Dining Room Makeover: The Plan

Before we even bought our house, I knew that I wanted picture molding in the dining room. Well, I knew I wanted a chair rail, some sort of wood look below said chair rail all painted white, and then a red color above the chair rail.

I finally got off my butt and figured out just how much trim we would need to accomplish this project. Now all we have to do is find a weekend to do it, which means it’ll probably be sometime in February. Come to think of it, we painted our family room last February. Apparently we are only capable of painting one room per calendar year.

Anyhow, I followed Katie Bower’s play-by-play for coming up with my plan and estimation for the project.  I thought I’d follow her lead and go for 5 boxes on my 1 full wall with 3 inch gaps all around. I was even more sold on the 3 inch rule after seeing that Sara at Russet Street Reno used the same buffer size when she added picture molding to her dining room.

Here is the diagram that I made for one of the walls in the dining room. I ended up basically considering each wall on its own, trying to keep the box width in the same neighborhood.

View All Diagrams

Click that little link above to see the other diagrams that I came up with. These are to scale, 1 inch = 1 foot. I made these using OmniGraffle, so it was pretty easy to make the conversions and have my boxes come out in the correct scale and placement.

So after I made all my diagrams and double checked a few measurements, I headed out to Lowe’s to look at trim and get an idea on prices. This is the trim that I’m liking for now (I still need to check out Home Depot’s selection):

From Dining Room

As you can see, this is $0.68/ft. According to my math skillz, we need 118ft of trim to create 15 boxes for our dining room. This means buying 10 12ft pieces of trim to the tune of about $82.

So that’s the plan for now. Hopefully I can find some other trim that tickles my fancy but is a bit more budget friendly, since we also need caulk, paint, adhesive, a miter saw (or rental) and a nail gun(or rental, or just hammering in finishing nails by hand. Is that crazy?)

Oh, and the plan for above the chair rail is a dark red/burgundy/cranberry-ish color. Here are some Ralph Lauren paint samples that I like:


Ralph Lauren Burning Umber


Ralph Lauren Duke Red


Ralph Lauren Hunting Coat Red

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3 thoughts on “Dining Room Makeover: The Plan

  1. love the idea and katie has great tutorials.

    i think i’d go with the umber if just the chair rail is being painted, but i can’t really tell from a computer screen. just remember that paint dried two shades darker. i think i’d paint each color on some poster board, let it dry and then decide. i know i can get these colors in tiny sample sizes at my home depot.

    looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

  2. Hi Leigh! I’m so happy you de-lurked! Thanks. 🙂 It is so funny (in an oooh that is strange way, not like hahaha), that we both went to JMU and spell our names the same. Nice to meet you.

    Oh, and I’m very impressed with the chair rail plan. Can’t wait to see the final project.

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