Way Up Woodwork

This room is really starting to come together! After the baseboards, we moved to the picture rail!

It IS an actual picture rail, which will hopefully avoid a lot of holes in the wallpaper. This is the same moulding we used in the Library, just not as wide. I hound it HERE. I dyed it, and every time I took it into the Studio to make sure it matched as I was dyeing, it looked great! Finished, I think it’s a TOUCH too dark. But that just adds dimension, so I’m rolling with it!

First piece up!

For the most part, Doug did all the measuring and cutting and coping (this room had to be VERY precise) and then I did the nailing while we installed together.

Old houses are complicated because things aren’t every straight or level. Here, there is more complication because the ceiling had definitely lowered some where there had been water damage, and the crown moulding (pre-us) wasn’t perfect. To battle this, we decided the the top of the picture rail should be kind-of-sort-of-ish the same depth from the crown all the way around. To VERY scientifically guesstimate this, we used a board that we cut to use as our friendly guide all the way around the room.

98% of the time, this method got everything looking good. If you measured or leveled? Probably not perfect. But this gave us a really good benchmark to go by!

One corner!

One of the things that I love the most about Queen Anne Victorians is how many rooms AREN’T square. But this room has NINETEEN different little walls. That’s a LOT of moulding at weird angles!

I Love It.

I actually thought when I ordered this that it was the same height as the Library. I was cranky at myself for ordering this thinner picture rail, and I still think the thicker would have looked better with the 10′ ceilings in this room. But, I still really like this!

To make the inside corners Doug had to cope them, which means removing all the wood from the back so the pieces sit together. Over the years, he’s gotten really skilled at this. It’s super impressive, and I just let him be while he does this part.

Luckily, it hasn’t been super hot this summer, so the front porch workshop has been okay working conditions!

Or should I say, the weather has been easy to “cope” with.  I’ll be here all week.

When coping, keep a small spare cutoff that you can use to check yourself along the way to know when you’re there!

Here’s a great video that explains coping and how to do it!

Little baby corner!

Me : “Can you take a picture of me? Probably no one actually thinks I do work.”

Next, we looked at the top of the cabinet.

In my original plan, I was going to build the cabinet up to the ceiling, and put a crown moulding on it.

But then, as I was looking around our piles of spare lumber, I realized that the picture rail from the Library was a DEAD RINGER for the color of the cabinet.

And we had two pieces left over. I mean, the color is PERFECTION.

My thought was, if we use what we have, AND don’t go up to the ceiling, it saves us money, and the challenge of making the crown of the wall and the crown of the cabinet fit together. I love reusing what we have as much as we can!

First, we had to build out the top side just a touch with a board to make the side and front even.


Then, we added the picture-rail-turned-cabinet-top all the way around.

It doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling, but it looks like a finished piece!

Cabinet with the picture rail!

I’m happy with this for sure!


This side of the room looks amazing!!! Can you imagine what it’ll look like with a chandelier and not a ceiling fan!!!! Swoon.



  1. The addition of the picture rail makes the room feel so much more finished. Great idea to use the piece of wood rather than a level. Also, love that you were able to use the leftover picture rail from the library. It’s a joy to see you both use your knowledge and skills to create these spaces.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: