Gilles' Outlet

June 6, 2008

Installing door casing when drywall is not flush

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gilles @ 6:29 am

While preparing a door frame for casing, we notice the drywall is not flush with the door frame.

The drywall is shaved to allow the casing to sit flat on the wall and on the frame.

Skill Level: 2 (Basic)

Time Taken: About 20 minutes

You have already seen me installing door casing here. It is usually an easy task when the drywall is flush to the frame. Sometimes, this is not the case. This short article describes one common technique used to correct the problem.

The starting point is pictures above: a piece of scrap casing is held on the drywall and a gap of about 1/4” appears between the casing and the window frame.

The tool for this project: a single blade tool


  • Painters use this tool to scrape paint of glass windows, or from ceramic tiles, among other things.


This tool can be purchased at home centers for around $3. I once purchased a box of 100 blades on sale at my local Harbor Freight for about $3.

I am usually not a big fan of HF tools but I figured that $0.03 a blade was a bargain even if they last 5 times less than more expensive blades. I must admit that so far, those blades have met and exceeded my expectations: they worked at least as well as more expensive, brand name blades.

Left: It is easy to see that the drywall is sticking out w.r.t. the door frame.

Using the single blade tool, I shaved a little bit of drywall at a time … 


Right: … like this. It is important to remove only enough drywall for the casing to rest flush with the wall and ensure the shaved region is still concealed under the casing.

I find it is best to cut a little bit at a time and use a piece of scrap casing to test. If the casing still does not rest flat, it is easy to see where material needs to be removed. It is a iterative process.

Left: A section of the wall where drywall was cut. It looks bad but everything will be concealed behind the casing.


Right: A piece of scrap casing now sits flat on the drywall / frame.

I continued all around the door, on both side. The door is now ready for casing. You can see this article here.

As you shave drywall, it is not uncommon to uncover finish nails, drywall nails or drywall screws.


  • Finish nails: I like to remove them with a pair of carpenter pliers. Finish nails are leftover from a previous casing installation and if you pound them in, they will eventually make their way out, possibly pushing the casing out.
  • Drywall nails / Drywall Screws: I pound them / drive them in. Drywall nails hold the drywall to the framing. It is best to pound them in because removing them would weaken the bond to studs.

Tools Used:

  • Single blade Tool
  • Hammer
  • Carpenter’s Pliers

Materials Used:

  • Scrap piece of casing


1 Comment »

  1. Great Idea…..Simple fix. I like it!

    Comment by Adam B. — January 12, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

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