5 ways to paint walls with picture rails

I love picture rails, cornicing, dados, etc. Anything which adds character and charm gets a tick in my book. We are lucky enough to have some beautiful detailing in our living room. The tricky bit comes when you need to choose how to highlight these original features and how to paint the room when you have picture rails.

I have sketched out 5 different ways you can paint a room to make the most of picture rails. This would also work if you have dado’s. If you don’t have any of these features already in your room, adding them can instantly add some personality and grandeur.

I have used green as an example but any hue of paint colour will work. If you want any advice – give me a shout!

So, here they are, the 5 best ways to paint walls when you have a picture rail.

  1. Paint all the walls in the same colour but ONLY below the picture rail.
    This method of painting your walls creates a cosy and comforting vibe. This is a traditional way which period properties used to be painted. The room feels calm and collected. The room will also feel bright and light as the white ceiling and walls above the picture rail are fresh and pale.
  2. Paint all the walls in the same colour below picture rail AND above the picture rail.
    When you paint the walls above and below the picture rail an immediate sense of grandeur is added to the room. The walls feel elongated and higher so the room is more dramatic. The picture rail feature is highlighted and is more visible which is an easy way to make the most of those traditional looking features. Again, the room will feel cosy and homely.
  3. Create a dramatic feature wall with one wall painted above AND below.
    Number 3 makes a real statement. 2 different paint colours are used to create a feature wall. Walls are painted above and below the picture rail so that the whole room feels cohesive and ties together. Go for a bold darker colour on wall wall and paint the rest of the walls in a complimentary neutral shade. The room will feel a bit more contemporary whilst still highlighting the charm of the house.
  4. Paint above AND below the picture rail in TWO contrasting colours.
    At number 4 we are going a little bit quirky. Playing with colour and breaking away from the traditional ways to paint a room. One colour is painted from the picture rail up to the ceiling or cornice and another complimentary or contrasting colour is painted for the rest of the room. Make sure you only use 2 colours and don’t try combining a feature wall with a two tone effect – the result will look messy and amateur! The room will feel fun but also spacious and inviting.
  5. Paint the CEILING and above the picture rail in a feature colour.
    For maximum drama try painting the ceiling and the walls above the picture rail to make a big bold statement. Your room will feel unique and cosy whilst still highlighting the original period features of the room. Go dark! Be brave… I am considering this look for our living room! Watch this space to see how it turns out….!

Mimi x




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