To close a doorway with drywall, first make sure the door, hinges, and threshold are fully removed. Then, remove the casing trim from the door frame. With the casing removed, cut away the drywall on the top and sides of the door to reveal ¾-inch of the 2×4 studs that frame the door. Then, cut a 2×4 to size and nail it to the floor as a footer. Nail vertical 2×4 studs in the doorway opening. With the studs and footer in place, cut your drywall to the size of the doorway and screw it into place. Finally, use paper tape and joint compound to patch the drywall joints and create a seamless wall.
7 Steps to Close a Doorway with Drywall
Whether you’re relocating a door to a more advantageous position or your remodel requires that you close an entire doorway off, you can tackle the job simply. Interior walls are typically stud and drywall, without insulation. This makes closing doorways with drywall much easier than walling off doors in exterior walls. Below, we’ll walk through exactly how to use drywall to close off an unwanted interior doorway.
Remove the Door, Hinges, and Hardware
Use a screwdriver or electric drill to remove the hinges from the doorframe. This will remove the door itself, as well as hardware that secures the trim to the 2×4 frame studs.
- Use an electric drill or screwdriver to remove the screws holding the hinges to the doorframe.
- Remove the strike plate from the door.
- If your door has a threshold at floor level, remove this.
In addition to the hinges, remove the strike plate from the door. The strike plate is the metal tab on the door frame that makes contact with the latch. Additionally, any threshold at the bottom of the door frame should be removed using a pry bar and hammer.
Remove the Casing
With a hammer and pry bar, remove the trim casing around the door on both sides of the wall. Work carefully, prying the trim away bit by bit to avoid damaging the drywall surrounding the door.
- Use a hammer and pry bar to remove the casing trim around the doorframe.
- Remove the trim on both sides of the wall.
- With hammer and pry bar, remove the casing on the inner surfaces of the doorframe. This includes the trim that the hinges and strike plate were screwed to.
- Once complete, you should be left with 2×4 studs that frame the doorway.
Once the casing trim on the walls is removed, use the hammer and pry bar to remove the casing on the interior of the door frame. The goal is to strip the door opening back to 2×4 studs and drywall.
Cut Away Drywall at Edge of Door Frame
With the casing fully removed, trim back the drywall that surrounds the doorway. Cut the drywall so that ¾ of an inch of the 2×4 frame is exposed on the top and sides of the door opening. This will provide the surface area required to attach new drywall in a future step.
- Use a utility knife to cut back the drywall surrounding the door frame.
- Expose ¾-inch of 2×4 on the top and sides of the door frame.
- Repeat for the opposite side of the doorway.
Repeat the process for the opposite side of the door. It’s essential to prep both sides of the wall in order to install new drywall on each side.
Install a 2×4 Footer
Measure the distance between the sides of the door frame at the bottom of the door opening. Cut a 2×4 to fit this space. Position it on the floor in the opening so that it is flush with the existing 2×4 studs. The 2×4 should be positioned so that the wider side is against the floor, with the narrow sides facing outward. Then, nail the footer to the floor.
- Measure the distance between the sides of the door frame at floor level.
- Cut a 2×4 to fit this distance.
- Nail the 2×4 to the floor, spanning the sides of the door frame. This will serve as a footer.
A footer is essential because it serves as a place to secure the bottom edge of your drywall sheet. Make sure the board is positioned so that drywall installed on both sides of the wall will be flush with the footer and the existing studs surrounding the door opening.
Add 2×4 Studs
Vertical wall studs provide structural support. They also provide a place to secure your drywall when it comes time to hang it. If you cover a large doorway, such as a double-door entryway, nail vertical studs to the header and footer every 16–24 inches. If the doorway is 32 inches wide or smaller, nail one stud upright in the center of the opening.
- Nail upright studs in the doorway opening.
- For doorways larger than 32 inches, nail one vertical stud every 16 inches.
- For doorways 32 inches or smaller, nail one stud upright in the center of the doorway.
- Drive nails in at an angle to secure the studs to the doorway header and footer.
To secure the stud upright, cut it to the proper length to stand on the footer and fit snugly against the header. Then, nail the stud to the header and footer. Hammer the nails in at an angle so that they secure the stud to the header and footer.
Cut and Install Drywall
Measure the opening in your wall. Then, cut a section of drywall to match the dimensions. The best way to cut drywall is by using a pencil to mark the dimensions of the cut. Then, use a utility knife to cut the drywall.
- Make sure to use drywall that is the same thickness as the existing drywall. In most homes this is ½ inch.
- Measure the dimensions of the doorway opening the drywall has to cover.
- Mark the dimensions on your sheet of drywall.
- Use a utility knife to cut the drywall to size.
- Attach the drywall to the wall studs, header, and footer with 1 ¾” drywall screws.
- Space the screws 12 inches apart.
- Repeat the process for the opposite side of the doorway opening.
Once your drywall is cut, put it in place in the opening. Drive in 1 ¾-inch drywall screws into the drywall around the sides, top, bottom, and along the new wall studs. Drive in one screw every 12 inches. After finishing one side of the door opening, repeat for the opposite side.
Tape and Patch Drywall
To seamlessly cover the drywall opening, use joint compound and paper joint tape to seal the seams between the new sheet of drywall and the existing drywall. You’ll get the best results by applying the tape with the first coat of joint compound. Then, apply 2–3 subsequent coats of joint compound, sanding between coats. This results in a smooth finish.
- Apply joint compound and joint tape to seal the area where the new drywall meets the existing drywall.
- Apply 2–3 coats of joint compound to achieve a smooth joint.
- Sand between coats of joint compound.
- After patching and sealing joints, paint the wall to make a seamless fix.
Now, all that’s left is the final coat of paint. Just make sure to follow the right process so you can hide your drywall seams with paint.
How Do You Close a Door Opening with Drywall?
When removing a door and covering the opening with drywall, you should:
- Remove the door, hinges, threshold, and any other hardware.
- Use a pry bar and hammer to remove the trim and casing on the door frame.
- Cut the drywall surrounding the door to expose ¾-inch of the 2×4 studs framing the doorway.
- Nail a 2×4 footer in place across the bottom of the doorway.
- Nail vertical studs to the header and footer every 16 inches across the opening.
- Cut your drywall to size and screw it to the header, footer, frame studs, and new vertical studs.
- Seal the joint between the new and existing drywall with joint compound and paper tape.
When covering a doorway opening with drywall, keep in mind that several of the steps must be performed for both sides of the wall. Removing casing, cutting away drywall, and installing new drywall must be done on either side of the wall. This will increase the time and materials required as you plan the actual project costs.