How to Install Skirting Boards Without Nail Gun

Skirting boards aka baseboards is an integral part of home decoration from the early days. Carpenters commonly use it, DIYer designers to well design the interior and protect the bottom of the wall.

One of the popular ways of installing skirting boards is using nail guns. Having the best nail gun for skirting board is a blessing for sure. If you don’t prefer a nail gun you probably asking how to install skirting boards without a nail gun. There could be many reasons underlying your preference.

You can install a skirting board in many ways. It can be glued, manually nailed, and screwed to the wall. Depending on your expertise and preferences, you can choose any of these methods. Where you would not require any use of nail guns.

What are skirting boards & when are they fitted?

Skirting boards are MDF or timber-made boards that are used to highlight the decorative touch at your home. The boards come in many designs, forms, and thicknesses. Skirting boards makes the room appealing to the eyes. 

The skirting boards are fitted after the initial construction work is finished. To be more precise, when the doors are hung and the floor and wall job is completed. 

Necessary tools for installing skirting boards

The process of fitting the skirting board requires a whole set of equipment. Some selective tools might require depending upon which installation process you use. We are covering a full list of tools for your better understanding of the task.

  • Measuring Tape: A measuring tape is required to measure the wall, space, and skirting board accurately.
  • Pencil: A sharp pencil, preferably HB2 for better marking the skirting board.
  • Safety glasses: Safety glasses will protect you from any derbies shooting at your eyes. 
  • Hammer: To manually nail the skirting board without a nail gun you must have a hammer available.
  • Nail & Screw: Attaching the skirting board to the wall is a crucial part of the process. A perfect-sized Nail and screw are a must if you want to proceed with nailing and screwing the skirting to the wall.
  • Hand saw and Coping saw: Cutting the board in the right size (miter cut or scribe cut included) these saws would be required.
  • Compass: To do a perfectly angled cut at the board a compass is a must. 
  • Wood Glue: Attaching the joints of the board you can use regular wood glue available for the skirting and molding work. 
  • Strong Adhesive Glue: If you want to attach the board without any nail and screw, you might need a strong adhesive glue to attach it well to the wall.
  • Nail gun: To do the nailing job easily a nail gun would be necessary to have.

Steps for installing skirting boards without a nail gun

If there is no nail gun to be used, we are left with 3 choices. Use glue, screw, or manually nail it to install the skirting board to the wall. Let’s explore the processes of how to install skirting boards without nail guns.

Measuring the wall

The very first step of this process is measuring the wall. Measure the wall where you will attach the boards cautiously. Measure twice or thrice before you make it final. Then mark the board with a pencil exactly as you have measured. 

Cut the skirting board

Before jumping into cutting the board first draw a line with your hand saw aligned with the pencil mark. It would give you a precise cutting direction. Then proceed to cut the boards with the hand saw and coping saw. Do not forget to cut the board at an appropriate angle as well. Otherwise the joint would not feet. You can use the compass to mark and cut in right angles. 

Chose between miter or scribed joints

There is always a debate going on in the carpenter community regarding which cut and joint to go for. Mitre or Scribe? Although different carpenters have different choices, we recommend you stick to scribed joints. Mitre and scribe joints both work fine but the difference shows up when the wood shrinks in the winter. 

A noticeable gap shows up in the miter cut joints which is not visible in the scribe cut joints. 

Attach the board to the wall with glue

Now the final task, attaching the boards to the wall. If you do not use a nail gun, you are left with attaching the board with glue or screw. For glue attaching select the best adhesive board glue in the market. Paste it in the back of the board. And carefully place it on the wall. Give it a little time to dry. Be mindful of the joints and remember which board goes first. You can keep a mark on them as well.

Attach the board to the wall with Screw

To screw down the boards mark the position where you will be screwing. Make sure there is a wooden surface in the wall. To avoid any wire or concrete infrastructure you can first manually check it or use a stud finder. Mark those points and screw them down to attach the board.

Manually Nail it for a better finish

Especially for glued attachment, you might need a tighter finish. To be on the safe side you can manually nail it at different points. It would give a much firmer grip on the wall. Without even the glue you can manually nail the board to install it on the wall. 

Safety manners

Skirting board installation is a critical job requiring heavy woodwork. Cutting, gluing, lifting, nailing would be required in this task. So you better take the following safety precautions: 

  1. Keep a safety glass or goggles on. When you are cutting the wood, derbies easily can fly to your eyes and harm you.
  2. You can wear a dust mask if you feel it is necessary.
  3. As you will be handling sharp materials, try to put your working gloves on.
  4. Use protective footwear as there are chances of board and tools falling on your feet. Or you could cut your feet with some tools laying on the ground.  
  5. Check twice before you nail or drill somewhere. 


Some commonly asked questions are answered onwards.

Is it possible to install skirting boards without a nail gun?

Yes, it is possible to install skirting boards without a nail gun. There are few other well-known options for skirting board installation. You can use adhesive, manual nailing, or screws to install skirting boards on the wall.

Do nail guns make installing the skirting boards easy?

Yes. Nail guns might not be a must in installing skirting boards. But it sure makes the job lot easier. Nothing gives firmer attachment than the nail does to the skirting work. Besides it is easy to use. Position and shoot. The nailing job is done.

Can you glue skirting boards to the wall

Yes, you can glue skirting boards to the wall. But bear in mind it has to be a strong adhesive glue to keep it attached firmly to the wall. You can manually put a few nails into it for a nicer and firmer finish.  


Installing a skirting board (baseboard in the USA) is one of the most important finishing jobs a carpenter does. If there are multiple options available you can easily shift, twitch your existing plans of installing the board.

We assume now you have the required direction on how to install skirting boards without a nail gun. Among gluing, manual nailing, and screwing you can choose any. But be mindful that every work process has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Gluing the board to the wall is one of the easiest of all the options out there. It doesn’t require any nailing, screwing, and hammering tasks. To some people, this could turn out to be a huge time-saving option. 

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