Chair rail molding gives the home interior a gorgeous look. It is easy and professional to set up with finishing nails. You can set it up with glue/ construction-grade adhesive and finishing nails without using a nail gun. We are writing this guideline to show you how to install a chair rail without a nail gun.
Don’t worry if you are inexperienced. Chair rails are placed in an accessible location and do not require much technique or skill for installation.
About Chair Rail Molding
People often get confused about where to start, among various types of moldings used on a home renovation project such as crown molding, quarter round molding, baseboard molding, etc. Whether installing the baseboard would be a better idea or the crown molding.
We would suggest starting with the chair rail. These are horizontal wooden molds that are commonly used in dining or living areas. These molds are attached to the walls somewhere in the middle area below.
These were usually installed to protect the wall from damage or dents due to the movement of the chair. Sometimes the back of a chair hits the wall when moved recklessly. In such cases, chair rails were introduced to prevent damage or holes in the wall. Protecting walls might be the primary reason but that is not the sole reason. They are also installed for aesthetic reasons. Chair rails come in different styles or designs to enhance the beauty of your home. Nowadays, molding has become an irreplaceable element of interior design.
Installing Decorative Chair Rail with No Nail Gun
Even after hiring professionals for home renovation, many prefer to do it themselves and take their own touch on the renovation project. It is effortless to install, and anyone can do it with or without a nail gun.
1. Determine Height of Chair Nail
The first task to do is to determine the height where you want to place the chair rail. Generally, it is 30 inches from the floor as that is the level where the chairs back tend to touch the wall.
If you are installing them to beautify your house, you can change the height from 30 inches.
You can either go a little higher or lower depending on your desire.
2. Mark the Walls
Once you know which height you want to place your chair rail moldings, you can move on to the next step. Now you need to measure the entire space and mark it. You will need a scale or a measuring tape to measure the distance accurately.
Make marks every 20 to 30 inches apart to quickly understand the placement of the chair rails. You can use a pencil to make the marks. For better visibility, you can take a ruler to draw a straight line connecting two marked points. This way, your entire room will have a straight horizontal line.
As a result, you can easily visualize the placement of the chair rails on the walls, and it will be helpful while attaching the moldings.
3. Measure Length of Chair Rails
After getting the right height, you need to find the correct length for your chair rail moldings. Measure and mark for every wall where you want to put the molding. You need to do this step carefully as any mistake can be quite visible from afar and ruin the look of your room.
Make sure you tightly place the chair rail from door trims or wall corners to avoid gaps. You might need to measure the angle for the room’s corners or for the edges.
A slight gap is okay as you can fill them up later, still try to measure the moldings as accurately as possible. Mark all the pieces where you need to cut the molding and proceed to the next step.
4. Cut Chair Rail Molding
Now that you have all the pieces accurately measured and marked, you need to cut them perfectly. Cutting the chair rails can be challenging.
Therefore, it is best to practice a little at first. You can practice cutting molds by cutting spare rail moldings or other lumber. Once you have a grip on the cutting process, you can start work on the main project.
Keep in mind that if you struggle to cut the moldings yourself, you can take the help of professionals. Either you can hire an expert to cut them for you, or you can take your decorative molding to any nearby professional woodworker. Additionally, not everyone owns a professional saw machine. They are less likely to make any mistakes too.
5. Attach the Chair Rails
After getting all the pieces ready, you can now start installing. Firstly, you need to find a suitable adhesive. A strong adhesive will be efficient to hold the chair railings in place.
Otherwise, you will need to insert nails using either a nail gun or a hammer. However, for better security, you can use both adhesive and nails. If you ever bought a Nail Gun For Hardie Trim, you can use it on this project.
Nonetheless, we are talking about installing chair rails without a nail gun.
So, let’s focus on using adhesive. The adhesive you will be using has to be good and have strong holding power as that is the only thing you will be using.
Note: Read the manual of the adhesive carefully to understand how to use that particular adhesive. Some glue requires you to wait for a little after application, and some don’t.
Apply a generous amount of adhesive on the back of the chair rail. Spread the glue evenly if needed. Ensure that most of the surface is covered with adhesive, especially the corners. Then carefully place it in its respective place. Follow the marked line for alignment. Once set correctly, hold it in place for a few seconds.
Start installing from one side of the room and move along the horizontal line. Ensure that two pieces of chair rails meet, especially on the edges or the corners. Once finished installing all parts, let them rest for at least a day.
6. Add Finishing Touches
Your work here is pretty much done, and only the finishing touches are left to do. You need to observe whether there is any excess adhesive.
If yes, you can sand them and smooth them down using a piece of sandpaper. Also, if you notice any marks, dents, nail holes, or any gap between the chair rail and wall, you can Use Hole Filler Glue/ Putty To Cover those and smooth them out.
You need to follow the filler’s instructions to do a proper filling job. You might have to let the fillers dry for a day as well.
After using wood glue, you might need to sand them again too. Sanding is essential to ensure a smooth surface and for a finished look. Afterward, you can paint according to your preference and complete the job.
- Purchase some spare chair rails, as it is effortless to mess up the measuring and cutting process. It might become challenging to find the exact design if you need more.
- Double-check the measurements before proceeding. If you are acquainted with someone experienced in this job, you can complete the task under their supervision.
- Proceed with caution while cutting the molds. Be especially careful while cutting at an angle.
- You can lightly insert a nail under the mark for longer pieces that would be difficult to place after applying adhesive. The pin will work as a support to hold the mold and not wabble as you are attaching it to the wall.
You can do it simply by using a nail and a powerful plywood sheathing nailer.
After a few practices, installing becomes relatively easy. Once you have mastered installing chair rails, you will find it extremely easy. Generally, it is really easy to install like other moldings such as baseboards, quarter rounds, crown molding, etc. The installation process of these moldings is pretty much similar.