Install a Chair Rail with Wainscoating

Install a chair rail with wainscoting and transform the look of any room. Chair rails were originally intended to protect dining room walls from chairs that could be backed up into them. Now, people are adding a chair rail for more than just protection. With so many styles to choose from, a once protective feature can now add a spot of elegance. Another reason chair rails are so popular is that the job is very simple to complete.

Tools and Materials

  • Pencil
  • Chalk Line
  • Electric saw
  • 2 inch finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Chair Rail
  • Wainscoting
  • Chair

Step 1 – Measure the Height

Take your chair, slide it back to the wall, and mark where the top of the chair reaches the wall. Do this at the corners of the wall. Run your chalk line from corner to corner along those marks. The height is really up to you.

Step 2 – Cut Pieces to Fit

Measure your chair rail and wainscoting to fit and cut with the electric saw. Use a scarf joint to hide seams.

Step 3 – Wainscoting

Start at a corner, and nail your wainscoting to the wall. Nail at the bottom and top so that the chair rail and base board will hide the nails. Continue all the way across the wall.

Step 4 – Chair Rail

Start at a corner, and nail your chair rail to the wall. Nail into the wall studs for strength. Continue all the way across the wall with the chair rail. Finally, prime and paint.