I have clients who collect fancy plates, and they needed more room to display them. Plate rails were the obvious answer, but the only available walls for the rails were already painted, wallpapered and very uneven. I could pre-finish each rail to cut down on the risk of making a mess after installation, but the texture of the wallpaper made it difficult to scribe a rail for a good fit. My solution to this problem was to make up a two-piece rail that didn’t require scribing.
I attached the coved section to the wall with drywall screws, as shown in the drawing. The screws pulled the molding up to the wall tight enough to eliminate any gaps. Then I nailed the plate-rail molding to the coving from above. The nail holes are hidden from view, and variations in the wall are taken up by the joint between the coving and the plate rail.
—Rod Goettelmann, Vincentown, NJ
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #18