How do you paint a dado rail?

Asked By: Leonidas Georges | Last Updated: 3rd June, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
4.1/5 (528 Views . 37 Votes)
To paint a dado:
  1. Paint the entire wall in the lighter colour first as your base colour.
  2. Using a pencil and measuring tape, make a mark at a height of 90cm from the floor every metre or so.
  3. Use masking tape to mask off the area you want to paint, be sure to de-tack it first so that it does not pull off any paint.

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Furthermore, what can I use instead of a dado rail?

For a contemporary alternative to a dado rail, paint bands around the entire width of the room at about a metre from the floor.

Secondly, what is the difference between dado and picture rail? * Dado rail. This runs around the lower to middle of the room. * Picture rail. This runs towards the top of the room (normally at or around the height of the door frame.)

People also ask, is dado rail still in fashion?

So yes, Dado rails are definitely back in fashion, and the latest classic feature to get the retro treatment. Take a look at your rooms in a different way and see how a Dado rail can transform them and really enhance the feel and style of the home.

Do you paint above the picture rail the same as below?

It's common to paint the walls below a picture rail in a colour and above in white. But going for two tones of the same colour (you can buy a smaller pot of paint for the area above the rail) is a great way to allow the feature to stand out without it being too obvious.

27 Related Question Answers Found

What is the point of a dado rail?

The area of a wall underneath a dado rail used to be clad with a different decorative material to the rest of the wall. This was to help mask stains and marks caused by things like rising damp. The second practical purpose of dado rails is to protect the walls from being knocked by chairs (hence the term 'chair rail').

Does a dado rail make a room bigger?

If you happen to live in a period home then think about highlighting some of its architectural features, such as the dado rail (also known as chair rail). It's a great way to create a more spacious feel with just two colours. Try painting the bottom half of the wall with darker shades to anchor the room.

Does wallpaper go above or below dado rail?

Combine Wallpaper with Paint
In period properties, with original architectural features, use wallpaper above or below a dado rail alongside a complementary paint colour.

Do you paint walls or skirting first?


If you're painting your whole room it's widely debated which to paint first, skirting boards or walls? We would recommend painting the skirting boards first and allowing them to dry as emulsion will then easily wipe off should you get any on your woodwork!

How do you remove a dado rail?

Starting at the beginning of the dado rail, insert the blade of your putty knife (or equivalent) beneath the bottom edge of the rail and pry gently backwards by pulling the handle toward you. Tap the handle gently with your hammer if necessary.

How high should a dado rail be?

Where no existing rail exists, dado rails are normally positioned between 1 and 1.2m (3 to 4 ft) up from the floor - a general rule is the higher the ceiling, the higher position of the dado rail.

How do you decorate with a dado rail?

If a small room features a dado rail, use a strong colour below the rail and the lighter colour above. This gives the impression of the room 'opening out' and appearing larger than it is. If the stronger colour is used on the top area it can feel as if the walls are closing in on you.

Should I paint dado rail same Colour as wall?

If this is not intentional, painting the dado the same colour, or similar tone to the wall will make it blend in. A darker paint used in the area below the dado rail will ground the wall. A lighter colour above the rail will create a feeling of more space.

Is coving dated?


Coving and 60's don't go. I prefer no coving but as someone else said if the join between walls and ceiling is cracked or shabby coving does a good job of smartening it up. Period property - yes to coving. Mid-century onwards - no coving.

What is a picture rail?

Picture rail is a small molding usually about 1 1/2″ to 2″ wide installed horizontally on walls within the top couple feet of the wall. It is designed with a small lip on the top of the molding in order to accommodate a picture rail hook.

Do you paint picture rails?

I'd say, in most cases, yes, you should. Paint out the picture rail (first, before you hang the wallpaper) in the same background colour as the wallpaper if you want it to blend in or be a bit adventurous and take an accent colour from the wallpaper and use that instead for your picture rail.

Where should a picture rail go?

Picture rail is generally fitted either 300mm or 500mm from the ceiling, depending on the height of the room. For standard 8-foot ceilings, installing picture rail 300mm from the ceiling is the way to go, though there is no hard and fast rule to go by so go with whatever you feel works best in the room.

Can you paint picture rail with emulsion?

If you can possibly help it, don't paint your picture rail after the main wall finish has been applied (whether that is wallpaper or emulsion). As with almost all gloss painting work, it is better to apply 2 thin coats than 1 thick one, as a thick coat is more likely to run and drip.

How do you fix a picture rail?


Drill the rail AFTER the ends have been mitred - then use the drilled rail as a template for drilling the wall. Position the cut and drilled picture rail against the wall with the top edge lined up with wall mark. Mark the positions for the screw holes through the rail, onto the wall.

What is chair rail molding used for?

Chair rail moldings installed along the walls first came into use as a buffer to prevent the backs of chairs from hitting delicate plaster walls in dining rooms, where chairs were constantly being moved back and forth around the table.