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picture rail catastrophe

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by WattleIdo, 21st Dec, 2015.

  1. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Can I have some help please? I have removed some picture rails because there was so much dirt behind them and they weren't sitting flush to the wall either.
    The walls are rendered and the rails were held on with nails attached to timber pieces which fit into holes in the wall. I presume the timber pieces were put in first and then the nails were hammered in through the rails.
    In any case, I'm now left with holes in the wall and loose picture rails.
    Wondering whether I should:
    • fill the holes with plaster and paint over - forget the picture rails
    • put plaster in the holes and somehow stand there holding the rails on while the plaster dries :confused:
    • try to use a nail gun through the rendered wall
    • somehow try to glue the rails with wood glue - and stand there holding them while they dry.
    Help please. What would you do?
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Drill new holes in the wall, cedar plugs and nail the picture rails back into position (a bit of liquid nails behind the picture rails will help).
     
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  3. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Thanks SNM. Not wanting to sound too dumb but ... what are cedar plugs and what do I do with them?
     
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  4. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    :)
     
  5. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Cedar plugs: [​IMG]
    You drill a 6mm dia hole, put in a plug (push fit), then bang your nail through the picture rail and into the plug. Putty over the hole

    Alternatively you could just use spaghetti or plastic plugs [​IMG]
     
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  6. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    That's one very good answer. Thanks. :)

    Yes, I think I'll try the cedar plug especially as that's the kind of thing that had been done before. Thanks so much xx
     
  7. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If you were buying this place with intent to keep the look, put them back.

    So has the timber plugs come out of the wall ? if yes, you could just replace with ones that fit snug.

    Is the rail warped ? if it is maybe you need new rails if they make the same shape now, you could also add more plugs and I would use screws to hold it all in place, better than small nails, will expand the plugs and less likely to get as loose, you will need to countersink rails though for the screws and will take more finishing.

    It is hard to say without seeing it.
     
  8. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Thanks dabbler,
    Some of the timber came out when I took them off and I found that the rails would sit better without them so I took off as much as poss.
    The rails aren't too warped though a few of them are doing backbends now that they're not secured.
    So your suggestion is to drill holes, insert plastic plugs, drill corresponding holes in rails, then use screws rather than nails?
    OK.
     
  9. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If the timber is warping, it was probably trying to do that on the wall, maybe they make new ones with same pattern/shape.

    If holes are still there and not crumbling, I would buy or make new timber plugs that fit snug, not too tight, but not falling out or spinning around, and would use screws to fix, if they are in bad shape, you could add extras, but will depend on how much they are warping. You could use plastic too, there are a number of ways to tackle this. But yes, I would use screws, but will be more work to finish to conceal the screw heads.
     
  10. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    The old rails will do fine, I think. The existing holes are huge so would need to cut up big chunks of timber and then shape them to get them in the holes ....;). Think I'll try using the cedar or plastic plugs. Or get someone else to.
     
  11. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If walls are old, may be hard to get small plugs to work well in the plaster and wall material, so it may be good to use those large holes seeing they are there.
     
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  12. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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    Whether you want the picture rails back on the wall or not, would it be easier take them off the walls completely first? I'm wondering if a dremel tool or Bosch multi tool could cut through the loose nails to get these picture rails off the wall, allow you to patch/paint, them put them back on the wall if desired.
     
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  13. Stu

    Stu Well-Known Member

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    Drill holes - insert new timber plugs (dowel) or spagetti tube.
    Patch existing holes. Sand wall. Paint wall at this point if you wish if picture rails are going to be a contrast colour.
    Sand picture rails on the floor to remove loose paint and get them prepped.
    Use fast grab construction adhesive as well as nails/ screw to put up picture rails.
    Laser Level can be using for putting up picture rails to make sure you get them nice and level if your floors are level.
     
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  14. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it would be easier (perhaps tidier/cleaner) to ditch them, patch & paint
     
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  15. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Start with 8 fingers & 2 thumbs, a sharp chisel and a length of Oregon or Meranti. Cut up a few wedges with the chisel (75 mm x required size). Hammer solidly into the existing holes (between the bricks ).

    Stocktake - no lost fingers.
     
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