A Quick Guide to Picture Rails

Image source: Carlos Garcia Interiors

What is a Picture Rail?

A picture rail is not just a decorative moulding, it has a very specific purpose and, just as the name suggests, it is used to hang pictures from. It is a great alternative to drilling holes in the wall and it makes moving pictures very simple. To move the picture left or right, you simply move the hook along the picture rail and if you'd like it to be higher or lower, you can adjust the chain at the back of the picture.

Pictures hung from a wooden picture rail with picture hooks in the beautiful living room of @_banks_ave on Instagram

During the Georgian period, the most fashionable interior walls were divided horizontally into three parts, reflecting the proportions of a classic column and traditionally, we think of a picture rail as a thin wooden moulding below the cornice from where pictures were hung.

Image source: Louise Booyens Interiors

Here the picture rail was fitted much higher on the wall so that it looks as if it is part of the cornice. Image source: Shelterness

However, if you do not have a wooden rail, the brass picture rail is a great alternative. A selection of pictures can be hung from a picture rail system using chains.

A perfect example of a brass picture rail system in the beautiful sitting room of

Carlos Garcia