How to Create an Arched Doorway

By Carson Barrett

Used in many places by the Romans, the graceful curves of archways also provided the strength needed to support their structures. Having an arched doorway in your home can provide a touch of elegance. You can build an archway and install it in the doorway of your home using lumber, drywall and help from an assistant.

List of Items Needed

  • Utility knife
  • Handheld cutting tool
  • Multi-purpose cutting wheel accessory
  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-4-inch boards
  • Circular saw
  • Safety goggles
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • 1/2-inch plywood sheets
  • Drill
  • Drywall screws
  • Assistant
  • 1-by-2-inch board
  • 1/4-inch drywall
  • Spray bottle
  • Flexible corner beads
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Joint compound
  • 12-inch putty knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Oscillating tool
  • Sanding accessory
  • Dry rag
  • Primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  1. Cut away the drywall on the inner edges of the doorway to expose the frame, using a utility knife or a handheld cutting tool with multi-purpose cutting wheel accessory.

  2. Measure the width of the doorway and cut a 2-by-4 board to match. Consider this board the top board of the arch frame.

  3. Cut two sheets of 1/2-inch plywood to be the faces of the archway. The width must match the width of the door arch frame, and the height of the boards must match the height of the arch you wish to make. The arch can be any shape you want, but it must be identical on both boards.

  4. Attach the plywood boards to the long, thin edges of the top board with drywall screws, so that they extend downward from the top board evenly on both sides.

  5. Lift the arch into position in the doorway, then attach the archway to the frame of the doorway with drywall screws. Get someone to help you with this.

  6. Cut strips of 1-by-2 board to fit along the inside of the archway's bottom edge. Use a handheld cutting tool. You'll need a piece of wood every two inches along the edge.

  7. Attach the strips of 1-by-2 board with drywall screws along the bottom edge of the archway.

  8. Measure the bottom of the archway and transfer that measurement to a piece of 1/4-inch thick drywall. Cut out the drywall with a utility knife or handheld cutting tool.

  9. Cover the bottom of the archway with the strip of 1/4-inch drywall. Spray the drywall with water to dampen it enough that it doesn't crack when you bend it, then attach it to the 1-by-2 strips with drywall screws with the help of an assistant.

  10. Place flexible corner beads over the bottom edges of the arch. Staple the corner beads to the arch every three inches along the length of the arch.

  11. Place joint compound over the 1/4-inch drywall and the plywood faces of the archway with a 12-inch putty knife. Smooth the joint compound and allow it to dry for the time stated on the packaging.

  12. Add two more coats of joint compound to the archway, allowing each coat to dry before moving on.

  13. Sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper or an oscillating tool with sanding accessory until it is smooth. Wipe the archway down with a dry rag.

  14. Apply primer to the archway and allow it to dry.

  15. Paint the archway to match the surrounding walls. Use two coats of paint, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second coat.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles when using the saw.

© Demand Media 2011