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Old 10-06-2012, 06:34 AM   #1
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


Hi,
I want to put picture frame trim on my stairs. Can anyone tell me how to go about it? Should the dado rail be the same height as the bannister hand rail? I've attached a photo to demonstrate what I want to do.
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Picture Frame trim on stairs-wainscot-design-stairs.jpg  

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


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Hi,
I want to put picture frame trim on my stairs. Can anyone tell me how to go about it? Should the dado rail be the same height as the bannister hand rail? I've attached a photo to demonstrate what I want to do.
I personally think that 32-36 inches would look best which is close to the rail height. If you look at that photo the reason they went that height is it is the same height as the upper landing. The way I do it is: measure the length, divide by what ever you feel the width of your box should be and see how many boxes there will be. Refine your measurements to fit the boxes evenly into the length.

I then take the number of boxes add 1 then multiply by 6". The 6 inches is the margin between the boxes. Sometimes 6" is too much so I go with 4", what ever looks best to you. Example, you have 14 feet in length, convert to inches =168 inches. I would divide by 4 to see how large the boxes would be, =42". With 4 boxes there will be 5 margins of 6" = 5X6=30" Subtract 30" from the length, 168-30"=138". Now divide the number of boxes into 138, 138/4=34.5, You would have 4 boxes 34 1/2 inches wide with a 6 inch margin. The top and bottom margin don't have to be 6 inches, it can be 4 inches. Just lay it out and see what looks best to you.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


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I personally think that 32-36 inches would look best which is close to the rail height. If you look at that photo the reason they went that height is it is the same height as the upper landing. The way I do it is: measure the length, divide by what ever you feel the width of your box should be and see how many boxes there will be. Refine your measurements to fit the boxes evenly into the length.

I then take the number of boxes add 1 then multiply by 6". The 6 inches is the margin between the boxes. Sometimes 6" is too much so I go with 4", what ever looks best to you. Example, you have 14 feet in length, convert to inches =168 inches. I would divide by 4 to see how large the boxes would be, =42". With 4 boxes there will be 5 margins of 6" = 5X6=30" Subtract 30" from the length, 168-30"=138". Now divide the number of boxes into 138, 138/4=34.5, You would have 4 boxes 34 1/2 inches wide with a 6 inch margin. The top and bottom margin don't have to be 6 inches, it can be 4 inches. Just lay it out and see what looks best to you.
Wow! Thank you so much for going into such detail, Jim. This is a great help!! I have three questions:
Firstly, should I make the boxes first and then attach them to the wall, or assemble them as I go along?
Secondly, should the boxes be the same distance from the rail and stringer as they are from each other?
Thirdly, How should I attach them to the wall? Glue or screws? I should point out that I live in Ireland, so some products available in the States, may not be here.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


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Wow! Thank you so much for going into such detail, Jim. This is a great help!! I have three questions:
Firstly, should I make the boxes first and then attach them to the wall, or assemble them as I go along?
Secondly, should the boxes be the same distance from the rail and stringer as they are from each other?
Thirdly, How should I attach them to the wall? Glue or screws? I should point out that I live in Ireland, so some products available in the States, may not be here.
I always draw the layout on the wall as it will need painting anyway, usually.

I cut the pieces as I go, to be sure they fit well, I guess you could cut them and assemble them then put them up, but it sure would be tough to keep them from falling apart.

The rail you are talking about is called a chair rail here and that is a skirt board not a stringer, a stringer is what the treads of the stairs sit on. Not trying to be a smart butt or anything.

I glue (carpenter's glue) and shoot them on with a sprig gun (pinner), if you angle a nail about a 45 degree angle both ways from the same shot it will hold. What I mean is hold the gun and shoot to the right at a 45 degree angle the turn the gun the other way and shoot, you don't need to pick your gun up just shoot two different directions, that will hold the trim in place as well as the glue.

I usually don't use the same margin at the top and bottom of the boxes, if I go 6" between the boxes I will usually go 4" above and below the boxes.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


lol, no problem. I thought I was using terminology that might be understood over there :-) You've been a great help, Jim, Thank you.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:53 AM   #6
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


What kind of trim can I use to make the frames? Do big retailers (like Homedepot, lowes, etc) have this stuff?
How narrow I want to go with the trim? Thanks!!!!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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Picture Frame trim on stairs


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What kind of trim can I use to make the frames? Do big retailers (like Homedepot, lowes, etc) have this stuff?
How narrow I want to go with the trim? Thanks!!!!!
Depending on the size of your boxes, the larger the box the larger the trim. I usually go with 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inch clover leaf trim. There are other trims you can use, just depends on your taste. If you can find a trim supply company in your area you can save a ton over the big box stores. Or if you have the skills you can make your own trim.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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What kind of trim can I use to make the frames? Do big retailers (like Homedepot, lowes, etc) have this stuff?
How narrow I want to go with the trim? Thanks!!!!!
I'm using 30mm x 12 mm. That is, the part attached to the wall is 30mm, while the highest point out is 12mm. I will be putting the chair rail 38" up from the step to be level with the bannister (hand rail) I will drop 4" to place the frame, and leave 4" below the frame also.
I decided to measure first, then go to the hardware store, measure there and just decided what looks ok.
I have gone through so many sites like houzz etc, researching this, just looking at photos, and comparing to my stairs.
We don't have lowes or home depot here, but I would imagine they would have if they are diy shops. Check out sites like www.cumberlandwoodcraft.com also. They have some nice stuff.

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