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.
Step 1: Go get stuff
- 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
- Calk gun
- 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
Step 3: Measure and mark
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).
Step 4: Measure some more
For instance, in this picture they are measuring the long distance between the door frame and wall and then the tiny distance between the wall and window frame. They are going to cut two pieces to make up the first continuous section.
Step 5: Cut the molding
To do this, cut the end of one piece at 45 degrees, then rotate the next piece of molding so that the same face remains upwards, but it now appears "upside down." Make another cut. These two cuts should join smoothly at 90 degrees (see image notes).
Step 6: Studs
Step 7: Attach the molding
Use your nail gun to more permanently attach the molding to each wall stud. For each stud, place a nail to the upper and lower part of the molding.
When you are done fastening it, apply caulk evenly between the molding and the wall, as well as at the 90 degree joint. Before it dries, wipe it up with a wet paper towel, such that none is left on the wall and no extra is left on the moulding.
Step 8: Touch up
Once all of the nails are nicely set, touch up the nail holes with window glazing.