Filling an Empty Doorway

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Remember when I told you about all the surprises this house has had in store for us? Well, one of those little set-backs is finally taken care of (well, halfway taken care of since there were two sides to the hole in the wall). The empty doorway that was in the baby’s room is no more!

In our particular situation, the previous owners removed a door and abandoned the opening after the addition of the sunroom, but instead of properly filling the doorway and creating a new wall, both sides of the hole were covered with paneling. Since one of the first things Isaiah did was take down the paneling, the hole in the wall became a thorn in his side.

Here’s what Isaiah did to remedy the situation.

Note: If any electrical outlets are located in the doorway, turn the breaker off to shut power. Remove old outlet box. (Isaiah replaced the old one with a new childproof outlet after he put up the new drywall sheet, in step 3.)

  1. Prepare the doorway area by removing the actual door frame and any other unsatisfactory framing or supports to bring the space down to the studs.
  2. Build a new frame by first measuring the height and width of the doorway. Then, with those measurements, cut five 2X4s (top and bottom, sides, and middle support). Nail the boards together to form a frame. Next, install the frame in the doorway and screw into place. See photo below left.
  3. Cut drywall sheet to fit the hole. Screw drywall sheet onto frame. See photo below middle.
  4. Grab a trowel and use paper joint tape and joint compound to seal the joints around the drywall sheet and existing wall. Use joint compound to cover the screws as well. Skim coat the entire opening. Once the mud dries, sand the surface. Go back and skim coat the whole wall to blend. See photo below right. Lightly sand, do another coat, and complete final sanding.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for the other side of the hole, as necessary.

Et voilà!

Hot tip: Take into consideration the thickness of your drywall sheet. When you screw the drywall sheet onto the frame, you want to make sure it sits flush with the existing wall. To ensure that the drywall sits flush, set the frame (step 2) inside the doorway such that it’s recessed deep enough to accommodate the drywall sheet. Our sheet was 5/8 in. thick.

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