How to round an archway

Written by janine logue
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How to round an archway
Decorative archways can be installed in one afternoon. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A rounded archway on the inside of a home adds an eye-catching architectural detail to an entry. Rounded archways look more complicated than they actually are. Archway kits take most of the work out of building a rounded archway. Kits usually come with a three-sided top arch and two three-sided columns. The kit pieces fit over the entryway frame and replace the existing casing and door frame.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pry-bar
  • Hammer
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Tape measure
  • Chop saw
  • 1-by-3-inch wood board
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Drywall
  • Box knife
  • Drywall screws
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Joint compound
  • Putty knife
  • Assistant
  • Archway kit
  • Level
  • Finishing nail gun

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  1. 1

    Remove the old casing and trim from around the entryway using a pry-bar and hammer. Take care not to harm the surrounding drywall.

  2. 2

    Cut the existing door frame from the entryway by sliding a reciprocating saw between the frame and the edge of the drywall.

  3. 3

    Measure the archway kit's rounded top piece to see how far down the wall the arch trim will come and cut two 1-by-3-inch boards the same length. Cut a third 1-by-3-inch board to fit in the top of the entryway. These will be used as cleats.

  4. 4

    Attached the 1-by-3-inch cleats to the top and sides of the entryway with wood screws.

  5. 5

    Cut two pieces of drywall with a box knife to fit the top of the entryway. Attach the drywall to the cleats on either side of the entryway using drywall screws.

  6. 6

    Use a piece of cardboard to make a template of the archway kit's rounded top piece. Trace the arch onto the drywall with a pencil. Make sure to do both sides.

  7. 7

    Cut the arch shape out of the drywall and cover all gaps, seams and screw holes with joint compound. Use the putty knife to make the compound smooth.

  8. 8

    Slide the first side column from the arch kit onto the entryway.

  9. 9

    Lift the rounded arch into position and hold it in to place while an assistant slides the last column piece onto the other side of the archway.

  10. 10

    Check to make sure that everything is plum and nail the trim into place with a finishing nail gun.

Tips and warnings

  • Be prepared to paint both rooms the archway will connect to. The corners of the new piece of drywall will be showing. Both walls and the archway will need to be painted for a completely finished look.
  • Always wear proper safety gear when working with tools.

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