How to Make an Internal Door Into an Archway

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Transforming an internal doorway in your house into an archway does not necessarily require you to use a kit. Archway kits offer a way to add decorative molding to your archway, but you may leave your archway with simple drywall at the corners. When you design your own archway, instead of using a kit, you also can choose the exact shape of the arch, making it an ellipse, half-circle or other shape. Whatever design you choose, do not make the archway so tall that it reaches the ceiling.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw with wood and metal-cutting blades.
  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Carpenter’s compass
  • Masking tape
  • Drywall knife
  • Wood blocks
  • Construction adhesive
  • Wood screws
  • Drywall sheets
  • Drywall tape
  • Drywall compound
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Cut through the paint where the door’s trim meets the wall and the door jamb, using a utility knife. Insert a wide-blade putty knife under the trim and then insert a pry bar between the putty knife and the trim. Rock the pry bar back and forth to loosen the trim, moving up and down the trim until it comes free of the wall.

  • Cut through the nails holding the door jamb to the wall studs, using a reciprocating saw. Slide the door jamb pieces out of the doorway, and then cut through the nails holding the header board to the studs at the top of the doorway, removing the header board as well.

  • Measure the width of the doorway. Reproduce the width of the doorway on a large piece of cardboard, using a carpenter’s square to make your line straight. Position a carpenter’s compass on the line you drew, at the angle you plan to make the arch, and then draw the arch from one end of the line to the other.

  • Cut through the cardboard, along the lines you drew, using the utility knife. Lay the cardboard cutout on another piece of cardboard as a guide while you cut out a duplicate arch template. Tape the templates to the wall above the doorway, lining up the bottom edges of the cutouts with the top edge of the doorway.

  • Trace around the cardboard arch cutouts with a pencil, and then remove the cutouts. Cut along the tracings on the wall with a drywall knife. Pull the drywall inside the cutout areas off the wall, exposing the studs below.

  • Cut through the studs in the wall, at the border of the drywall you removed, using the reciprocating saw. Measure the space between the drywall at the archway you cut, and then cut wood blocks to fit in the gap.

  • Apply construction adhesive to the wood blocks, and then insert them into the gap between the drywall at the perimeter of the arch cutout, spacing the wood blocks 6 inches apart. Drive 1-inch wood screws through the drywall on one side and into the wood blocks, further anchoring them in place.

  • Measure the thickness of the doorway, and then cut strips of drywall to fit. Drive screws through the drywall and into the wall studs or wood blocks, holding the drywall in place. Dampen the backside of the drywall strips for the archway, helping them bend to the contour of the arch.

  • Cover all of the drywall seams with drywall tape, and then apply a layer of drywall compound over the tape, using a putty knife. Allow the compound to dry to the touch, and then apply one to two more coats of compound in the same fashion. Sand the dried compound after the final coat, using fine-grit sandpaper, matching the compound to the surrounding drywall.

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