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Everything You Need To Know About Dado Rail


Everything You Need To Know About Dado Rail

One architectural element that has gone by the wayside is the dado rail, which has gained a new lease of life by adapting to wooden railing for walls and current interior design ideas.

This kind of railing was used to complete the dado section of a wall, which was originally meant to be used in conjunction with a statue’s base’s column or “die.” It’s easy to see why this use has fallen out of favor.

Since the size and height of the room were the determining factors, the Dado could be whatever height you desired. The rail would have aligned with the top of the die if the chamber included a bust on a plinth. There is little doubt that if the statue were even more impressive, it would be much higher.

Dado Rails: Are They Still In Style?

You may not find dado rails stylish; therefore, it’s up to you to decide. A dado rail’s usefulness may not suit your tastes, but there is no denying that some designers and DIYers have been creative with the dado area and with dado rails.

Dado rails have been around for a long time, but they’ve recently become increasingly popular as a decor element in homes around the country.

Wooden or MDF Dado Rail

Depending on their aesthetic and budgetary considerations, MDF or wood dado rails may be used in various settings.

As a starting point, consider the environmental aspects of your space. This refers to whether or not the item will be exposed to lengthy periods of direct sunshine or if it will be subject to dampness or condensation. 

Wood may expand or shrink due to these conditions, leading to bending, bowing, and splitting issues.

If you want to preserve the wood’s original appearance, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’ll paint or stain the rail. However, if you’re planning to paint over it, a wooden dado rail isn’t necessary unless you want the look of wood.

Given that MDF is thicker than most wood, the final paint on High-Density MDFis more uniformly spread and is less likely to be absorbed, while wood often leaves an uneven surface. Because of this, fewer coats of paint are required, which saves you money!

Finally, there is the price. Wooden dado rails come in a wide variety of styles. Economical MDFs like pine suffer the most when exposed to harsh conditions; however, hardwoods with properties comparable to High Density MDF may be used as an alternate source of supply.

There’s only one problem: They’re generally substantially more costly. This means that for the same price as a low-end wood dado rail, MDF may provide the same level of quality as a high-end hardwood.


When painting the wooden railing for walls, you have the option of painting it the same color as the wall so that it fits in or picking out a color from something like the skirting board to emphasize the boundary between colors.

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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