How To Install A Chair Rail – Part III

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry

Part III of these posts on installing a chair rail involves finishing up the bed molding and filling/caulking all the holes in preparation for painting. You can see my previous two posts on how to install a chair rail at How To Install A Chair Rail – Part I and How To Install A Chair Rail – Part II.

And As you can see from the two photos there are interesting details that come up when the chair rail reaches window and door casings. I’ve chosen to “return” the top rail over the edge of the window and door casing approximately 1/2″. I’ve also put a small radius on that corner to prevent any sharp edges that might hurt someone.

The other detail you can see is the returns that I put on the bed moldings. As I said in the previous posts the bed molding is installed just like crown molding. I’ve used an outside corner return on the molding. It gives a really nice finished look compared to if you just stopped the bed molding with a square cut.

Prior to painting the chair rail I’ve filled all the nail holes and small gaps with a latex caulking. There are two keys to getting a quality caulking job is to use a small slightly angled cut on the caulking tube, and using a damp finger tip to smooth out the bead of caulk after you apply it with the gun.

If you don’t own a air nailer you might want to check out the Porter Cable Nailer Kit that you can buy for a very reasonable price.

Now the chair rail is ready for a coat of good quality latex primer and two coats of semi-gloss white paint to match the rest of the trim work.

How To Install A Chair Rail – Part I
Install A Chair Rail – Part II

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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