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A dado (day-doe) refers to the area below a chair rail (aka dado rail or skirting board).  The lower boundary is typically a baseboard.

The original function of the chair rail was to stop chairs from damaging the wall.  The space below the rail quickly developed into a design opportunity.


A dado (or wainscot) is a great opportunity for decorative painters. Oftentimes, it will have existing paneling, which lends itself nicely to faux marble, wood, stone, and patinas.  dado-03

If the look of paneling is desired, use trompe l’oeil techniques to create a 3-D illusion (as seen below)dado-04

A dado can also refer to the flat, central part of a pedestal or pilaster (I call it the shaft).

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