Paint Ideas with Chair Rail – Interior Painting Tips

A typical wall is filled with the same color from the baseboard to the ceiling or crown molding. Either the whole space is painted a solid color, or it has a consistently-patterned wallpaper. A simple and exciting way to escape this drudgery is to divide your wall horizontally using chair rail. This unassuming molding brings balance and perspective to a room, and it also allows you to add a second color or pattern to a wall.

What Color Should I Paint My Chair Rail?

While chair rail enables you to be creative with the spaces below and above it, you don’t typically get to be very creative with the color of the rail itself. 99 times out of 100, you will want to paint the chair rail the same color as the baseboards. This is usually a semi-gloss white, though it can be a contrasting color, or even stained wood.

Photo by Tom Stringer Design Partners 

Chair Rail Design Ideas

The most common way to use chair rail is to have a darker color below and a lighter color above. This is because a dark color feels heavier, and thus more natural lower down. However, this trend can be broken, especially if the whole lower portion of the wall, including baseboard and chair rail, is white.

Another elegant choice is to use a patterned wallpaper below the chair rail, and a solid color above. You could even use two different types of wallpaper, with wide vertical bars below the chair rail, and a pattern with more swirl or movement above it.

If you are looking for a simple idea that can add more complexity and individuality to a room, consider shadow boxes. The most basic form of this involves using pieces of trim to make a pattern of simple “picture frames” below the chair rail. This evokes the feel of an old-time estate, with less cost and labor than doing the real thing. In this photo you can see the shadow boxes below the chair rail, partially covered up by the dining room chairs.

Photo by Decor by Denise

Interior Painting Services

A.G. Williams is a full-service residential painting contractor. As part of our offerings to clients, we can provide color and design consultations. So whether you have questions about painting with chair rail, or any other interior painting questions, we would be delighted to speak with you!

In addition to interior painting, we also offer exterior painting and commercial painting services.

Our service area encompasses Westchester and Fairfield Counties, including Pelham, Pleasantville, Yorktown Heights, Bronxville, Westport, Riverside, Greenwich, and the surrounding communities.