How to Cut Chair Rail Molding

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
Pencil and a Piece of Paper
Miter Box
Stain or Paint and Primer
Paint Tools
Sand Paper
Coping Saw
Utility Knife

You need a little practice and know how to cut chair rail molding. Chair rail molding is a great addition to many different rooms. It adds great accents to the ceilings in hallways, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and even bathrooms. Chair rail molding has been used for many years in different styles and types of homes. Below you will find instructions on how to properly cut chair rail molding for your home accent and decor needs.

Step 1 - Measure, Measure, Measure

Before you begin to make your cuts, be sure to be completely prepared. Take out your tape measure and note the lengths of your chair rail installation needs. Outline the room on a piece of paper. For each piece add about 10 percent more for a waste and mistake allowance.

Step 2 - Prepare Your Chair Rail

It is always easiest to prime and paint the chair rail before you cut it and install it. It is much easier to prepare the chair rail before you install it than to paint and prime it while it is already on the wall. This will save you unnecessary taping along the wall.

Step 3 - Making Your inside Corner Cuts

The inside corner cuts on your chair rail must be made different than the outside corner cuts. Take a piece of the chair rail and put it into a miter box. Line up the end of the chair rail with the miter box so that you cut it at a 90 degree angle. Saw through the edge of the chair rail.

Step 4 - Cut the Second Piece

You now need to cut the piece of molding that will go against the face of the piece you just cut. You will need to do this with a coping saw. Place the piece of molding into the miter box and using a saw (fine tooth backsaw works best), cut the molding at a 45 degree angle.

Cut away the excess wood on the back of the piece of molding, again using the coping saw.

Step 5 - Trim Edges

Fit the two pieces of the chair rail together. Use a utility knife to remove any excess wood or pieces that was missed during your mitering. Fit the pieces back together to make sure you have a proper and flush fit. 

Step 6 - Sand

Sand down any of the raw edges that were created during this process.

Step 7 - Repaint and Stain

Where you have left cut marks and sanding marks, take out your can of stain or paint and finish the outside of the chair rail. Again, it is better to just have to touch up the chair rail after it is installed, and before it is on the wall.