Can you use casing for the chair rail?

  • By: Sam Shaw
  • Date: August 16, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Can you use casing for the chair rail?

If you’ve ever considered using casing as a chair rail, the answer is yes! Yes, it’s possible to use casings and they do look great.

It may seem like an unconventional choice at first glance when looking for ways to adorn your walls in more intricate patterns than just paint alone (although we love to paint too), but nevertheless – if you’re on board about using something other than plain old wallpaper or drywall panels then is definitely an option worth exploring further.

What is meant by “casing” for chair rails?

A ‘casing’ is a molded edge to the wall coverings. It comes in various materials. For instance, a flat piece of wood is placed at the top of a paneling job and then covered with matching (or not quite matching) paneling boards.

You can see the wooden casings in many older homes and they look amazing because instead of the modern way of using plain square panels – these can be made to any size or shape you desire.

Why casings are confused with chair rails?

The word “casing” can be used interchangeably with the term “chair rail”, but it can also be used to describe wooden pieces that frame doorways.

Following are the differences between a casing of a chair rail and a simple chair rail:

  • A simple chair rail can be made with the same thickness as the wall itself, or less.
  • It can be only one board-wide.
  • It is usually taller than a casing and can have different decorative treatments such as molding or spindles.

And here are a few more interesting points:

  • Casings can be thicker than the walls themselves, even up to 2 inches in width (it is pretty rare). While using such a casing will make it much more noticeable on your walls – it can also give them an interesting aesthetic feel if you’re going for that look.
  • Casing sizes tend to vary because so much depends on what’s above it (typical single sized panels are 8″
  • A casing just has one simple flat piece covering the joint between two different wall surfaces.

Why you would want to use the casing for the chair rail?

Simply put, if you can find a chair rail that has the same thickness and profile as your wall – it can give an illusion of a more integrated design.

So instead of using plain squares or strips on top of thin walls – a wooden casing can provide an interesting pattern for those particular areas in your home where you can’t or don’t want to use wallpaper or any other decorative options (even paint can be too much sometimes).

How many kinds of casings for chair rails are there?

Well, there are a few ways you can implement casings for chair rails in your home and they can be made of different materials. Following are the kinds of casings used most commonly:

Plain, can be cut to any length

The profile can be a simple flat edge – no molding or other cuts necessary. This can work for the chair rail and dado rails (a groove around the frame of a door). They can also be used as casing around windows if you prefer something smooth instead of using window trim. If you need to match existing casings, this is the way to go because you can easily find one that’s already made and then cut them to fit your wall space.


These can have a variety of profiles such as ogee, scotia, or bullnose. They can be made to look like broken pediments too if you’re after something more ornate and stylish. The design can also add character to your home while at the same time enhancing your wall’s decorative value. You can find traditional molded casings in many older homes that can inspire you for your own home’s needs.

Decorative Moulding

This can be used as the casing for your chair rail. While it can also feature a decorative profile, this type can also conceal the joint between two different wall surfaces. You can even use this to cover up an electrical outlet or other fixture that can’t easily be covered by paneling or painting alone.

What are the advantages of using chair rail casings? 

  • You can use chair rail casings on any wall, even the ones that cannot be covered by paneling because of electrical outlets or other fixtures.
  • They can also provide an interesting pattern along the top of your walls if you can’t find a chair rail with that particular profile you want.
  • Using multiple strips can add character to boring walls and can help enhance their decorative appeal.
  • Can be used to cover up cracks in the wall’s surface
  • Can conceal small gaps between walls and ceilings
  • Can look very decorative on any wall; whether they’re plaster, paneling or brick.  If you want a more sophisticated look for your home – this can be just the solution you need.
  • Can be sanded or cleaned with just a damp sponge.
  • Can be found in many home improvement stores and can also be customized to suit your requirements; whether you want something fancy or simple.

Is there any disadvantage of using chair rail casings?

Although the number of advantages of chair rails casings outweighs their number of disadvantages, it is good to know the possible disadvantages before deciding whether to buy your favorite casing design or not.

  • Can be more expensive than other available options if you need a lot of it.
  • Can make some walls look bulky and can also be noticeable to the eye; they can take away from your home’s overall design instead of complementing and enhancing it.
  • Can be damaged easily during installation; can warp or chip if it’s a more fragile material.

How can you install a chair rail casing?

While it can be quite easy, there are things that can go wrong in the process so make sure to plan ahead and follow these steps carefully.

Can I use wood casings on walls with plaster or wallpaper?

The answer is yes but this can depend on several factors such as whether the finish is dry yet (plaster takes longer to harden) and whether wallpaper glue can adhere well enough to wood surfaces. If you want something more subtle, try wood veneer instead of solid strips. This can add character without

How can you avoid these disadvantages?

There are several ways you can make sure that casings don’t take away from the overall look of your home, but can actually enhance its artistic appeal:

Match the casing to existing ones in your home or choose one that has a similar profile. Doing this will make your unique design flow well with everything else around. If you can’t find something similar, then go for something completely different (no two homes should really.

How to install the chair rail casings?

Follow the following steps to install the casings for chair rails:

  • Prepare the surface of your walls by cleaning them up and making sure they’re dry (you can use sandpaper or any other material to smooth away bumps, cracks, and imperfections in the wall); this can also be done before you even install anything.
  • The next step is to decide where to put the chair rail casing on your walls; can be done by measuring from the floor to ceiling and marking spots an inch or two apart all along the wall. Take into account where electrical outlets are located and can obstruct a straight line.
  • Get a pencil and can draw guidelines across your marked places, which can help you place the casings accurately without deviating too much.
  • Starting from one end, apply some glue on both sides of the first strip of wood and can press it against your drawn lines – can also use nails to make sure that everything is set in place permanently. Make sure to have the back facing out so it’s easy for you to work with when you need to add more strips or nail them in place.

After applying some glue to the wood, you can stick it on the wall. You may use a nail to hold it if you need it.

  • Continue doing this with each strip of wood until they’re all in place and can also be sure that every edge is flush against the previous one. If not, can sand them down so they’re perfectly even with each other.
  • Apply some wood filler (can be found at your local hardware store), can on any gaps or cracks between your strips, and can also fill up any small holes in your walls. Allow it to dry completely before applying another coat; can allow 2 hours for the first coating to dry before putting on a second one.
  • Finally, when everything is dry, apply some paint/varnish over the casings

Can I use wood casings on walls with plaster or wallpaper?

This question often comes from people who want to add more character and flair but are afraid of it looking too out of place. It may seem like a difficult task, but there is actually an easy way around this dilemma: cover the casing in veneer!

A veneer can be added for design elements without having any adverse effects on your home’s overall appearance.

What is the easiest place to install the casings if you aren’t doing the full wall-to-wall installation?

The easiest places can be those with the least amount of obstacles and ledges to deal with – can be found at the edge of your walls; can already be a good place for built-in features like shelving and mirrors.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, can be a great way of adding more character to your home. can be easy to install and can even match some existing casings in your home. If you want something unique or out-of-the-box, can veneer the wood to add more aesthetics to your walls.

Hope this blog post can help you with your next project!

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