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Installing Chair Rail

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Chair rail moulding is a great way to spruce up a room and protect its walls from wily and dangerous chair backs. If left to their own devices, chairs would dent up all of your walls and make you mad. It is therefor imperative that you keep those walls safe by placing a solid protective barrier at 36" to 42" up from the floor.

The chair rail was first discovered in Europe around the time that our early ancestors first learned to sit. What originated as a wooden plank stuck humbly (and often hastily) to the wall has evolved over time into a type of fancy-schmancy decorative molding. It is now customarily installed into the room of one's first newborn child, as babies are at the greatest risk of exposure to chairs. Typically, during the later stages of pregnancy, the mother-to-be will supervise the installation of chair rail while the dominant males of the family passionately discuss the accuracy of measurements.

 
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Step 1: Go get stuff

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You will need:
- Enough chair rail molding to cover the perimeter of your room
- Chop saw
- Nail gun (preferable over hammer and nails)
- Window glazing
- Tape measure
- A pencil
- A level
- Studfinder
- Calk gun
- Sandpaper
- Paper towels

(You will also need paint if you're molding comes unfinished. This Instructable does not cover painting molding, but you would want to do that before you move on to the next step.)

Step 2: Prepare the wall

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Move furniture away from the wall. Gape at the wall. Move onto the next step.

Step 3: Measure and mark

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Measure 36" - 42" up from the floor and make a mark. In our case we measured 40" up from the floor and used this as the height of the top of the molding.

Measure vertically in a few different spots and then using these measurements and a level, draw a horizontal line around the perimeter of the room (or walls you want to cover).
11618582 years ago
i thought it was going to be like a rail in the floor that the chair is guided along
Agree with j_a_s_p_e_r
cashuu3 years ago
dado rail sez what?


Change the title to Installing Chair/Dado Rail

as we all don't live in the united states of americans
randofo (author)  cashuu3 years ago
Well, that is where I live and where I live, that is what we typically call it.
Just as a point of interest what do you call a picture rail in the States? It's similar to your chair/dado rail but about 500 mil /1' from the ceiling and you hang pictures from it via a picture hook.
Not sure what those are called... I've seen them in some really nice older houses that have been refurbished/modernized. Now that you've mentioned it... those would be great in my house!
cashuu randofo3 years ago
Yeah, I'm not saying remove chair rail, i'm saying so more people understand the instructable add dado.

I had to read into the instructable to find out its not something to do with blue tape on the floor.
Dazzy_G cashuu3 years ago
I did the same, I thought this was to stop a chair rolling about the floor.
Pe-ads randofo3 years ago
Yeah but, no offense, several people have voiced their not being American (myself included), and Instructables is an international community, and surely you want your 'able to have the most exposition possible?
jpnagle593 years ago
Rondofo-

One more thing. I always called them chair rails. A dado was a method to make a joint between pieces ot materiel.
jpnagle593 years ago
Randofo- Thank you for this instruc. I worked construction for 21 years, installing Bank Vault doors and other bank related equipment. You might ask what bank vault equipment has to do with a chair rail, but it does, and here is why-

Besides installing the heavy iron (Vaults and Safes and weapons vaults for the government) our company also produced Bank Teller line counters and the the cabinets below the counters for the tellers. Those 'teller lines' as we called them were pre-fabricated and shipped to the job site, and we had to put them all together.

Most times we had to do some cutting and hacking on them to fit right. When you showed how to cut a 45 degree angle on one piece, then flip it around with the same face up, I about died.

All those years being ignorant, when the simplicity of the 90 degree angle was right in front of me, I always hated to cut the 45 degree and 90 degree cut.

Thank you for this build! I guess it is never too late to learn something...James
kelseymh3 years ago
In Step 4, what do you do if the room you are in has no windows and no doors?
randofo (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
Just measure the full length of each wall and put it up accordingly.
Ah, you just won't take the bait, will you...
randofo (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
What do you mean? :-)
JermsG randofo3 years ago
SLAC's BaBar experiment used a 12-sector proton collision ring, by the look of it.
http://www.slac.stanford.edu/BFROOT/www/doc/public/conf_pubs/2000/babar-conf-0017.pdf
Cherenkov Imaging Techniques are the way to visualise particle collisions.

So it's basically an imaginary room with no windows, no doors, no walls, and a homicidal mime out back. In technical terms, it's a mushroom. ;-)
JermsG kelseymh3 years ago
Why are you in a mushroom?
kelseymh JermsG3 years ago
:-D I'm not! I'm inside the drift chamber access area of the (now decommissioned) BaBar experiment at SLAC. The twelve sectors you see around me are the back ends of ~11,000 photomultiplier tubes which read out Cherenkov radiation from charged particles.
przem randofo3 years ago
And what, if there are no walls either? ;-)
randofo (author)  przem3 years ago
Then errant chairs are the least of your problems.
Indeed. If you're trapped in an imaginary room, you should be watching out for the homicidal mime sneaking up behind you....
n0ukf kelseymh3 years ago
Then you're trapped and will starve to death.
thebriguy3 years ago
What caulk did you use? I've done this and caulked and it looked nice initially, but the caulk collected dust and then didn't look that good months or a year later. Now I never use caulk for this purpose. even when it's painted it ends up performing differently than the woodwork (collects dust and dirt).
Have you, or anyone else reading this, had this problem?
j_a_s_p_e_r3 years ago
Instead of using 45 miter I've seen better results with one molding flush and the other cut with a coping saw. This is tricky, but gives a neater corner
coppeis3 years ago
It's cool but I thought that this was for a chair rail thing that goes on the floor and makes your chair like a train of sorts. But anyway cool instrucatble.
Yeah, I was hoping for one of those things that flung the old lady out the window in Gremlins.
Nabil coppeis3 years ago
Mmhmm i guess we saw casper way too many times
coppeis Nabil3 years ago
I'v never seen casper.
Bor coppeis3 years ago
Haha. Same thing for me.
Brittond143 years ago
So when the room has chairs in it someday the wall will not be scared and damaged by the chair backs. Got it! Nice instructable!
siamonsez3 years ago
Nice ible, but I read through the whole thing before I realized that the blue lineson the floor have nothing to do with it so I gotta ask. What are they for?
randofo (author)  siamonsez3 years ago
That's where the baby furniture will go.
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