Nowadays, building arches in doorways has become a common practice especially for big homes. Having an arch doorway at your home isn’t just about making your entrance look more attractive; it can also serve as an enhancement to the overall feel of your home and, depending on the design of the arch, even add to its functionality. The best part is that they are not difficult to make, and you don’t need advanced carpentry skills or tools to do it right.
What type of arch will work best?
There are several types of arches you can build into your doorway. You’ll have a few things to consider when deciding which type of arch will work best for your doorway, so let’s talk about them.
Tools You Need
Concrete Saw, Screed, Caulk Gun, Paint Rollers and Tubes, Deck Screws, Tape Measure and Pencil (optional), 2-inch Nails. 1-5/8 inch Wood Screws. Utility Knife and Blades for cutting plastic sheeting if necessary. Layout Stakes and Hammer if needed.
The Right Materials
To build arches, you’ll need an arch cutter and a sturdy long ruler. It’s also helpful to have pencils, rulers, a carpenter’s square and some masking tape. We want our doorway arches to be built for decades of use, so we’re going with redwood. This wood is super strong and won’t sag or warp over time like composite woods can.
Prepare the Surface
When preparing a wall for an arch, it’s necessary to use a wide painter’s tape as a template. It’s also important that you take out all nails and screws from your wall before beginning your project; holes will make taping off difficult. Start by measuring how far you want your arch from each side of the doorway. Divide that number by two and tape off those measurements on either side of where you plan on installing your arch.
Step 1 – Cut Your Plywood Arch Shape
First you need to draw out your arch shape on a large piece of plywood. Measurements should be done correctly for accuracy, take into account that your actual doorway is not necessarily a perfect square or rectangle. You’ll also want to consider where your new arch will fall on your door, typically it’s placed high enough so that there isn’t too much of an overlap and it doesn’t look too out of place.
Step 2 – Attach and Glue Together
If you will be using your own door hinges, you’ll want to attach them first. Use wood glue and a nail gun to hold them securely together. Before screwing on each hinge, make sure it is level and perfectly aligned with your top 1 x 4s. Step 3 – Install Shelves: Using your Kreg pocket hole jig, drill one or two holes along each edge of all three shelves (to match up with your side pieces). This will make installing easier.
Step 3 – Stabilize with Nails
Once you’ve positioned and marked your arch, use a nail gun or hammer and nails to secure it into place. For small arches, you can achieve a similar look by attaching a piece of lumber over your doorway; if you’re doing so, be sure that no one will walk under it, as an extra foot of clearance makes a big difference.
Step 4 – Stain and Paint (Optional)
Stain and paint your new arches with a color that fits with your home’s interior. You can also choose a different wood stain if you like. Stain is generally water-soluble, so it should clean up with soap and water after you are done working on your project. Apply two coats of stain or paint, letting each coat dry before applying another one. Depending on what type of paint you use, a spray bottle or brush may work best to apply it evenly and prevent drips.
Step 5 – Add Hinges to Doors / Install Hardware (Optional)
When installing arches, it’s important that you use hinges and other hardware that can support its weight. Hinges are usually included with arch kits, or you can buy them separately at home-improvement stores. If your doorframe isn’t up to supporting an arch without sagging or bending, consider adding a steel support frame as well. A local builder can help you decide what would work best for your setup and needs.