How Do You Install a Chair Rail?


Quick Answer

Cut chair rail molding to fit the wall, and nail it to the wall at the desired height. Use a level to ensure the molding is hung on a straight line, and miter the corners for a neatly finished job. Fasten your nails to the studs for a secure installation.

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Full Answer

  1. Measuring your walls

    Measure from corner to corner on each wall. Write the dimensions down, and make a note if either end will meet another piece of molding. Include whether the corner will be an inside corner or an outside corner.

  2. Cut your molding

    Cut pieces of molding to fit each wall according to your dimensions using a power miter saw or a handsaw and miter box. Cut 45 degree angles on the ends of each piece that will meet another piece at a corner. Make sure you cut the angle the right direction. The miter cuts into the face of the piece for an inside corner and the back of the piece for an outside corner.

  3. Mark the wall

    Mark the height you want the top of your chair rail to be at one end of the rail installation area. Place a long level against the wall, even with that mark. Adjust the level until the bubble is center, and mark the wall along the top of the level with a pencil to indicate the top line of the molding. Do this for every wall.

  4. Install the molding

    Use a stud finder to locate and mark the wall studs with a pencil. Position each piece of molding on the wall it was cut for, with its top edge along the line you created. Nail them in place with finish nails, one nail for every stud along each piece. Fill the nail holes with wood filler to complete the installation.

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