Art, Decor, DIY

How to put up a chair rail and premade moulding panels

While my in-laws are in town, I went crazy and painted this hallway and put up all my pictures in one day.

One thing led to another. Painting the beige hallway white, made me want to hang photos. Hanging a few photos made me want to hang all the photos I have. And not just on one wall, but covering the entire space — all the way to the ceiling and above the doorways. Seeing the photos end unevenly across the bottom made me realize I need a chair railing to add a stopping point to the frames. You see this crazed train of thought?

So two days later, I was finished and satisfied with my hallway.

Mismatching photo gallery hallway with chair rail and moulding

Mismatched frames together in hallway

Photo hallway and diy chair rail

I only have two short walls with no corners or complications, so this only a basic chair rail tutorial. In the process, I found an amazing product worth sharing: EverTrue Plastic Panel Accents. For a short-cutter like myself, these premade moulding panels are amazing. They were actually a bit difficult to find, but Lowes has them online and in some stores. (This is not a sponsored post.)

Tools needed for chair rail moulding

  • chair rail moulding
  • premade moulding panels
  • strong glue (Loctite Power Grab glue or Liquid Nails)
  • hammer
  • small nails
  • level
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • caulk
  • paint
  • paintbrush

Time to complete

3 hours total


  1.  I measured my two walls, chose the chair rail moulding at Lowes, and asked them to cut the two pieces for me.
  2. One wall ended on a curve, so my clever father-in-law filed down one end for a smoother ending.
  3. I measured, leveled, and marked where the rails should go. The halls have high ceilings, so I choose to do my chair rail 40 inches from the ground.
  4. My father in-law put three nails halfway in the rail (one on each end and one in the middle) so we could nail them in as quick as possible while the glue dried.
  5. Then we squirted the glue on the back of each piece and smeared it with a putty knife. (It’s sort of an experiment to figure out how much glue is enough but not squirting out the edges when applied to the wall.)
  6. I pressed the moulding into place and applied pressure while my father-in-law drove the nails all the way through. I kept the pressure on for a minute or so.
  7. We did the same with the premade moulding rectangles.
  8. I caulked each piece and allowed time to dry.
  9. And finally, I painted the moulding the same color as the wall.

Below, I show how we did the chair rail moulding, but we used the same process for the premade panels as well. We put a nail in each corner.

DIY step by step chair rail moulding instructions 

evertrue premade accent moulding panel

Photo wall with white wall

Photo frames like wallpaper in hallway

Putting up family photos (that used to be on this wall in our old house) made our new house feel more like ours. I like that there’s still some space on one wall for future memories too!

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