Okay so this is not going to be a super interesting post but I wanted to share my experience in removing the chair rail in my living room just in case anyone else out there needs some advice. I noticed there wasn't a lot of information on the internet about removing chair rails and the prepping process afterward.
Going into this project I was thinking oh this is going to be easy, no big deal. Although it wasn't super difficult it was just a bit time consuming. One thing I learned from this project is when you start doing something you never have done before, do some research. I started ripping the chair railing off because I was so eager to get the damn things off the wall and ended up tearing up parts of the walls. I went online did some research and realized that you need to take a utility knife and cut the caulk at the top and bottom before you remove it from the wall. From there I had to do a lot of patching and sanding. Once done, we threw a coat of primer on and then the paint.
First you need to cut the caulk at the top and bottom of the chair rail making sure you cut all the way through it. Luckily for me only the top of the chair rail was caulked so I cut that and then slid a metal putty knife underneath of it and pulled it away from the wall. Go along the length of the chair rail and do this until the nails are pulled half way out and then repeat the process until the piece is completely out. Some nails may still be in the wall so use a hammer to pull those out.
Then next step is sanding the wall a bit to get the rest of the caulk off and smooth everything out a bit. If you tore some pieces of the drywall like I did don't worry the next step will fix it.
To make sure the holes where the nails were are covered up take a hammer and tap the hole to make a small dent in the wall. Take a large putty knife and coat on a thick layer of joint compound over the entire area where the chair rail used to be. The reason I used joint compound instead of spackling is that joint compound is used for larger areas whereas spackling is for small holes. Let dry and sand. Repeat the process again if it is not completely smooth or just in areas that need it.
Before painting you must put a coat of primer on the walls as you cannot use regular paint over joint compound. I used Kilz 2 Latex.
Once you are done painting the room, then go back in and touch up the trim where the chair rail used to be.
I have to thank my handy mom for helping me on this project because I am clueless when it comes to some parts of painting and I also have to thank my fiancee for putting up with my crazy need to change things constantly as well as helping. Although he better get used to it...
Let me know if you have any questions about this process.
Also, I am doing a review on the paint I used, Behr Marquee, so stay tuned for that!