Don't get me wrong, I like chair rail, I just don't like it in my living room. Chair rail is suppose to protect your walls from chairs and other furniture from getting too close. My problem is that all of my furniture sits below it and coupled with 8 foot ceilings means that my room is visually shortened. The rail stops your eye so it accentuates my short ceiling. If I could remove it then the eye could continue to the ceiling uninterrupted so making the room feel taller.
I also have cheap beadboard below the chair rail which would have to be removed to create my clean wall. Chris was very pessimistic about it. He thought the beadboard would have been glued on in addition to being nailed. Meaning that if it came down we would also have to replace all of the sheet rock.
Well, I got a little froggy and decided to do a little test. I wanted to see how easy it would be to take it all down so I picked a section of wall and got to work. Good news - the beadboard was not glued to the wall. Bad news - the people who owned the house before us installed solid wood floors and decided to run the wood up to the baseboards without removing and reinstalling them above the new floor. What this means is that I can't get the beadboard off the wall because it is stuck behind the baseboard which is stuck behind the flooring.
With this little development I am forced to go to plan B. I am going to paint the rail the same color and finish as the wall. It won't make the chair rail disappear but hopefully it will make it less noticeable. I plan on painting the whole room Benjamin Moore's Monterey White, which is the same color as in the kitchen. But first