How Do You Remove A Chair Rail?

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A chair rail is a one- or two-piece trim that is positioned about 3 feet off the floor. This trim historically acted like a bumper to prevent chairs at a dining room table from banging into vulnerable plaster walls. Chair rails continue to be popular in traditional-style homes, but sometimes it is necessary to remove them. Use the utility knife to cut along the edges of the chair rail, between the trim piece and the wall and between the trim piece and any other trim. Often caulk or filler is used to hide gaps between trim and uneven walls, and this can act like an adhesive when you want to remove the trim with minimal wall damage. Slide the wide putty knife flat against the wall, starting at one end of the chair rail. Press the knife between the trim and the wall. You may need to work along the wall at first before you find a place where the knife will fit. Tip the knife toward you gently, enough to open the gap. Using the putty knife as a shield (to protect the wall), slide the thin ... more
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