2013 House Project Recaps: Chair Rail and Crown Molding

by Lindsey on February 11, 2014

in J&L Make a House a Home

I meant to take the month of January to catch you up on all the house projects we completed in 2013. Obviously I didn’t get it done last month, but hopefully I can get them all posted in the next couple weeks!

The next big project I’ll tell you about is in our dining room! I don’t have a ton of photos for this one, and the lighting just isn’t working for me tonight, so hopefully you get a good idea in the few I do have. You saw the paint changes in this post, and we mentioned that we had plans to install a chair rail. This summer, we finally got around to doing that, along with crown molding, and it made a world of difference!

dining-progress-2 dining-progress-1

Before I go into details, I want to give one huge tip for anyone planning to do this: USE SIMPLE MOLDING! Justin and I picked molding with some decorative detail because we thought it would look better. It does look awesome, and we’re really happy with it, but it was a lot more difficult to install than a solid piece would have been. It took extra thought and some re-cutting to match up the details correctly, and it wasn’t worth the hassle. In our next house, we’re going simple.

For this project, again, our friend Ben came over with all of his tools, and he was a HUGE help. There wasn’t much I could do for this one, so I’m giving them all the credit. I was pretty much just there to tell them when I didn’t like the way something was looking!

They did the crown first, since we knew it would be more difficult. The hardest part was figuring out the angles, and they made a lot of practice and re-cuts before putting up the first piece.


Then when they tried to put up the second piece, they realized the first one was wrong and had to take it down. That’s when I started scouring the internet, and found YoungHouseLove’s posts on the subject. After showing that to the guys, they went straight to Lowe’s and bought a Kreg Crown Pro, and had much better luck going forward.

Once they got all the crown up, it was time to move onto the chair rail. The angles were much easier, and it seemed to go up in no time. The hardest part was getting the end pieces cut and sanded down to fit snug. Once they figured those out, it was time to caulk and paint, which is where I was much more useful.

*Another tip is to paint the molding before you install it. I didn’t do this, so I had to paint everything while it was up on the walls, rather than just touching up where the nail holes and caulking were. I know better for next time!


Once everything was caulked and painted, we were super happy to call it complete!


And again, just for comparison’s sake, here’s what the room looked like when we moved in!


**Unfortunately, since those photos were taken, the caulk seems to have seeped into the cracks, so we need to refill them again. I hope it’s a one time do-over, and not something we have to keep worrying about!

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