The Newlyweds Tackle a Project

Author:  Mr. Spring

I thought I would write a guest blog on a project Jordan and I did together last weekend in our dining room.  Jordan and my mother-in-law (you know her as Autumn) painted the room a few months ago, but we felt it still needed something.  We thought a chair rail would do the trick.  Chair rails were very popular back in the olden days as a practical way to protect plaster walls from getting damaged when chairs rubbed against them.  They have since become more  architectural features to add interest and visual impact.

Since our house is older, we thought a chair rail could enhance our dining room’s aesthetic appeal.   Here are some  photos of the dining room before we started the project.  The room is painted a soft gray and has a simple cove crown molding around the ceiling.  It also has a large window that lets in welcome sunshine.


The room has three openings and a large window.  One large opening goes into the living room, and two smaller ones enter the kitchen and the study.  The light over the table is one of Jordan’s before and after projects you can read about here.


The closed door in the background of this photo goes into the study.

Chairrail before 4

This view also shows the chairs Jordan recovered here.

After planning out how we were going to do the project, we also decided we would paint all of the trim (baseboard, chair rail, and crown), and while we were at it repair some holes that were in the window moldings.

Our first step was to make sure we had a level line around the whole room.  Since our house was built in 1928,  it has settled and a straight line is hard to attain.  We knew it would be easier to rent a tool from Home Depot that  put a level laser line around the wall.  I could then draw a guide line so we  knew where to put the chair rail.  The rental was fast and worked well.  However, one thing I learned is that if you are going to rent from Home Depot, they charge  an extra five dollars for the equipment manual for the item  you are renting [BOOOOOOO!].  We didn’t rent the manual since we thought we could get it online, an option for anyone who does not want to spend the extra money.  I was unsuccessful in finding the manual, but hey I used to run a nuclear reactor so I managed to figure it out.


Here is the laser level we used set up to mark the line on the wall.


I used a pencil to draw the laser line on the wall…straight as an arrow…


The first piece is up! And look at that awesome Carrier Infinity ICS controller on the wall too!

chair with nail holes

Using plastic wood, we filled in and sanded each nail hole after the rail was attached.


Before painting, we taped around the molding to protect the wall paint from smears.


Here is an after view of the room.  The fresh white paint provides a nice contrast to the soft gray.


Here is another view.


Our next projects will be artwork and a rug for under the table area.


Check out my beautiful mitered return (mirrored on the other side of the pass through as well).  At first I didn’t properly think through the mitered return and incorrectly cut this section (later used for another section).  Mrs. Spring couldn’t understand what the heck I was doing, messing around with small cuts, making about 8 shaving cuts to get the length just right, glueing the little piece on…etc.   Well let’s just say she now appreciates this little detail and knows what a mitered return is and if I might say so myself I would say that’s a pretty well done finishing detail for a chair rail virgin.


I was not paid to use or mention any products in this post.


  1. Carolyn Rasnick says

    Hooray for the chair rail virgin! Nicely done! Love that mitered return—very fancy indeed! I think Mrs. Spring should keep you around!!!! (and vice versa 😉

  2. Amanda Miller says

    Charles-nicely done! I have a list of projects for you…let me know when you’re in town 🙂

    Miss you guys!

  3. Carol says

    Way to go Mr. Spring. I am impressed.
    When are you coming south for a visit and chicken dinner?

  4. Kathy says

    Mr. and Mrs. Spring, you two are amazing and are quite adorable! Your projects look great and very professional.