How to Remove an Arched Doorway in a Wall

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Hi, guys! Here’s how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and drywall work.

I have been planning on closing off this archway between our Foyer and Playroom for years. I’m so excited to say I finally got around to it and couldn’t be happier, guys! Here’s how to remove an arched doorway in a wall.

You can use the tips and steps in this post to completely close off an archway on a wall or to square off an archway to give it an updated look. I closed mine off for 3 reasons; I wanted to make the Foyer the grand entry I knew it could be, I wanted to hide my messy Playroom away from anyone at the front door, and because of all the NOISE.

This may sound strange, but our open-concept home is a bit too open. The first floor has 6 rooms open to each other. You can see a quick look at all 6 in the video below. And, the second floor has a big landing with just a half wall separating it from the first floor Living Room and Foyer.

So, we can always hear what everyone else is doing in the house. It can get pretty loud when we have house guests. You can see in the video that our office also has 2 large doors on 2 of the walls. Eventually, I’d love to close off one of those too. But, that’s a story for another day. 🙂

Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches.
Here’s a look at the arched doorway just before I started demo. You can see here that my arched doorway is bumped out on one side with extra framing. If you don’t have a bump out, that’ll make demo even easier.

 

Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches.
And, you’ll see in the How to Remove an Arched Doorway Video, this is what that opening looked like after I removed the bumped out arch.

OK, let’s have a look at how to remove an arched doorway in a wall.

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Removing an Archway – Demo Time!

Demo time, guys! Whether you want to remove an arched doorway in a wall to close the opening or to just square off an archway, it starts with demo. You should work carefully and slowly to make sure you are only removing what needs to go.

Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches.
I started by hanging plastic to keep the drywall dust out of the rest of the house. Then carefully started to remove the drywall. I wanted to remove it in big sections to reduce mess and dust too.

Try to avoid removing any 2×4 supports in the wall unless you are absolutely sure they are not supporting the house. I did not remove any 2×4’s because that wall does continue all the way up to my roof. To make the arched opening that wide, there are multiple 2×4’s on each side supporting the weight of the header for that opening, and really the roof above it.

Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches.
I cut the 2×4 blocks between the 2 sides of the arched doorway with my reciprocating saw.

Here’s a look at how to remove an arched doorway in a wall. You can see in this video how I use a box knife to carefully remove trim and drywall around the arch. And, when I use my reciprocating saw, circular saw, hammer, and pry bar in the demo. Hopefully seeing it done can help clear up any confusion and give you the confidence to do it too.

Here’s a look at that archway partially demo’d. One side of the bump out framing is removed and most of the drywall is gone.
Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches. How to Demo Arched Doors in your home.
Don’t forget to Save this DIY on Pinterest

How To Square Off Rounded Archways

Usually the arched shape of an archway is made with plywood (like on mine) or by cutting an arch in drywall with framing blocks behind each type. If you want to square off rounded archways, carefully remove the drywall in the rounded corners to figure out the best way to remove an arched doorway in a wall.

Once you figure out how to carefully cut out the rounded drywall and how to remove the arched plywood, you basically have a square opening. Finish squaring off the drywall and removing any other bits of the arched doorway to prep the squared off opening for the next step.

Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches.
Here’s the playroom side of the arch after I removed the archway and was left with a squared off opening.
And, here's the foyer side of the squared off arched doorway. How to Remove an arched Doorway.
And, here’s the foyer side.

If you want to keep your newly squared off opening, you have 3 main ways to finish it now. You can install large doors, you can just drywall the opening, or you can install beautiful wooden trim around the opening to make it a cased opening.

If you’ll be adding wood trim, check out my tips for when to use caulk or wood filler on trim. I usually try to keep all of the trim in my home similar. This just helps give the home a definite style and makes it feel like it was planned and custom. I think that helps with resale.

I closed off my arched doorway by framing in the doorway with 2×4’s spaced 16″ on center. Each side of the opening also gets a 2×4 nailed into the 2×4 that was already there. This post is really about how to remove an arched door in a wall. It isn’t really about how to frame in an opening. But you can see more of this framing in the 15 beginner tips to cut and hang drywall video.

How to Close off an Arched Doorway in a Wall

If you watch the video for How to Remove an Arched Doorway in a Wall (above), you’ll see that I cut the drywall back on each side to get a clean, straight edge on the drywall. I needed that straight edge to make it easier to hang the new drywall next to it. You can find my 15 beginner tips to cut and hang drywall in a previous post. I framed in my opening with 2×4’s spaced 16″ on center, like the rest of my home.

Once the framing was in, I could hang the drywall. Next, in the foyer, I used construction adhesive and brad nails to hang 1/4″ MDF over the drywall. I wanted this foyer to have a large, grand feel. So, adding more trim and moulding seemed like the logical choice in my home that already has a lot of wainscoting, crown, and moulding.

Here’s a look at how I layered the drywall, MDF, and trim onto that wall in my foyer.

Here’s a look at the MDF panels I used to cover the drywall in my foyer. I made sure that the seams between the pieces of MDF would be under the wood trim I was installing.
I used the existing trim and moulding design on my stairs as the design for this wall. I also love a grid moulding look on stairs, similar to the DIY coffered ceiling design I put in my Dining Room.
The key to getting perfect looking wood trim and moulding is getting the wood filler and caulk right before you start painting. Check out my guide for when to use wood filler and caulk on wood trim for those tips.

OK, now let’s look at what the foyer looks like after following those steps to remove the arched doorway in a wall and framing in the squared off arch.

