How to Fit & Put up a Picture & Dado Rail Corners - DIY

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How to Fit a Picture & Dado Rail

11th August 2021

Fitting a dado rail, also known as a picture rail is a fairly straightforward DIY project which you can undertake yourself in your home. We’ve put together some tips on how to fit a picture rail, with all the right tools and materials to do so.

What You’ll Need

  • Dado & Picture Rail
  • Orac Adhesive
  • Caulk Gun
  • Spirit Level
  • Chalk Line
  • Nail Gun
  • Nails
  • Mitre box
  • Hand Saw
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure

Please note, you can use your own alternative tools if you are unable to use any of the items listed above.

Step-By-Step: How to Fit Dado Rail

Measure & Cut to Size

With any DIY project, preparation is key to achieving your desired finish, so make sure that your walls are clean, ensuring any necessary repairs or plastering is complete before you add your picture rail. Top tip: paint your dado rail before you hang it; this will ensure you have a flawless finish, with tidy edges.

The first step is to measure the wall length and match that up to the first piece of rail and cut to size if necessary. Top tip: always remember to double-check your measurements before you cut anything. To cut the perfect angle for the wall, use a hand saw and mitre box, which makes it a lot easier to cut at an angle, if needed.

Cutting Coving Instructions

Mark the Wall & Fit Your First Piece

Top tip: Before fitting your first piece, it can help to measure and mark the wall with chalk to give you a clear guideline of where to fit your dado rail. 

First use the tape measure and pencil to mark where you want to position the rail, then use the spirit level and chalk to create a perfectly horizontal guideline along the wall. Keep moving the spirit level around the room until there is a guideline across the entire wall. This will make fitting the rail a lot easier.

Now take the first piece of rail, hold it in position and use the spirit level to make sure it’s perfectly level. When it is level you can either nail it to the wall or glue it into position. If using nails, be sure to add a nail every 50cm or so, and if using adhesive, create an even zig-zag across the back of the picture rail and press firmly into place. The adhesive creates a flawless finish, whereas you must caulk the nails to fill in the imperfections.


Best Adhesive For Dado Rail

At WM Boyle we have a range of great Decofix glues and adhesives to ensure your dado rail remains secure. They give additional strength and durability to the joints of Orac products. Our Decofix Pro is our extra strong installation adhesive, which ensures a long-lasting seal between the mouldings of your dado rail.

Most of our adhesives are available from stock and are normally delivered straight to you within 2-3 working days.

Top tip: if using nails, make sure there are no cables, wires or pipes behind the picture rail.


How To Cut Dado Rail Corners

Take the next piece and hold it to the wall so that end touches the already fitted piece. Mark the end touching your fitted piece with a pencil as you will need to cut this before fixing it in place. 

Use one of our Mitre box products and a hand saw to cut a precise straight, 45-degree cut in the same direction as your marking. Then, to ensure your dado rails are as seamless as possible, use sandpaper to smooth the profile, so it perfectly fits over the installed piece.

Finish the Job

Now that your first piece has been fitted, you can line up the rest and fit them as you go. Simply repeat the above process until you have fixed the remaining picture rails to the wall.

To create a flawless and professional finish, use the caulk gun to fill in any gaps in the joins and create a seal with the caulk where the rail meets the wall.


The following video has more information on fitting panel mouldings such as pictures and dado rails.


Our Picture & Dado Rails

Picture and dado rails are simple additions to your home but create a dramatic effect on the aesthetic of your room. With a range of styles to suit all homes, the design possibilities of dado and picture rails are endless. With a large range of sizes and styles, our rails are extremely durable and suit all homes, from traditional high-ceiling spaces to new, contemporary properties. Discover our dado and picture rails.

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