Chair Rail Molding
Today I’d like to share with you a project that I completed over the winter.
A customer of mine requested chair rail molding be installed in the dining room of her new home.
For starters, I visited the home and took precise measurements of the dining room.
With these measurements I drafted a set of plans that laid out where each cross section would be placed. This took a couple of hours, but it was important to spend the time meticulously planning the molding out if you want it to come out evenly and symmetrical on all walls.
After purchasing the materials and removing the current baseboard, I was ready to begin the installation.
To begin with I installed a 5x1/2" board horizontally around the bottom of the walls. This board needs to be firmly pressed down into the carpet to ensure there is no unsightly gap between it and the floor.
Before menuevering it into place I applied 2 beads of liquid nail to the back of the board. This helps the board adhere to the wall and ward against warping. After checking the board to ensure it was level, I drove 2 1/2" finishing nails through it and into the wall studs.
Next I installed a 3 1/2" x 1/2" inch horizontal board 26" above the base board to frame out the top of the chair rail molding. Again, I included liquid nail on the back of the board and nailed it into the studs.
After carefully double checking my measurements against my drafted plans, I installed the vertical cross sections.
If you are trying this yourself, I strongly recommend laying the cross sections out and penciling them in on your wall. Following the old adage of “measure twice/cut once” could save you a lot of time during this step.
After all the cross sections where installed, I placed a 2 1/2" board flat across the top of the framing, and nailed it in place. This board serves as the railing.
Next I installed 1/2" trim boards to the inside of the chair rail squares. Following this, I installed the same type of trim above and below the railing. This trim is what adds the final touches of elegance offered by chair rail molding.
Before painting, I used a nail setter to drive all the finishing nails 1/16" into the molding and applied a paintable wood putty over the head of the nails. After proper sanding, this helps provide a smooth surface free of unsightly finish nail blemishes.
From here I painted the molding with a semi-gloss white latex.
Trim should almost always be painted with a semi or high gloss finish. The extra shine helps it stand out against the satin finish often used to paint interior walls.
Lastly I installed the pre-painted baseboard against the 5” baseboard, and painted over the nail heads.
If you have any questions regarding installing chair rail molding please feel free to contact me through my contact page, or give me a call at the number above!
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