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How to Repair Plaster Around a Door

Updated February 21, 2017

A frequently used door in a high-traffic area of your home poses a hazard to the surrounding wall. You risk damage to the drywall that surrounds it every time you use the door. A doorknob can put a hole in the drywall, or vibrations can cause cracks near the door frames. Drywall is mainly cosmetic, but it also serves as a visual and a sound barrier between rooms. Repair any damage as soon as you notice it.

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  1. Cover the floor around the work area with dust sheets. Use the pointed side of your 5-in-1 putty knife to cut the caulk off both sides of the facial trim around the door. Scrape all of the caulk off the wall and the door trim.

  2. Drive the point of your nail puller under each facial board with a hammer. Pull the handle of the nail puller to loosen each board. Pull each board free from the wall, remove the nails from them all and stack the trim in an out-of-the-way location.

  3. Fill your drywall pan with compound, using a 6-inch drywall knife. Scoop 1 inch of drywall compound onto the tip of your 6-inch blade. Press the compound into the wall next to the door frame. Drag the drywall knife across the wall away from the door to apply an even coat. Apply compound all around the door frame. Let the drywall compound dry completely.

  4. Smooth the new wall with a sanding screen. Wipe away the dust with a clean rag. Reapply drywall compound to any areas below the surface of the rest of the wall. Let any repairs dry completely. Sand and wipe the wall clean.

  5. Hold the trim boards against the wall in their original places. Drive 8d finishing nails through the existing nail holes in the boards to secure them to the door frame.

  6. Countersink the head of each nail, using a nail set. Press wood putty into the hole above each nail head. Caulk the seams on both sides of the facial boards. Wipe the caulk with a wet rag to smooth and compress it into continuous beads.

  7. Cover the side of the trim boards with painter's tape. Use a paint brush to apply three coats of latex paint to the wall around the door. Let each coat dry completely. Remove the tape from the trim 15 minutes after the final coat of wall paint is applied. Let the paint dry overnight.

  8. Cover the edge of the wall around the door, using painter's tape. Apply three coats of latex paint to your trim boards. Wait for each coat to dry completely. Remove the tape from the wall 15 minutes after the final coat of trim paint is applied. Let the paint dry 24 hours.

  9. Warning

    Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • 5-in-1 putty knife
  • Nail puller
  • Hammer
  • Drywall compound
  • Drywall pan
  • 6-inch drywall knife
  • Sanding screens
  • Rags
  • 8d finishing nails
  • Nail set
  • Wood putty
  • Caulk gun with 30-year silicone caulk
  • Painter's tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Latex wall paint
  • Latex trim paint

About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.

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