Best Paint For Skirting Boards Product Reviews


Best Overall

Securely sitting at the top spot, Johnstone’s Quick Dry Satin Paint will satisfy in every way. As its name implies, the job is done and dry in one or two hours. Being a water-based paint, it is relatively odourless, giving it a marked advantage over its oil-based cousin.

This makes working with it a pleasant prospect. Being a water-based paint, clean up is easy. The brilliant white satin paint will maintain its lustre and brightness for years, never prone to that ugly yellowing that we all find so distasteful.

The best paint for skirting boards is found with a relatively inexpensive price tag, providing a great value for money. The satin finish will leave you with that smooth, modern, eggshell look, providing an image of quality and brightness to your (now even more) lovely home.

  • Quick-drying: expect a finished coat in one to two hours!
  • Easy to clean, easy to work with, easy to wash those pesky scuffs and marks on your boards
  • Excellent value: high quality and very fairly priced
  • Can leave slightly visible brush strokes

Best Durability

While choosing paint for skirting boards, have you thought: ‘I just need this thing to last…’ The kids kick and scratch the skirting all the time. The pets gnaw and chew at the boards constantly. You need something rugged and long-lasting. Don’t fret: Ronseal has you covered, with paint! This gorgeous matt paint is guaranteed to stay white for 10 years.

It can withstand anything you throw at it, be it scratches, scuffs, rubs, projectiles… you name it. When it comes to durability, this is the ideal choice for your skirting boards.

The pure brilliant white colour and matt finish will leave your skirting boards with a classic and subtle look. When it comes to application, you can use it as both a primer and a finishing paint.

This means you can apply it over the bare or worn wood of your skirting boards. It can be used on metal as well if painting over your skirting heaters is a preference. It has a drip-resistant formula, giving you an easy and hassle-free time when applying it.

Ronseal has a good reputation for listening to its customers and delivering what they need. So if a long-lasting solution that is easy to use is what you require, Ronseal Stay is a good choice for your skirting boards paint.

  • Extremely durable; a sure ‘stay white’ guarantee of 10 years
  • Easy to use, doubling as a primer as well as a finishing paint, enabling you to paint over the bare or worn wood
  • Matt finish not for everyone if you prefer a shinier and easier-to-clean finish

Best Gloss Finish

Dulux Quick Dry Gloss Pure Brilliant White 750ml

Perhaps you rather enjoy that nice, shiny, glossy finish? Enter the Dulux Quick Dry Gloss Paint For Wood and Metal. This paint provides that high sheen you want, making your skirting boards sparkle and shine. You can use this paint not only on wood boards but also on any metal, providing a nice solution to painting your skirting board heaters while you’re at it.

This quality paint will provide lasting protection, staying white for years without a hint of yellowing. And who wants to make work for themselves unnecessarily? To that end, no undercoat is necessary with this paint for skirting boards, rolling on the new coat right over the old. Your skirting boards will thank you for the wonderful refresh, smiling back at you with their new and gleaming brightness.


  • Gloss finish give skirting boards a nice sparkle and sheen
  • Dries quickly: touch-dry in one hour, completely dry in six hours
  • Water-based, making clean up no problem at all


  • Coverage can be an issue; multiple generous coats are necessary
  • Can be slightly runny, so can be prone to drips

Rustins QD Small Job Paint

Best For Small Jobs

Are you just looking for a quick refresh on some of your skirting boards? Perhaps you have no need to paint all the boards in the house, just the ones that could really use it. If you have a scuffed and dirty board here and there, Rustins provides an inexpensive, small-scale solution precisely tailored to your needs. It comes in a small package of 250mL, providing coverage of 3.25 square meters.

Rustins Small Job Paint is a water-based paint, making it easy to clean and quick-drying, achieving a touch dry time of only 30 minutes.

Do you have more adventurous tastes? Do you want to leave that classic look of white skirting boards behind and venture out into something with more colour? Rustin’s paint comes in a variety of attractive, and occasionally funky, colours. How about taking the leap and trying ‘Buttercup’-coloured board paint?


  • Hard-wearing, for use on interior and exterior surfaces
  • Gloss finish provides a reflective pop for your skirting boards
  • Multiple colours available


  • Small size limits amount available to use
  • Requires multiple coats to achieve good coverage

Leyland Trade Satinwood Paint


Leyland Trade describes its paint as ‘hard-wearing and knocks resisting’. That is what you will get with this tough and durable satin paint for skirting boards. It is rated for use indoors and outdoors, on wood and on metal, so it will provide the ruggedness and versatility you need in your search for a good skirting board paint.

It is self-undercoating, meaning you don’t need to prime your boards before applying the paint. It provides good coverage, rated at 20 meters squared per litre. Using this product for painting your skirting boards can be a real joy as it applies evenly without any visible sign of brush strokes. It goes on smoothly, without any runs or marks.

Although painting with this satinwood paint can provide a seamless finish, it should be noted it is not a water-based paint. Leyland Trade here produces an oil-based (or ‘solvent-based’) paint. It can give off a strong odour and will eventually yellow with time. Drying time can also be quite long as it achieves touch dry in some four to six hours and only enabling you to apply another coat in about 16-24 hours.

