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Is a dado dated?

(20 Posts)
SaintAlice Wed 12-Jun-19 13:10:25

Just that really. I'm planning on redecorating but don't know whether to pull out all the dado rails which were put in the c.1990s (it's a Victorian terrace but they're not original).
It makes a huge amount of extra work as the walls of a large knocked-though living room, plus the hall, stairs and landing will need to be re-skimmed if I do it, and all I was planning to do was a quick lick of new paint. But my (trendy) sister thinks they're awful.
At the moment I have one area painted in the same colour top and bottom, and up the stairs it's darker below and light above the rail.
Any thoughts on dado rails, Mumsnetters?

OP’s posts: |
macblank Wed 12-Jun-19 18:49:38


ATowelAndAPotato Wed 12-Jun-19 18:58:35

The only place we have anything similar is in it hallway. Painted plaster walls on the top, dado and then painted white wood panelling at the bottom. It puts up with the kids running up and down it and easier to keep clean/touch up than paint/wallpaper. Wouldn’t have it in living room etc though.

FermatsTheorem Wed 12-Jun-19 19:03:07

If original, keep. If a later addition, but "in period" then it becomes a matter of taste. (Typically they will have been in halls/stairs for practical reasons, but not in the reception rooms).

I once bought a 1960s flat where some numpty had put dado rails in! Bleurgh.

Knittedfairies Wed 12-Jun-19 19:21:50

Leave them alone! Far too much work/expense/mess to remove them if you are just after a quick update.

Doggiemama Wed 12-Jun-19 21:16:35

I’ve just had ugly dado rail removed from lounge walls along with a big plaster fireplace. Did not need to skim the whole room. I was having Artex covered elsewhere and the plasterer just carefully removed the dado rail, filled in the screw holes and the decorator smoothed and sanded the rough bits prior to painting. You could probably do it yourself or if you have a decorator,ask him. As long as it isn’t ripped off the wall, you should have minimal damage and certainly no need to skim the full room 😀

Sofasurfingsally Thu 13-Jun-19 13:49:26

Leave them in the hall. If they are at picture rail heights in other rooms, definitely leave. Otherwise, whatever you think. They can be made to work and they can look awful.

QuantamBaby Thu 13-Jun-19 15:52:59

It's a matter of taste really - I think they are pretty dated but if you keep it fairly neutral they can look ok.

Whatever you do do not put stripey wallpaper underneath the dado and flowery above it!!!!

SaintAlice Fri 14-Jun-19 08:35:15

Thank you. As the reaction has not been one of shock and horror, i think I will leave them for now, but minimise the effect by not picking heavily contrasting tops and bottoms.
Do you think they make a small room look smaller? Like a belt, bringing the walls inwards?

OP’s posts: |
CassianAndor Fri 14-Jun-19 08:37:38

are they dado rails or picture rails?

We have dado rails in the hallway, which I like, and picture rails in the through lounge room (all here when we bought the house). I think I'd find dado rails a bit of a pain in a living room, but they look nice in the hallway.

MumUndone Fri 14-Jun-19 08:47:45

Agree that dado rails are for hallways only. Picture rails for other rooms.

Camsie30 Fri 14-Jun-19 08:49:29

Leave them! My house is Edwardian with original plasterwork. I have white paint above and F&B Down Pipe below, I think it's lovely!

Bluntness100 Fri 14-Jun-19 08:53:59

I really dislike them and had them in a previous Victorian house too. I was also tempted to remove them. I didn't simply because of th cost involved and the work required in re plastering etc. But I'm with your sister, I don't think they look good and have never seen any that do.

Paint the wall all one colour, two colours just emphasises them and makes it look worse.

Biancadelrioisback Fri 14-Jun-19 08:59:30

Ive just finished doing my house which was top to bottom woodchip and dado rails.
It all had to go and actually wasn't as much work to remove. The woodchip was, that was about 3 weeks trying to strip (wallpaper, painted repeatedly, then backing paper, then woodchip, then paint on top of paint for the next 50 years), the the dado rails really came off quite easily. Quick skimjob in a few places but all doable.
We had to try and do it all before and after work (both full time) and around a toddler so probably wouldn't have taken a professional as long .

anarchyhouse Fri 14-Jun-19 13:50:51

stripey wallpaper underneath the dado and flowery above it.

^^is this a thing of the 90s? I never realised if it was. I seem to remember this in a friends house. Fond memories!

QuantamBaby Fri 14-Jun-19 14:23:45

Yep - it's very 90s!

My friends house was redecorated a lot by her bored but rich mother. Kitchen was navy blue white stripes with navy and yellow flowers above. Lounge was pink stripes with huge pink flowers above, hallway was the most amazing peach and bottle green combo... I have a migraine just thinking about it grin

MikeUniformMike Wed 19-Jun-19 20:16:10

I think it's 1980s/90s. Newlyweds moving into new builds were putting them in. I'd remove a little bit of it and assess the damage to the plaster before deciding.

Polyjuice Wed 19-Jun-19 22:56:46

can look great in a period home hallway with bold use of colour.
Otherwise - not so much.

wajiha25 Thu 20-Jun-19 06:44:27

I have them everywhere in my 1990s new build they are annoying as you can't get your furniture right up to the wall plus you are limited with the wall space you can use for hanging pictures and artwork. They are literally in every room, and with low ceiling they look awful imo.

minipie Fri 21-Jun-19 23:29:13

I am putting one in to our hall and stairs! Dark below, light above.

The modern way to do them is to paint the dado rail (and maybe the skirting too) the same colour as the walls. So it’s there as a feature but not a white line across the room, which is what looks dated. And definitely no patterned wallpaper. (Unless it’s anaglypta which i reckon is going to come back soon).

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