The project NailersHub appeared in 2001, in the beautiful city of Charlotte (North Carolina). The founder Raymond Melton had an Engineer’s degree from Wilmington University and practical working experience in a local repair store.

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    May 2024
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    How to Install Chair Rail Without a Nail Gun?

    Chair rail moldings are beautiful and add to the aesthetic of a home. They’re quick and simple to do, with finishing nails used as additional supports. You may attach it using glue or the constructor’s adhesive and finish the nails without utilizing a nail gun. The goal of this tutorial is to show how to attach a piece of chair rail without needing a nail gun.

    Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of expertise. Chair rails do not require any particular skills or techniques because they are entirely installed in every accessible location.

    Are you looking for an easy way to install a chair rail without a nail gun? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps necessary to install a chair rail without using any power tools. Chair rail is a great way to add character and style to your home, and it’s easier to install than you might think. Let’s get started!

    What Is Chair Rail Molding?

    Chair rail molding was previously used to safeguard the walls from chair dings. It’s now a beautiful element that can be incorporated into any space. Have you ever viewed your walls and thought they were boring? Chair rail molding is an attractive and fashionable wall décor that can bring several areas together [1].

    What Is Chair Rail Molding?

    This wall decor not only enhances the appearance of your living area, but it also has several practical purposes! 

    The Benefits Of Using Chair Rail Molding

    One of the benefits of using chair rail molding is that it can help to protect your walls from scuffs, scratches, and other damage. Chair rail molding can also be used to create the illusion of a larger space.

    If you have a small room, chair rail molding can make it appear more spacious.

    In addition, chair rail molding can also be used to highlight certain features in your home.

    Imagine your walls have chipped paint or a stain on them. When you examine more carefully, you notice that your wall appears worn out. How can you spruce up your home? Chair rail moldings are the answer. It may conceal flaws in your wall or make uneven paint coverage less obvious.

    It’s a quick and easy method to add texture and depth to any space without making it look cluttered or chaotic. It gives your house the perfect magazine cover appearance by giving it texture and depth.

    How High Should Your Chair Rail Molding Be?

    Make sure the moldings are placed in the proper location so they provide the best impact. It should pique interest, yet it shouldn’t make the space appear cramped. The ideal position for it is in the lower third of the room. It will give perfect depth without being overpowering or cluttering up the rest of your home.

    It’s also a good idea to align the bottoms of your windows with the molding. It may help tie the room together [2].

    If you’re looking for an easy way to add character and style to your home, chair rail molding is a great option! Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to install chair rail molding without a nail gun.

    Why You Shouldn’t Use A Nail Gun To Install Moldings?

    Nail guns are frequently used for moldings, but there are a number of better, simpler choices. Wall glue and caulk work well in attaching molds to walls. Why go looking for them when they’re already here? What is it about these choices that make them superior to nail guns?

    Nail guns are not only expensive, but they may be hazardous if used incorrectly, so adhesives and finishing nails are ideal for rush projects. They can also be hazardous if handled incorrectly. You might be able to save yourself from major disasters by using adhesives rather than glues.

    Why You Shouldn’t Use A Nail Gun To Install Moldings?

    If the nail guns are utilized incorrectly, they may also scratch the molding and wall. It would be a waste of your beautiful molding to have a crack.

    Lastly, it’s inconvenient to install molding on your wall using a nail gun if you don’t have the right tools. What if you want to renovate your home or get rid of the chair rail? It will be difficult to remove, and repairing the scars would be difficult.

    While nailing off the finishing nails, do not pierce the surface too deeply to prevent harm. As a result, performing it manually is the greatest choice! It’s simple and efficient, allowing you to alter your house to any changes.

    A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Install Chair Rail without a Nail Gun

    Measurement of the Area

    Keep in mind that it should be placed on the bottom third of your home, and double-check to see if you have the correct amount of molding. There should be a margin for corners so that you don’t get gaps.

    Mold Cutting

    You may take off the angles with a miter saw or have the hardware store cut it at an angle.

    The length of each cut should be the distance from the floor to the point where you want your chair rail to end.


    Make pilot holes for the nails with a drill bit of a similar size to the nail. Create these pilot holes with a drill bit that is somewhat smaller than the nail. It’s critical not to split the wood while doing this. After measuring and cutting the molding to be suitable, it’s time to install it!

    Mold Fastening

    The two most common ways to attach the molding to your wall are with nails or screws. Nails are preferable since they are less likely to cause the wood to strip.

    Mold Fastening

    If you go this path, you’ll need a nail set so you can finish nailing beneath the molding’s surface.

    To prevent splitting, do not hammer them in too deeply.

    Installation Tips:

    • Use a level when measuring and cutting the molding to ensure that it is even [3];
    • If you are using nails, make sure they are the right size. If they are too big, they could split the wood;
    • Be careful when drilling pilot holes so that you don’t damage the wall;
    • Use a nail set if you are going to use nails so that you can finish nailing below the surface of the molding;
    • Hammer in the nails slowly to avoid splitting the wood;


    Can you glue the chair rail to the wall?

    Yes, you can glue the chair rail to the wall. You will need a good-quality construction adhesive for this project.

    Can you use a brad nailer to install the chair rail?

    No, you can’t use a brad nailer to install the chair rail. You will need a finish nailer or an electric stapler for this project.

    What is the best way to cut chair rail?

    The best way to cut chair rail is with a miter saw or a power miter box. You can also use a handsaw if necessary.

    How do you attach chair rail to drywall?

