Tips from the Trade: Fitting MDF Skirting and ArchitraveNovember 10, 2016
One DIY question we get asked at our Sales counter is: what’s the best way to fit MDF skirting or architrave? So we gathered together some ‘best practice’ advice from tradespeople and suppliers.
The first question has to be: what are you fitting it to? If the answer is nice, smooth plaster or plasterboard, then you should be able use adhesive. There are all sorts on the market. Decide whether you want an instant bond or whether you’ll need to jiggle the MDF into place.
TBS stocks Gripfill, from Everbuild. You have three choices here: Standard (green tube) Gripfill gives good adhesion but some thinking time. Solvent-free (yellow tube) Gripfill is for places where you don’t want the smell of solvents, like the kitchen or your kids’ bedroom. Pinkgrip (pink tube) is a “grab adhesive” for an instant bond.
Bear in mind that you can use more of the thinner ones; a grab adhesive is thicker and you don’t want to distort the MDF as you push it to the wall.
If the wall you’re going to fix the MDF to is a masonry wall or has uneven plaster, you’ll probably need to use nails or screws. It’s harder to hide screw heads, so masonry nails are a good option. TBS sells various lengths (type ‘masonry nail’ into the Search box on our web page). There are differences of opinion regarding screws. Some say don’t use on MDF, because you’ll have to fill and sand back, which MDF doesn’t like. Others say you can use screws and a 2-part filler, which is easier and neater to sand. TBS sells Everbuild 2-part fillers.
With an uneven or masonry wall, chances are there will be gaps to fill once you’ve fitted the MDF. You can either use standard one-hour caulk or else the 2-part filler already mentioned, which some tradespeople say sands back better. That done, you’re ready to paint!