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It’s time to rail it!

How to install dado rail
the easy way

Dado rail certainly looks classy, and it’s easy to put up with the right glue. Read on to find out how to install dado rail so you can get started with your renovations right away.

Dado rail: Why do you need it?

Do the children keep hitting chairs on the wall? Aa a matter of fact, dado rail, also known as chair rail, was originally installed in homes to protect walls from chairs. Back when homes were smaller, many kitchens, dining and living rooms had dado rail installed around the perimeter to protect the walls from the backs of chairs. So, by learning know how to install dado rail, not only can you refresh your walls, you can also ensure that they’re protected from all kinds of wear and tear.

Today, dado rail is used for more aesthetic purposes, as part of interior design. You may have seen homeowners and designers alike installing dado rail in a range of colours and materials. Make a bold statement by installing a brightly coloured rail, or add wainscoting and give your home a more rustic and cosy feel. Whatever your style, the first thing you need to do is learn how to install dado rail. So, let’s get started.

How to install dado rail: Getting started

  • Dado rail moulding
  • A pencil or some masking tape
  • A spirit level 
  • A tape measure
  • A mitre saw
  • Construction glue
  • Wood or filler
  • Some sandpaper
  • UniBond Remover and Smoother Tool
  • UniBond No More Nails Original grab adhesive

How to put up dado rail

  1. Before you put up dado rail it’s important to measure the walls of the room you want to install it in. Not sure how high a dado rail needs to be? It’s generally accepted that dado rail looks best when it is installed at one third of the height of the room. 
  2. Once you’ve got the measurements, use the mitre saw to cut your dado rail into the correct lengths. You will probably need to cut the rail at a 45-degree angle, but check that you cut the dado rail at the appropriate angle for all of the corners in the room – making note of any windows.
  3. Apply masking tape to the walls and ceiling so that about half an inch of the tape will be covered by the dado rail. Then mark the positions for your pieces of dado rail with your pencil. 
  4. Apply some UniBond No More Nails Original to the back of your first piece of dado rail, find the right place, and fix it to the wall. For any sections of dado rail that meet a mitre joint you will need to apply some extra glue to fix the joint. Remove excess adhesive immediately with a damp cloth.
  5. Once all of the dado rail is installed, it’s time to get the sealant out. We recommend using UniBond Indoor Window & Door Frame Sealant as it’s great at filling in any gaps. Apply a thin bead of sealant along the top and bottom edges and smooth the sealant with smoother tool. 
  6. Remove the masking tape. Run a sharp knife or the tool lightly along the rail to remove the tape.


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