What Color Should I Paint The Chair Rail?

By Soraia Martins August 10, 2021, 12:16 pm

Choosing colors for your home is always a daunting task. Color palettes are wide-ranging, complex systems that can define the entire room. Now, add a wall trim or a chair rail to your dining room, for example, and the enigma takes on a whole new level.

Chair rails create a decorative element and act as a shielding barrier from wear and tear in spaces where furniture is moved around often, so look at them as a way to give a dining room dimension and style.

At the end of the day, you should paint the chair rail in your dining room with a color that ties the whole room together and creates a focal point, which is primarily aesthetic and makes the area more stylish and exciting to look at.

First Things First

Dining room with red wall and white chair rail Source: Matt Briney at Unsplash

So, what color should you paint the chair rail? Let’s start with the basics. If you’re thinking of painting the chair rail in your dining room, try keeping it neutral and putting a darker color on the lower portion of the wall and a lighter one above. This technique will make the wall appear taller and create a more open feel to the room.

Contrasting Colors

Dining room with a dark chair rail and two tone wall Source: Darshan Patel at Unsplash

On the other hand, painting the chair rail with a darker hue will create a contrasting effect in the room, especially if the wall is two-toned. The picture above shows a well-balanced combination that works perfectly to create a more intimate space.

As White As Snow

Dining room with green walls and a white chair rail Source: Curtis Adams at Pexels

Using white to paint the chair rail is one of the best ways to give a dining room a modern and fresh look. White makes any color pop, and whether you choose to have one color only or divide the room in two, it will always be a trusting partner to achieve a contrasting result.

Monochromatic Effect

Dining room with same color walls and chair rail Source: Max Vakhtbovych at Pexels

Alternatively, painting the chair rail and trim the same color as the wall will create a distinctive monochromatic effect, making the dining room even more elegant and polished. Choose a creative and fun color to keep this choice even more enjoyable!

Visual Impact

Bright red two tone dining room with white chair rail Source: Curtis Adams at Pexels

When painting the chair rail, there aren’t exact rules one needs to follow at all costs. As we said earlier, painting the lower portion of the wall in a darker color will help to make the room appear taller. But what about the other way around? Don’t be afraid to play with colors when painting the chair rail in your dining room and the walls.

Lighter Tones

Dining room with neutral colored walls and white chair rail Source: Max Vakhtbovych at Pexels

In keeping with a neutral palette, choose lighter tones that complement each other to achieve a clean, sophisticated look. Furniture will play a different, more enhanced role and naturally fall into place with a satiny background.


If you’re considering painting the chair rail in your dining room, don’t be afraid to be adventurous and just go with the flow. Playing with colors and using your chair rail as a complementary detail in your dining room will let you decorate around it. Whether you prefer neutral palettes or more vibrant tones, there’s always an attractive way to paint your chair rail.


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