Are the walls supposed to be painted different shades above and below the picture rail?
Our rail is about 18 inches or so from the ceiling and still the original stain.
You commonly see either all the same colour top and bottom, or different colours here. I guess it's up to personal preference. I like a lighter colour top, daarker colour bottom personally.
I use the ceiling color above the picture rail; my ceiling color isn't "ceiling white", though. Also, my wall colors are medium/dark- I didn't want too much dark, so it stops at the 8' line, where the gold picture molding is. I like the effect.
How high are your ceilings? Also do you have crown molding and how wide is it. We have 12 foot ceilings and what we did was to paint rail and the area above the picture rail the same as the wide crown and the same finish, not the same as the flat ceiling white. This gives you the look of a very wide crown and has the same sheen as your crown. I love the way it turned out. Our walls then are all the different rich colors we used throughout the house. The trims are a rich "melted vanilla icecream color". Just another idea for you. Caroline
I've done mine the same way Casey did - ceiling color above the picture molding, wall color below. With high ceilings it makes the room more cozy. Also in a small room with high ceilings it makes the room appear bigger. Actually, any size rooms with high ceilings appear larger than they do with the wall color continued to the ceiling.