Here’s my new White Foyer, Stairs, and Wood Trim Now

First, here’s some pics of my foyer a few years ago so you can see the full makeover on this foyer over time. 🙂

Three years ago this foyer was blue with wood floors. It was before I started painting the walls in this house with a light colored paint scheme that made the whole house feel brighter and bigger.
By this point, we had installed tile in this room during our Kitchen Remodel. Hello toys in the foyer. 😉
One last look at the foyer. You can see the No Drill DIY Baby Gate Stairs Hack that kept my kids off those stairs for 4 years too.

AND, here’s the newly finished Grand White Foyer, Stairs, and the Wood Trim I installed in there. Now, I just need to decorate that Foyer to really finish it off and give the room that grand entry look I’ve wanted.

A white foyer with traditional stairs and with wood trim finish carpentry.
Here’s our Light and Bright White Foyer now. I’m so happy with how this turned out. I still need to decorate the Foyer. Side Note: I took this picture from the Dining Room where I just finished some big DIY projects, like that DIY Long Wooden Table Runner Tray in this picture and a DIY Gray Chalk Paint Furniture Makeover on the buffet (not in picture).
A white foyer with traditional stairs and with wood trim finish carpentry.
This wall is over 7′ long. I’ll be adding a big DIY Farmhouse Console Table and some wall art to this wall soon. You can now see why I decided to remove an arched doorway in a wall here to close this entry off. Now, I have a large, usable entry.
A white foyer with traditional stairs and with wood trim finish carpentry.
Another look at the Foyer from our Dining Room. You can see the DIY Coffered Ceiling in the top corner of this picture. The Foyer mirror I did that DIY Weathered Paint Effect on. And, the DIY Acrylic Paint Pouring Wall Art on the right.
A white foyer with traditional stairs and with wood trim finish carpentry.
One day, I’ll circle back and replace the carpeting on these stairs with something more colorful and fun. But, for now, I’m moving on to the Playroom Built-Ins.

The Playroom side of the wall will actually be completely covered with a built-in entertainment center and storage area, that I’ll be building. So, stay tuned for details on that built-in.

Looking for more of my Home Remodeling Videos? Check out this DIY Home Improvement playlist on YouTube.


I love this DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling makeover. It’s cheap and not too hard.

This DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling Install is a pretty cross between shiplap and v-groove panels. Here's what it cost with the build steps and how-to video.Check out this low profile, Simple DIY Coffered Ceiling for another great home improvement idea.

Try this Simple DIY Coffered Ceiling Design I used to give my Dining Room ceiling a beautiful new look. Includes lots of pictures and a how to video. DIY Ceiling Design Ideas. DIY Ceiling Makeover Ideas.

This DIY Board and Batten Wainscoting from Lattice Boards is another beautiful wall trim idea.

This beautiful DIY Board and Batten Wainscoting has completely updated this bedroom with a new high end designer look. And it was pretty easy. See the full tutorial and DIY tips here. #AbbottsAtHome #Wainscoting #DIYProjects #HomeRemodeling

You might also like this DIY Pine Tongue and Groove Porch Ceiling Makeover.

Modern Farmhouse DIY Pine Tongue and Groove Ceiling Tutorial that will turn your porch into that beautiful, charming spot you've always wanted. For most porches, you can have these wood planks installed in a weekend, guys! #AbbottsAtHome #PlankCeiling #PorchCeiling #TongueAndGroove

And, if it is time to Stain your Front Door, check out these steps for how I restain a front door without stripping it or removing it. 🙂


How to Remove an Arched Doorway

Here's how to remove an arched doorway in a wall with tips for demo, framing, and how to square off rounded arches.

Tools

  • Hammer
  • Pry Bar
  • Circular Saw
  • Recipricating Saw
  • Box Knife or Utility Knife

Instructions

Removing an Archway - Demo Time!

  1. Demo time, guys! Whether you want to remove an arched doorway in a wall to close the opening or to just square off an archway, it starts with demo. You should work carefully and slowly to make sure you are only removing what needs to go.
  2. Try to avoid removing any 2x4 supports in the wall unless you are absolutely sure they are not supporting the house. I did not remove any 2x4's because that wall does continue all the way up to my roof. To make the arched opening that wide, there are multiple 2x4's on each side supporting the weight of the header for that opening, and really the roof above it.
  3. Watch the video for a look at how to remove an arched doorway in a wall. You can see in this video how I use a box knife to carefully remove trim and drywall around the arch. And, when I use my reciprocating saw, circular saw, hammer, and pry bar in the demo. Hopefully seeing it done can help clear up any confusion and give you the confidence to do it too.


How To Square Off Rounded Archways

  1. Usually the arched shape of an archway is made with plywood (like on mine) or by cutting an arch in drywall with framing blocks behind each type. If you want to square off rounded archways, carefully remove the drywall in the rounded corners to figure out the best way to remove an arched doorway in a wall.
  2. Once you figure out how to carefully cut out the rounded drywall and how to remove the arched plywood, you basically have a square opening. Finish squaring off the drywall and removing any other bits of the arched doorway to prep the squared off opening for the next step.
  3. If you want to keep your newly squared off opening, you have 3 main ways to finish it now. You can install large doors, you can just drywall the opening, or you can install beautiful wooden trim around the opening to make it a cased opening.
  4. If you'll be adding wood trim, check out my tips for when to use caulk or wood filler on trim. I usually try to keep all of the trim in my home similar. This just helps give the home a definite style and makes it feel like it was planned and custom. I think that helps with resale.

Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve read these tips for how to remove an arched doorway in a wall, you can do it too. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.