How to Install a Chair Rail on Rounded Corners

You can make a 90-degree angle in trim molding by cutting two 45-degree angles and placing them together, but approximating a curve requires a large number of small, angled pieces.
Trim molding no longer has to be custom carved into a curve.Trim molding no longer has to be custom carved into a curve.
Flexible trim molding is made of a polyester blend designed to bend around curves. This molding is more expensive than wood molding, but it produces a much more attractive result on a rounded corner. Polyester-blend molding is available in the same shapes and sizes as standard trim molding. You may use both wood and poly-blend molding on the same project.

Step 1

Use a tape measure to mark the desired height of the top of the chair rail on the wall on both sides of the corner. Use a yardstick to draw a horizontal pencil line at this height.

Step 2

Measure the length of the line that goes around the corner to determine the length of molding you will need.

Step 3

Place the molding in a miter box and saw it to the correct length with a jigsaw. Cut the molding 1/4 inch too long.

Step 4

Place the molding on the wall to check the length. Shave the ends with a wool file until the molding is the exact length you need.

Step 5

Use a caulking gun to apply a line of construction adhesive along the middle of the molding.

Step 6

Place the molding on the wall. Hammer a trim nail into the molding every 15 inches along its length. Position one nail in the top groove of the molding and the next nail in the bottom groove. Alternate the position of the nails along the molding. Angle the nails toward the center of the rail.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Yardstick
  • Flexible, chair-rail molding
  • Miter box
  • Saw
  • Caulking gun
  • Construction adhesive
  • Trim nails
  • Hammer

Tip

  • Flexible molding is packaged in a roll. Unroll the molding, and allow it to lie flat overnight before installing it.

Warnings

  • Narrow polyester-blend molding is flexible, while wider molding does not bend as easily. If you wish to use wide molding or you have a very tight curve, the factory can shape the molding to your specific requirements. Check the specifications for your particular product.
  • Do not paint the molding before you hang it. The paint will crack when the molding is bent.

About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.