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Wainscotting - Chair Rail Questions


tideman76's Avatar
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10-17-08, 07:17 AM   #1  
Wainscotting - Chair Rail Questions

Hello all,
I have posted in others for different parts of my exploding home remodeling project. It's amazing how a simple thing like laying hardwood floors turns into scraping popcorn, repainting everything, installing wainscotting, and new baseboards, and replacing the subfloor. Anyway, for the questions. We plan on installing wainscotting (the stuff in 4 x 8 sheets) in the dining room. The dining room currently has a chair rail installed. What is the best way to install the wainscotting with existing chair rail? I plan to run the wainscotting to the floor and cover with new baseboards.
Should I use a factory edge to butt against the bottom of the chair rail? Ideally, the solution is to remove the chair rail, find one with a rabbit, and slide the beadboard into it. I really do not want to remove the chair rail.

Hope I didn't ramble too much,
Kevin

 
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10-17-08, 10:50 AM   #2  
Is your existing chair rail thick enough so that you could remove it... cut your own rabbet into the bottom, and reinstall it?

If not, you could remove it... add a strip of wood onto the back of your existing chair rail... put the wainscoting up... and then reinstall the chair rail right back where it was. (You'd be creating a rabbet by adding material to the top edge, rather than removing material from the bottom edge.)

If your chair rail is thick enough that you think you can butt it underneath and caulk the seam, that would "work" but a caulked joint won't look as good as a rabbeted cap, and may not work as well if your walls aren't perfectly flat.

 
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10-17-08, 10:58 AM   #3  
Thank you for the advice.

If I remove the chair rail, I will purchase new chair rail because the existing chair rail is skinny and just looks outdated. I want this to be done right, so I might as well just (in order) pull the old chair rail, buy new, make rabbet, install chair rail, install wainscotting, install baseboards.

Can you purchase chair rail with existing rabbets?

-kevin

 
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10-17-08, 11:01 AM   #4  
Yes, you'd want to buy chair rail with a rabbet along the bottom edge. If you can't find a profile you like, you can always buy standard chair rail and make your own rabbet. You could also go with your original idea, butting the wainscoting to the chair rail, then install your new chair rail later, provided the new chair rail will be wide enough to cover.

Isn't it nice how this sort of work always seems to expand?

 
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10-21-08, 12:35 PM   #5  
Thanks for the advice, the wife has now deciding that she does not want wainscotting in the dining room. We now have to decide what to do between the chair rail and baseboard.

Thanks again,
Kevin

 
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10-21-08, 12:53 PM   #6  
Another form of wainscotting [not bead board] that looks nice is to create picture frames and install them between the chair rail and the base. While the height of each should be the same, you will probably have to vary the width to make it all look good. Then paint [with enamel] the chair rail and everything below, your trim color.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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10-21-08, 12:59 PM   #7  
Thanks for the thoughts.

Until Sunday night, we had a picture frames (beauty boxes) between the chair rail and baseboard. The problem is I am replacing the baseboard with a taller baseboard, therefore the boxes would not be centered in between the chair rail and baseboard. So in preparations for the painters coming on monday, I went ahead and pulled the chair rail and picture frames off the wall only to realize that the pictures frames had been glued and nailed to the wall. Needless to say, quite a bit of shetrock paper tore and now I need a sheetrock guy to come float or skim the bottom half of the dining before the painters can paint that room. So frustrating.

We still have to decide on what to put between the chair rail and base board, do we paint different color or do some woodworking? decisions.

kevin

 
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10-21-08, 01:05 PM   #8  
You will need to coat the areas where the drywall paper is torn off with a solvent based primer. This will prevent the moisture in joint compound or paint from bubbling up the surrounding paper.

Skim coating isn't all that difficult. Basically you apply a thin layer of j/c and sand when dry. The neater you apply it, the less you need to sand


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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10-21-08, 01:09 PM   #9  
I've done small sheetrock stuff before but I think this job is beyond my means.

-kevin

 
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