On your website, you mention that the darker color should always be on top of a chair rail. But, many pictures on your and other websites show white at AND below the chair rail with a color on top. Typically the white below the chair rail has shadow boxes as well. Do you think white at and below the chair rail with a color on top works? We have golden brown hardwood floors in the dining room with a darker brown dining room set. I wanted to do Benjamin Moore antique white in a semi gloss at AND below the chair rail, with show boxes below the chair rail, Benjamin Moore atrium white on the molding around the archway to the living room and door opening (no door) to the kitchen, with a fairly dark blue (Benjamin Moore Blue Lapis (2067-40) eggshell on top of the chair rail. Do you think that would work? What should I paint the crown molding and ceiling in? The room is approx 12 x 13. The dark blue is the thing that I question the most.
Thank you for your time.
- When you have two colors below and above the chair rail- I would put the darker of the two below. Why? Yes- there is a reason. The darker shade is more visually heavy. It is subconsciously uncomfortable to be in a room that is a little top heavy. Having the heavier weight lower feels better- subconsciously.
- When the area below the chair rail is a wainscot- the rules change. Your wainscot is part of your wood trim. In most cases- it is better for these to all be the same paint. Same paint on the window casings, door frames, baseboards, chair rail, picture frame mouldings, floor skirts, and wainscoting. (This is a most of the time rule- not an all the time rule). Frequently this color is white. White as a wainscoting below the chair rail and a color on top is perfect. Does that make the room visually uncomfortable because of the top heavy thing? No- because the visual weight of the mouldings is more than the darker color. However- sometimes- I think this is pushed a bit- when the top paint color is too dark- like in the photo above. I personally think the paint color is too dark here- and the room would be more comfortable with a lighter shade. I know the desired effect is drama- and perhaps with the right window treatments, and other furnishings- this might look amazing- but I will say that as is- it is a top heavy room.
- If I were to do the shadow box- or picture frame moulding like you are describing- I personally- would paint it all like it was wainscoting. To me- that is what it is trying to be- and when it is all painted the same white- I think it looks the best. I would treat it like wainscoting. Paint it the same color as all other mouldings. For example- I do NOT like the photo above. I think it would look better to have it all white below the chair rail. Theoretically you shouldn't be able to really tell it is not a real wainscoting- and yet here they are drawing attention to it. I don't like it. It's like hanging a sign on your fake purse that says, "I am not really louis vuitton."
So there- is that clear- or still confusing?