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Posted by ivaladkapaz@icloud.com on March 16, 2021
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If you live in Toronto, you may be familiar with all the old trim found in our 100+ year old homes. Some include only the door trims, others chair rail and like mine, the plate rail that reaches across our dining room walls. I’ve always wanted to paint the wood out in my home, but feared it wouldn’t turn out how I envisioned. And once you paint it, you’ll have a hell of a time going back if it doesn’t turn out! Never mind removing it; with our plaster walls that wouldn’t have been an option as it would have been a complete mess. 

With plate rail in particular, this piece goes across the top quarter of the wall. Nothing above and nothing below, so then the question of painting it white or the colour of the wall came to mind. You may not think that it’s a difficult choice, but I truly didn’t want it to seem like it was just thrown in there. I wanted to make sure that it looked purposeful. So with that, here you can follow along with my process. 


Like many other’s, my first go-to was Pinterest and Instagram. This was a great place for me to check out various ideas.

One of the amazing women I follow on Instagram is @angelarosehome 

where she shares her MANY DIY projects. From bunkbeds to crafts, kitchen renos to wall details, she posts her step by step videos of all her projects, which was a great inspiration! Her master bedroom has the same finish I chose for my dining room. Although she clearly didn’t have a plate rail spanning her space, this was a great way for me to incorporate it. 

Making a plan…

Once I had that idea, I started mapping it out in my mind. First I took a photo and mocked it up. Mapped it out on a scrap of paper. Measured. Measured again. Measured 5 times!!! And then finally taped it out on the wall.

Once I had it up there, I left it for a few weeks. Although it was green tape, it gave me a clear idea of what I was going to be living with to make sure I still loved it. Like I said, once you paint that wood trim, you will have a hell of a time going back, so I wanted to be 100% sure. And once I was it was, it was time to head to Home Depot.

Let’s Do This…

When I mapped out the blocks on the wall, I used tape the size of the strapping that I was planning on using. This not only provided a better visual of the end product, but when going to the store, I knew what I wanted to get. I chose 2.5 inch strapping and chose the longest pieces I could get in hopes to minimize the seams. I installed the longer pieces vertically with smaller sections as the horizontal. Of course this was all done using a large level!

Each section was firstly attached to the wall using adhesive on the back and then a finishing nail gun to attach them securely. I then filled in the seams and nail holes using wood putty. Used paintable DAP caulking on every edge of the strapping to get a more seamless finish. Primed. Then painted 2 coats of Chantilly Lace Benjamin Moore Regal semi-gloss paint. (This is the same colour I chose when I painted out our stairwell – be sure to check out that project!).

I’m so thrilled with how this project turned out. It’s incorporated the plate rail into the wall yet gave it the update I was looking for. Initially, I was a bit worried that it may make the room look smaller, but I’m actually pleasantly surprised, I think it feels bigger!

And before you ask, what about the rails and trim in the living room? Yes, those will get painted as well. But one room at a time, stay tuned for that post!

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