Fretting over Picture Rail

Who would think that fretting over picture rail was even possible?

But ever since the Bo visit I have been doing just that.



BEFORE the visit by Bo I was thrilled to have found a large-scale picture rail for the Cross House.


DURING the Bo visit I learned that 1890s picture rail could be quite the fancy thing. And…suddenly…MY picture rail seemed…dull. Oh, what to do? What do do?


TODAY, it popped into my fretting head that I should take a peek at what the Decorators Supply Company might offer. They have a kazillion types of moldings and I have ordered from them since the 1980s. I liked the Floral Ribbon on the above wood moulding (the composition ribbon is glued to the wood trim), and sent them an email asking if I could buy JUST the composition ribbon (rather than the wood trim).


Then I could glue the ribbon near the bottom edge of my boring picture rail. And, presto, boring is transformed into Deluxe!


This is another option which I like a lot. This is about the same height as the flat part of the boring picture rail. It is VERY shallow, so it would not interfere, importantly, with the picture hooks. I am leaning toward this option.


Oh! What to do? What to do!

Can you hear me wringing my hands?




  1. Blair Carmichael on April 26, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    My 1900 picture rail is boring craftsmanesque. But my Parlor and master bedroom had it all removed during past owners repairs. It looks simple enough to duplicate as no one seems to carry it any where. But yours looks similar, where did you find it?

  2. Sandra Lee on April 27, 2017 at 12:46 am

    I like the option you are considering. It would perk things up and also wouldn’t interfere with picture hanging. I think it will be lovely. Once stencils are done that will also tie the look together. As usual you are a creative genius!!

  3. Chad on April 27, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I definitely like the flat one better. Adding a second half-round profile to it changes the proportions of the molding and I like it better with just the rounded part at the top.

    That said, do it!

  4. pk on April 27, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Ross, Why couldn’t you stencil the inside flat part with a bronze metallic-
    or apply a small stencil tight above and below the railing.

  5. Mike on April 27, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Going with the second option would give you a rail that looks much like the complete one you showed in the picture from Iversen, and it has my vote. IMO, one of the charms of a Victorian-era house is the abundance of small details, and I wonder if the first choice with the rope might be a little much. Either way, I’m sure that you will make the right choice, your instinct has served you well so far…

  6. montana channing on August 16, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    yes and even though you are quite far from here, some of us old guys need our sleep and all that hand wringing is keeping me awake.

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