    There are a few ways to attach chair rail to drywall:

    • The first is to apply construction adhesive. Construction adhesive is a strong glue that can be used to attach the chair rails to drywall;
    • The second way is to use screws and nails. Screws and nails will provide a more secure connection than construction adhesive, but they will also be more difficult to remove if you ever need to take the chair rail down;
    • Finally, you can use brads or finish nails. Brads or finish nails are small nails that can be used to attach a chair rail to drywall without leaving behind too much damage;

    How do you attach chair rail to drywall?

    If you decide to use construction adhesive, apply a generous amount of adhesive to the back of the chair rail.

    How do you secure a chair rail?

    There are a few ways to do this without using nails:

    • One way is to use construction adhesive. This can be applied directly to the wall and then the chair rail can be attached;
    • Another way is to apply screws. You will need to find studs in the wall in order to secure the screws properly;
    • Finally, you could also use command strips or another type of removable adhesive. This would allow you to remove the chair rail at a later time if needed without damaging the walls;

    If you decide to use nails, then you will need a nail gun. It is possible to install a chair rail without a nail gun, but it will be more difficult and time-consuming. You will need to hammer each nail into the wall by hand. This can be a tedious process, so make sure you have the patience for it before starting.

    What can I use if I don’t have a nail gun?

    If you don’t have a nail gun, you can use a hammer and nails or screw and wall plugs. However, using these methods is more time-consuming and may not result in as strong of a hold. If you go this route, make sure to predrill your holes for the nails or screws. You’ll also want to countersink the screws so that the heads are flush with the surface of the chair rail [4].

    Can you nail trim by hand?

    Yes, you can install a chair rail without a nail gun by hand. However, it will be more difficult and time-consuming. You will need to use a hammer and nails to attach the trim to the wall. It is important to make sure that the nails are driven into the studs in the wall so that the trim is secure. If you are not experienced in using a hammer and nails, it is advisable to hire a professional to do this job for you.

    Another option is to use an adhesive instead of nails. This method is much easier and quicker. All you need to do is apply the adhesive to the back of the trim and then press it against the wall. Make sure that you smooth out any air bubbles so that the trim is securely attached to the wall.

    Can you use liquid nails for a trim?

    Liquid nails are an attractive and cost-effective means to mount baseboards to your interior walls. They’re strong enough to keep baseboards in place for a long period of time, making them a great choice for contractors. Even beginners can apply liquid nails to a baseboard.

    To install baseboards with liquid nails, make sure you apply an even layer of liquid nails over the baseboard and don’t use too much glue. If you need to remove it in the future, the baseboard will fit snugly against the wall and may be readily removed without causing damage [5].

    Is it better to nail or glue baseboards?

    Many contractors prefer to glue baseboards to the wall, but nails are frequently used in practice.

    The main reason for this is that the nails keep the board from bending over time, and they can simply be removed after the board has been removed [6].

    Can you hammer in finish nails?

    Yes, you can certainly hammer in finish nails without a nail gun. In fact, this is how many chair rails are installed. However, it does take a bit more time and effort to do it this way. You’ll need to be very careful not to split the wood as you hammer in the nails.

    Can you hammer in finish nails?

    And, of course, you’ll need a good hammer! If you don’t have a lot of experience using a hammer, or if you’re just not that confident in your abilities, then it might be best to use a nail gun. But if you’re up for the challenge, go ahead and give it a try!

    How do you install the chair rail on stairs?

    The process for installing a chair rail on stairs is basically the same as for any other type of surface.

    However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

    • First, you’ll need to make sure that the rails are level and flush with each step. Otherwise, they could become a trip hazard;
    • Second, you’ll need to use slightly longer nails or screws so that they can go through both the rail and the tread of the stair;
    • And finally, you may want to use some type of adhesive along with the nails or screws to make sure that everything stays securely in place;

    How high off the floor should a chair rail be?

    This is a common question when it comes to chair rail installation. The answer really depends on the height of your ceilings and how tall you want the chair rail to be. A good rule of thumb is to install the chair rail about one-third (32 inches) of the way up from the floor. This will ensure that the chair rail is both aesthetically pleasing and functional [7].

    Another important consideration when installing a chair rail is making sure that it is level. This can be accomplished by using a laser level or simply by using a long, straight edge (such as a yardstick or level). Once you have determined where you want the chair rail to go, use a pencil to mark lightly along the wall so that you know where to put your nails.

    How do you attach polyurethane to a chair rail:

    • The first step is to clean the surface of the chair rail;
    • Next, apply a generous amount of adhesive to the back of the polyurethane. Be sure to smooth it out so that there are no air bubbles;
    • Finally, press the polyurethane onto the chair rail and hold it in place for several minutes until the adhesive sets;

    Do you need a nail gun to put up trim?

    You may get molding from your local big-box hardware store in a variety of styles, and they’ll cut it down to the perfect measurements for you. It takes only a box of little finishing nails and a mallet to install it. You don’t even need a nail gun.

    Is it possible to nail it into drywall?

    Yes, it is possible to nail trim into drywall. However, you will need to use a different type of nail. For example, you can use a finishing nail or a brad nail. Be sure to predrill the holes first so that the nails do not split the drywall. You will also want to use construction adhesive in addition to nails to secure the trim in place.

    Useful Video:How to Install Chair Rail on Your Wall – Best Way for Pro Installation – No Glue, No Nail Gun


    1. https://krostrade.com/blog/how-to-install-chair-rail-without-a-nail-gun/
    2. https://chairsmaster.com/how-to-install-chair-rail-without-a-nail-gun/
    3. https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-install-a-chair-rail/
    4. https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/212433/is-there-a-reasonable-substitute-for-nail-guns-when-installing-baseboards
    5. https://www.interiorsplace.com/can-you-install-baseboards-with-liquid-nails/?jr=on
    6. https://homedecorbliss.com/glue-or-nail-baseboards/
    7. https://builders-surplus.com/how-to-install-a-chair-rail/