How to Install a Molding Chair Rail Around a Curved Wall

A chair rail.
  • 3-5 hours
  • Advanced
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Chalk line
Soapy water
Sponge
Fine tooth saw
Miter saw
Putty knife
Caulk adhesive
Finish nails (No. 6 or No. 8)
Hammer
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Chalk line
Soapy water
Sponge
Fine tooth saw
Miter saw
Putty knife
Caulk adhesive
Finish nails (No. 6 or No. 8)
Hammer

For years, homeowners have looked to wood molding chair rail to protect walls from wearing and scratching caused by chair backs pushed up against these walls. But as home design and interior wall design trends change, so do wall surfaces change to favor wall curves. Many of these homeowners have chosen to abandon the use of inflexible wood chair rails.

But with the introduction of the more flexible paneled chair rails, homeowners can now protect interior walls and at the same time use more decorative chair rails. To install these flexible and decorative paneled chair moldings for protective or decorative use, refer to the information below.

Choose Your Chair Railings

Many of these panel chair molding designs, available in sizes from 24 inches high to 48 inches high, resemble plaster castings with patterns that can please the eye and at the same time create a new decorative wainscot appearance. All of these panel moldings, although many present an authentic plaster or wood appearance, are constructed of durable plastic that will protect your walls from scuffing by chair backs. Most panels come primed for painting.

Position Your Chair Rail

Before attaching your chair rail, choose the height you'd like it to be. If you're looking for it to be more functional, measure up from the floor to the top edge of your chair backs. This is the height your chair rail should be. If, on the other hand, your objective in installing the chair rail is mostly decorative, position the railing where it will give you the look you want.

Prepare Your Wall

Your wall will need to be clean and free from bumps and other debris that will prevent the panel from lying flat on the wall. Use a putty knife or joint knife to smooth your wall surface, Use a sponge and soapy water to remove soil or greasy spots. Flip a chalk line on your walls to mark the line where you will attach the rail top edge.

Cut Your Molding Pieces

You will need to cut and fit molding pieces that connect. Since most of these panels come with patterns, you'll need to be careful in cutting your pieces so the patterns are continuous from one piece to another. Lay out the strips end-to-end beneath the place on the wall where they will be attached. Cut all pieces before attaching them to the wall.

Apply Adhesive

Use your putty knife to apply and spread adhesive to your first molding strip. Attach the strip to the wall, using finish nails. Leave the nail head exposed to allow you to pull it from the strip when the adhesive is set. Use this same procedure to attach all the molding strips. Then, allow the adhesive to dry.

Finish

When your adhesive is dry, remove the nails and fill the holes the nails have left with caulk or putty.