Picture Rails Are Having a Moment on Instagram — Here’s How You Can Use This Vintage Feature to Save Your Walls

published Mar 6, 2023
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If you live in an old home, then your living room or bedroom may have thin strips of wood installed toward the top of your walls. Some homeowners, unaware of what these things are, opt to remove them when remodeling. But one Instagram user shows why that’s a shame — these strips of wood are actually picture rails, and when put to work, you can create a beautiful vintage-style gallery wall without filling your drywall with unnecessary holes.

Kelly from the @kellypea Instagram account shared a now-viral Reel showing how she used her home’s picture rails to hang framed prints, family photos, mirrors, and more without needing to measure, nail, or screw anything to the wall.

“When your 1931 home has picture rails, you use them,” she wrote in the caption of the post.

“I just realized that my home (built in 1920) has these, and I’ve been putting holes in the walls to hang art,” one commenter wrote. Another added, “WAIT. That’s what those are?!? Our living room has something like that (our house was built in 1933).” And another person wrote, “I never knew what those were!!”

Picture rails are truly a treasure hidden in plain sight. All you need is a hook and a length of chain and you’re ready to hang. There are a lot of vintage hook and chain options available through secondhand sellers, or you can pick up new hooks, chain, and even the molding from a retailer like House of Antique Hardware.

So if your old house has those strips of wood across the wall, don’t remove them! Save your walls and use them to create gallery walls the original homeowner would be proud of.