The 3 Best Paint Choices for Walls with Chair Rails

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Room with Chair Rail

Chair rails also referred to as dado rails, are architectural elements like wainscoting that visually divide a wall. Chair rails, specifically, have a history dating back to the eighteenth century. In dining rooms during this era, chairs were pushed up against the walls rather than around the tables while not in use. The chair rail functioned as a buffer, to protect the walls, and often wallpaper from being damaged.

As home trends evolved, chair rails disappeared for some time and then made a comeback at the beginning of the 20th century as more decorative, than functional.

Today, chair rails have been dressed up with wainscoting, picture frame molding, or board and baton in hallways, dining rooms, kitchens, and even bedrooms. The question for many homeowners with this decorative element in their homes is what is the best way to paint chair rails?

The answer depends on the effect that you want to achieve in the specific space, as well as the overall feel of your home.

There are three options for painting chair rails that will give a room a different visual effect but are equally dynamic in their own right.

Light Color on Top

 Proven to be the more traditional way to paint chair rails in homes, this option selects a light color for the top portion of the wall and pairs it with a darker color on the bottom. Picking a light neutral color for the top, and a dark, contrasting paint color for the bottom gives the visual effect of heightened ceilings and makes the room appear taller.

Light Color on Bottom

With this option, the bottom portion of the wall, along with the chair rail and other ornamental wood embellishments is painted white, and the top is painted a dark color. Dark shades bring sophistication to a room but can be overpowering when painted on an entire wall. The white contrast tones down the dark shade bringing a fresh, crisp balance to the room.

Same Color on Top and Bottom

This option breaks away from the traditional and leans more modern. The way to achieve this modern look is to paint the walls above and below the chair rail the same shade while painting the chair rail a contrasting color. Not only does this update the look and feel of a home, but it’s also visually pleasing to the eye.

Getting the right shades and colors, as well as getting crisp lines around chair rails, and other wall features is significant in creating a visually appealing look and a welcoming atmosphere to any home. That’s why we recommend looking to a professional painting team, like Flowers Painting, to help you get it right.

About Flowers Painting

Flowers Painting is a full-service interior painting company that services the entire Charlotte metro area including Mooresville, Huntersville, Davidson, Concord, Rock Hill, and more. Flowers Painting provides full painting services including color consulting, interior painting, faux finishing, textured walls, cabinet refinishing, interior stairs, handrails, and more. To see pictures of our finished work be sure to visit our website gallery.