6 Reasons to Install Picture Rail Moulding

January 3, 2021

By: The Finished Space

Picture rail moulding is an interior trim element traditionally associated with vintage interior design. However, more and more homeowners are adding this unique feature to their modern homes. What are picture rail mouldings, exactly? 

Picture moulding is generally one-and-a-half to two-inch thick moulding that wraps around a room. It usually hangs at the same height as the top of the room’s window panes. However, it can also hang right beneath the crown moulding, just a few inches beneath the ceiling.

Traditionally, picture rail moulding was how people displayed artwork on their walls, and some still use it for that. Plaster walls were difficult to penetrate, and picture rail moulding was the solution. You’ll sometimes see this moulding in homes built before World War II.

Here are the top 6 reasons why many homeowners install picture rail moulding and why you might want to consider it, as well:  

1. Hang Artwork Without Screws or Nails


No one likes putting holes in their walls. However, screws, nails, and hooks are usually the only options if you want to hang artwork in your home. This makes holes in the wall inevitable and something you’ll have to fix later.

There are also a few other headaches associated with using screws and nails. If you hang something that is too heavy on a screw or nail,  you risk the art piece pulling out chunks of drywall and crashing to the floor. Plus, it’s easy to nail or screw right through wires or water pipes, accidentally.

Picture rail moulding allows you to hang your pictures right over the moulding – no screws or nails are required!  

2. Add Character

For Blog Only - Hanging Picture Rail

Most homeowners are looking for unique features to make their homes stand out. Picture rail moulding is an unconventional way to add intrigue to any room. Whether you want to hang art or simply add a line of picture moulding across the top of a room – It’s a terrific and eccentric way to add character to any space. 

3. Reposition or Replace Wall Art With Ease

For Blog Only - Picture Mould Hanger

Whether you’re a landlord who has frequent tenant switches or an art collector who repositions and changes out your wall art regularly, it’s nice to have the ability to reposition or replace your wall art with ease.

Even if you aren’t a landlord or art collector, the option to play around with different decor is a huge selling point for picture rail moulding. Instead of having to visualize and decide where and how you want to hang a decoration before seeing it, you can hang it on the wall and see it.

Try hanging your art vertically or horizontally. Swap out one piece for another. Try wildly different configurations without having to worry about ruining your wall. The freedom and creativity to design comes alive when you don’t have to worry about getting it right on the first try.

4. Create a Vintage Look

For Blog Only - Megan Pflug - Picture Rail Hanging Photos

Megan Pflug

Picture moulding and picture frame rails add an instantly vintage look to a room. It evokes a Victorian charm and nostalgia of simpler times. If your home design calls for a vintage look – picture rail moulding is a terrific way to achieve it.

Picture rail mouldings look terrific in shabby chic homes, vintage industrial homes, Victorian homes, and any other houses that call for some vintage charm. 

5. Create a Dividing Line For 2-Tone Walls

Two-tone walls are on-trend. The idea of painting a wall with two colors sounds simple in theory. However, it’s actually really challenging to make two colors play nicely together in an aesthetically appealing way.

Some people use stencils, and others use color washing or chevron techniques. However, many people choose to use the room’s crown moulding, chair line, or picture frame moulding to create a definitive break between colors.  

Having picture rail moulding makes two-tone walls easier to pull off. It’s a great way to separate the tones in a visually appealing way. The picture moulding creates a divide, which makes the color transition much easier on the eyes. 

6. Never Hunt for a Stud Again

For Blog Only - Golf Road Warriors - Picture Rail Hanging Shelves

Golf Road Warriors

Studs are framing elements used for building houses. They’re usually made of wood, though some new homes have metal studs. It’s important to know where your studs are if you want to hang decorations, heavy art, moulding, wall-mounted fixtures, appliances, and more.  

Rather than just hanging things into drywall (which won’t work), homeowners need to locate the studs to nail or screw into. However, finding studs is no easy feat.

You can use a commercial stud finder (a machine), but you may not have one on hand. That leaves looking for studs beneath outlets, knocking and listening for the studs, or measuring out where the studs should be (every twenty-four inches for older homes or sixteen inches for modern houses).

It can be frustrating having to locate a stud every time you need to hang something up. Picture rail moulding saves you from that hassle. Instead, when you need to hang new decorations, simply hang them from the picture rail, and call it a day.

Ready to Install Picture Rail Moulding in Your Home?

These six benefits make it easy to understand why so many homeowners choose to install picture moulding in their modern houses.

If you want to find the perfect picture rail moulding, trim, and other finishing touches for your home – go with Option M.