(Produced by Stephanie Han Kim. Photos, Christie Vuong.)
When stylist Jenn Park Krulik and her husband, David, moved into their Toronto home in 2021, they knew it needed a few high-impact design touches to make it truly theirs. The first order of business? Adding an arched doorway to improve the flow between the dining and living rooms.
Inspired by a DIY door archway hack shared by TikTok user @eyeinthedetail, Krulik then added a fluted oak trim to make the arch stand out. “I love how tactile the fluted wood is,” she says.
Adding the trim cost less than $350 and took just a weekend to accomplish. And don’t be intimidated by the scale of the project: “If we can do it, anyone can,” promises Krulik of this simple DIY doorway arch project.
First, calculate how many lengths of trim you need to cover the surface of your arch. (Krulik used two full lengths of trim and cut the third to fit, placing the seams near the ceiling, so they would be less visible.) Then, align the edge of the trim to the edge of the arch and mark the width on the back with a pencil.
Pro tip: The width of the arch may not be not consistent all the way around. Before you cut, double-check your measurements.
Pro tip: Krulik cautions against using an electric saw, which can destroy the delicate oak veneer. (She’s speaking from experience!)
Pro tip: If the trim doesn’t align perfectly with the edges of the arch on your first try, you have time to place it in the right spot before it dries.
Fill in nail holes with a wood filler or joint compound. (For a budget-friendly option, try this one.) Once dry, lightly buff the surface with fine grit sandpaper.
Pro tip: Wood filler comes in a variety of shades to match different types of wood; pick one that matches your trim as closely as possible. Test it on a similar sheet of plywood first if you're unsure.
With a fine-tipped brush, dab on wood paint over the filler to add dimension to door framing.
Pro tip: “You don’t want the paint looking too perfect,” says Krulik. “Changes in intensity mimic the grain of the wood.”
Where the trim and the edge of the arch meet, Krulik spackled on drywall filler with her finger and then, once dry, painted it to match the wall.
Pro tip: Protect the trim with painter’s tape before spackling on filler.
For an easier take on this project, paint the inside of a doorway in a hue that complements your walls.
Not ready to commit to an accent wall? The inside of an arch is the perfect way to experiment with wallpaper.
Adding an ornate moulding or trim around a door instantly lends dimension and visual interest.
Make the most of the empty space above your home’s doorways by installing shelves for extra storage.
Originally published in 2022; updated in 2023.
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