Chair rail Installation

Tools required for chair rail installation

– miter box or electric miter saw

– hammer

– nail set

– tape measure

Materials required for baseboard installation

– chair rail

– finish nails

– calk and or spackle (for paint)

– wood putty (for stained wood)

Chair rail installation preparation

Whether your chair rail installation requires painting or staining, it’s best to finish the wood before you install it. When applying the finish be sure to coat all sides of the chair rail. This will seal the wood from moisture, preventing the wood from warping and rotting. If you don’t seal the back side, you’ll have a potential for moisture penetration.

Nailing preparation for chair rail is really pretty simple. The wall consists of bottom plate, top plate, and studs between them. The studs are normally 16” or 24” on center. Nailing will be discussed in the installing baseboard section. To find a stud in your wall you may use a stud finder. These are relatively inexpensive. However, if you don’t have one, or don’t want to purchase one there are other ways. To locate a stud go towall stud location .

Cutting chair rail molding

There are two ways to cut chair rail molding. A miter joint, made with an electric miter saw or a miter saw and coping saw. Inside corners can be made with just a miter saw or once it is mitered you can cope it with a coping saw. Outside corners and joints where the total length of the baseboard won’t extend the total length of the wall, will be mitered. Outside corners with a 90 degree angle require a 45 degree angle cut on each piece of chair rail. Totaling 90 degrees. Lapping joints where the wall is longer than the chair rail molding, is usually cut at 22.5 a degree angle. One angle is cut at a back 22.5 degree angle. The other is cut at a forward 22.5 degree angle. How do you decide witch is witch? You cut the forward angle where the joint is most visible. Entering a room is where you see most imperfections. You start at the opposite end of the room and work toward the area where people will enter the room. The main thing is you realize the joint is more visible from one angle verses the opposite.

chair rail installation

You have already found the backing (wall studs) for the chair rail to nail to. You’ll be using finish nails that will penetrate through the chair rail , wall board and into the stud or bottom plate. This is typically ½” for the drywall 3/8” for the chair rail and a minimum of 1” penetration into the stud. This equals out to 1 7/8” long nail. A little longer is better than shorter. If the thickness of the chair rail or wall board is different than above adjust according.

The chair rail should be nailed approximately every 16” or 24” depending on the wall stud spacing. This should secure the chair rail to the wall.

Height of chair rail on wall

Chair rail height is really a preference. The most common height is 1/3 of your wall height. If your wall is 96” or 8’, you would divide 96” by 3 and end up with a height of 32”. Take into account the height of your windows so that the chair rail runs below or into the window trim, stopping at one side of trim and starting on the other.

Finishing up

If there are any gaps between the chair rail and the wall, and you have placed a finish nail in every stud, then caulk can be used to seal the gap. A good paintable latex caulk will work great. To cover nail holes spackle is my preference. It doesn’t shrink and its sandable, unlike caulk. Caulk is flexible, where spackle isn’t. I prefer to use caulk on the gaps and joints. Spackle on nail holes.

If you’re staining the chair rail, there is not much to do. They do make colored caulk for wood, but it’s not advisable against the wall. Fill nail holes and joints with colored wood putty, closest to the stain your using. If you’re not using stain and only polyurethane, use a natural wood putty.

Varnish or paint any touch up spots or blemishes.

Title; Crown molding installation

Keywords; crown molding installation,installing crown molding,cut crown molding,install crown molding,crown molding

Description; Crown molding installation can give any room a different look. It can also save you time and hard work when it comes to finishing drywall. Lean the basics at…..

Preparing for crown molding installation:

Whether your painting or staining the crown molding, it’s best to finish the wood before you install it.
When applying the finish be sure to coat all sides of the crown. This will seal the wood from moisture, preventing the wood from warping and rotting. If you don’t seal the back side, you’ll have a potential for moisture penetration.

Nailing preparation is important for crown molding. Chance’s are there won’t be a solid backer for the crown molding installation. You’ll have to rely on the studs in the wall and joist in the ceiling for your backers. The best way to find the backers (wood behind the drywall), is to take a 3” nail and penetrate the drywall to see if you hit wood. The best way to do this is to drive the nail approximately where you are planning to nail the molding to your wall and ceiling, Staying close enough to the corner so the nail holes won’t show when the crown molding is installed.

Normally the crown molding is nailed in the first 3/8” of the molding, top and bottom, to the ceiling and wall. To see where this is, hold a piece of crown molding up to the corner, exactly where it will be installed. Draw a line on the ceiling and wall against the molding. Measure to each line. Don’t exceed this distance or you will need to lean to finish drywall, prime and paint.

Cut crown molding

There are two ways to cut crown molding. A miter joint, made with an electric miter saw or a miter box or a coping saw. Inside corners can be made with both. Outside corners and joints where the total length of the crown molding won’t extend the total length of the corner, must be mitered. Outside corners with a 90 degree angle require a 45 degree angle cut on each piece of crown. Totaling 90 degrees. Lapping joints where the wall is longer than the crown molding, is usually cut a 22.5 a degree angle. One angle is cut at a back 22.5 degree angle. The other is cut at a forward 22.5 degree angle. How do you decide witch is witch? You cut the forward angle where the joint is most visible. Entering a room is where you see most imperfections. You start at the opposite end of the room and work toward the area where people will enter the room. The main thing is you realize the joint is much more visible from one angle verses the opposite.

Installing crown molding

The crown molding will be nailed to your existing studs in the wall and the ceiling joist in the ceiling. If you’re lucky enough to have solid backing (top plate of wall or backers in the ceiling), then you will be able to pull the crown trim to the wall. Otherwise you’ll have to rely on studs and joist. This may result in some gaps between you’re trim and wall or ceiling. Don’t worry this can normally be taken care of.

Finishing up

Installing crown molding was a great idea. It really dressed up the room, but you have a few imperfections your not happy with. Maybe your joints in the middle of the wall didn’t turn out perfect or your inside and outside joints could be a little more precise. Does your trim fit tight up against the wall and the ceiling? What do you do about the nail holes in the crown molding. The best way to conceal these imperfections is to calk them. Calk shrinks, so you might want to do it twice. Spackle is a great filler when the wood is not going to shrink or be bumped around. If it does you’re going to see a crack. Spackle itself has minimal shrinkage. Calk on the other hand shrinks, but has elasticity properties. I usually use caulk for joints and spackle or nail holes. For me this is efficient and has a great appearance.

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