Installing Chair Rail Molding On Angled Corners

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Railing (molding of your choice)
Measuring tape
Chalk or pencil marker
Miter saw
Hammer with finishing nails
Paint or stain with brushes
Wood putty with knife

Installing chair rail molding on an angled cut so it will fit in a corner sounds like a complicated task, but it really isn’t. Chair rail molding is place on a wall about the height of a chair back and was originally designed to protect the wall from that chair back. Today, installation of chair rail molding is basically decorative. Follow these instructions to complete a successful project.

Step 1 – Measure the Walls

Take careful measurements to determine the amount of railing to purchase, especially if you want to cover more than two walls.

Step 2 – Paint or Stain

Once you’ve selected your style of railing to install, paint or stain it first.

Step 3 – Draw an Installation Line

Measure the height to the spot on the wall where you will install the chair molding. Draw a straight line according to a level along the wall from corner to corner.

Step 3 – Start with Complete Wall

Measure a complete wall without any doorways or windows first. Cut the rail at the end on its side producing a 45-degree angle. You will cut a connecting piece of rail likewise.

Step 4 – Corner Cuts

Make a 45-degree angle cut for each end that meets in a corner. Make sure the railing is on its side when cutting. However, if using a style of wood that is beveled, you will need to cut one piece in the opposite direction of the other. If the wood is uniformly thick with no decorative beveling, make two identical 45-degree angled cuts with the rails on their sides. Check to see that the corner pieces of rail connect properly before proceeding. You may need to adjust the cuts

Step 5 – Nail Railing

Using the assistance of a helper who holds the railing wood in place along the designated line, nail the corner wood section in place first every two feet as close to the edge without splitting the wood. Join the connecting corner wood piece next making sure the two fit perfectly. They should if you tested the connection after the initial cuts. Using a nail gun would make the job easier and help prevent any wood splitting from occurring. Use a level to make sure the installation is straight. You should arrive at four corners covered extending out to the middle of each wall using eight pieces of railing. Install carefully measured middle pieces to connect to the corner rail pieces already installed.

Step 6 – Apply Wood Putty

Finish off the project by applying wood putty with a putty knife to any nail head holes and any gaps found between connecting pieces of railing. Sand the wood putty smoothly once dried and touch-up with the same paint or stain you originally used on the wood before installation.

Things to Remember

Make any corner outer cuts so the chair rail with an angle goes past the corner.

Make an inside cut so the chair rail angle goes into the other corner cut.

Always use protective eyewear and gloves when operating a power saw or other tool.