How to Build a Door Frame Into an Archway

Things You\’ll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Utility knife

  • Pry bar

  • Tape measure

  • 1-by-4-inch wood

  • Saw

  • Nails

  • Hammer

  • Drywall

  • Cardboard

  • Pencil

  • Drywall saw

  • Adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh tape

  • Joint compound

  • Paintbrush

  • Primer

  • 2-1/2 inch finishing nails

  • Paint

Doorway leading into hallway Removing doorways creates a light and spacious open plan. Image Credit: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

If you want to create a new look and feel to the interior of your home, turning an existing doorway into an arch is one way to achieve this. The removal of doors creates a more open vibe, ideal for a family-oriented or social household, while the arch gives a more finished and decorative effect than simply removing the doors. This technique is suitable for any width and height of doorway, provided the center point of the arch is no lower than 7 feet.

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Step 1

Unscrew the hinges that hold the door in place and remove the door. Remove the paint and caulking around the door trim by running a utility knife between the trim and the wall. Loosen, then remove the trim with a flat pry bar inserted into the gap. Pry doorjambs and baseboard molding carefully away from the wall and discard.

Step 2

Measure the width of the opening and cut two pieces of 1-by-4-inch lumber to one-third of the width of the opening. Cut another two pieces of 1-by-4 to a length of 8 inches. Nail the two 8-inch pieces to the top corners at the side of the opening, and the two longer pieces to the corners at the top of the opening, forming an L-shape in the top corners. These are the nailing blocks for the new drywall.

Step 3

Take two pieces of drywall and one piece of cardboard, and cut them to the width of the opening and to a depth of 15 inches. Nail the two pieces of drywall to the nailing blocks, one on either side of the opening.

Step 4

Draw an arch shape on the piece of cardboard. Cut it out to create a template, ensuring the arch is completely symmetrical and the high point is central. Note that if you purchased a kit, the template will be included. Hold the template against each piece of drywall on either side of the opening, draw around it and cut the drywall away with a drywall saw.

Step 5

Apply adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh tape to any seams between the wall and the arched pieces of drywall. Use a brush to apply up to three coats of joint compound over the mesh tape. Allow to dry, sand and apply a coat of primer.

Step 6

Take the prefabricated archway and push it into place, ensuring it is pushed as far up as it will go. Place the two column parts, or your own casing, into position on either side of the opening underneath the arch, and slide them onto the wall. Ensure the arch sits correctly and snug on the columns, then use 2-1/2 inch finishing nails to secure the columns and arch in place.

Step 7

Paint the drywall to match the existing wall color and the arch and columns to match the existing trim and woodwork.