The finish yields a pleasant satin result, finding its place comfortably between a subdued matt finish and the shinier finish of gloss paint.


  • Application leaves no visible marks of brush strokes
  • Tough, durable, high quality
  • Compelling, balanced satin finish


  • Oil-based paint creates unpleasant odours
  • Quite a long drying time

Best Paint For Skirting Boards Guide

What Is The Best Paint For Interior Woodwork?

Personal preference always holds sway, but a few thoughts can be considered. For cleanliness, a nice durable water-based gloss paint can be an excellent choice. It will last a long time, be easy to clean and create a nice glimmering sheen, providing a nice contrast to modern matt walls. Gloss paints are well-suited for skirting since they hold up well against scuffs and marks.

Of course, if that high gloss look is not for you, you can consider a satin paint for wood. The eggshell, pearl finish is a more subtle visual choice, it will still hold up well, and is easily cleaned.

How Do You Paint Old Skirting Boards?

If the skirting is in good condition with only a few scratches or bumps, consider painting on a coat right over the old paint. Of course, good surface preparation is key: cleaning the old boards with a damp cloth to remove all dust and grime before applying any paint is essential.

If the old boards are in very rough condition, or the old paint is noticeably uneven or chipped, a good light sanding would be in order to properly prepare the surface for a smooth coat of paint. Some paints, like Ronseal Stay 2-in-1 Matt paint, double both as a primer (or ‘undercoat’) and surface paint. These can be advantageous, as they take the fuss and effort out of painting several coats of different paint over old boards.

Do You Paint Walls Or Skirting Boards First?

Ah, the eternal debate: which comes first? There are pros and cons to either side, but for home renovation DIYers, there is a reasonable opinion that painting the walls first can be easier. This allows one to be as sloppy as they want in painting the much larger walls, knowing they will cover over any spills made on the skirting later.

Although the other camp contends one uses much less painter’s tape by electing to paint the skirting boards first, as much less tape will be needed to accomplish the task this way. So, in the end, do you want to be sloppy and fast? Or be attentive and save resources? The debate rages on…

Can You Use Normal Paint On Skirting Boards?

Of course, you can do anything! But the question is: should you? Briefly: you can use normal paint, but that will come with certain disadvantages. Using a specialized product for the special need is always best.

Paint for skirting boards is designed to be durable, standing up to the beating your skirting boards take every day. It is specifically tailored to the application, yielding the best-looking, most practical and long-lasting results.

Many types of skirting boards paint is also suited for metal and bare wood, therefore one can use it to paint unfinished boards, refresh old painted boards or paint metallic heaters built into the boards. Normal paint applied to interiors have different properties and do not necessarily translate well to all painting applications.

What Kind Of Finish Looks Best?

This is an excellent question, indeed. Colours are easy to determine, but now what kind of finish do I choose? Your options are clear: matt, satin (also known as ‘eggshell’) or gloss. When it comes to which look you choose for your board paint, your personal preference is really the key factor. But some other practical considerations are pertinent as well.

Matt is a flat and smooth finish, giving off no reflections as it absorbs light. It yields a subtle finish, very popular in modern design. Matt finishes make touch-ups easy, yet are sometimes challenging to clean. High-traffic areas or areas prone to abuse could suffer from this finish as the paint tends to hold in dirt and grime.

A satin finish (or ‘eggshell’) finds its place somewhere between matt and gloss – silky in appearance. Eggshell is a reference to the level of sheen that can be observed on the shell of an egg. Its subtle gloss reflects a small amount of light and can be easily washed. Gloss paints are even shinier, as they reflect a lot of light. They will shimmer and glimmer. A coat of gloss paint will stand up well to washing. It is often the most popular choice for skirting board paint for this reason.

This combination of factors can be considered when choosing the best paint for skirting boards – not only for the look but for the practical aspects as well.

What Is The Difference Between Oil-Based and Water-Based Paint?

Oil-based paints are made using solvents and oils. They are often quite full and pleasantly thick, which contribute to a pleasant application. They rarely leave brush stroke marks, however, any imperfections in the surface and in the application will be readily evident. Due to their production from oils, they give off a somewhat chemical odour and can be quite unpleasant to deal with during their application. White oil-based paints also tend to yellow after a number of years. These paints require spirits in order to clean them.

Water-based paints are relatively odourless and therefore easier to work with. They are slightly thinner than oil-based paints and therefore may require more paint to cover a certain area. Due to their water content, they are extremely easy to clean, requiring only some warm water to deal with stains.


So, the verdict? What is the best paint for skirting boards? Johnstone’s Quick Dry Satin Paint is honestly tough to beat. It will be a pleasure to work with: easy to apply, easy to clean, and every coat will dry quickly. This will enable you to finish the job in no time with relative simplicity. The finish provides a balanced look while yielding practical benefits: years of durable quality at a low price.

Coming in second place is Ronseal Stay 2-in-1 Matt Paint, and in a close, third is Dulux Quick Dry Gloss Paint For Wood and Metal. These paints provide good value and can suit individual preferences with their respective finishes. But nothing can stop the top with Johnstone’s Quick Dry Satin Paint for your next home decorating skirting boards project.