How to Install a Door Trim with Uneven Walls? Carpentry 101

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Trimming your doorway is a fairly easy carpentry project. But that project can become difficult if the walls around the door jamb aren’t aligned.

How to install a door trim with uneven walls?

You have three alternatives. If you have a plain door trim, you can simply caulk the gap caused by unevenness. But that won’t work with textured trims. In that case, you’ll have to get rid of the drywall. This will make the trim sit flush with the wall and the jamb.

That’s the gist of what you can do if your walls are out of alignment.

We’d suggest that you keep reading for more detailed guidance!

Trimming Doors with Uneven Walls: How To Deal with the Unevenness?

Trimming a door is simple and requires little mastery on your part. But, the skill requirement goes up if you have uneven walls. 

The lack of alignment causes gaps in the setup. But even if there are gaps the situation isn’t a hopeless one. That issue can easily be fixed. 

Before we get to solving that issue, let’s first go over the trimming process briefly. 

Trimming a Door

As we’ve mentioned a number of times already, trimming is a simple process. Here’s how you do it-

Tools 

You’ll need the following tools:

  • A pencil
  • A meter tape
  • A miter box 
  • Clamp
  • Glue 
  • A hammer
  • Drywall nails
  • Nail set
  • Spackling compound

Step 1: Cutting Your Mouldings 

Line up the mouldings with your door jamb. First, line up the headpiece. Then, trace a line from the corner of the door jamb over the piece. 

Once the lines have been traced, set the moulding in a mitre box. Now, make 45° cuts along the lines. If you don’t own a mitre box, here are a few suggestions from us-

Product 1
Product 2 

Either of these will be a worthwhile purchase. 

With the cuts to the head moulding out of the way, you can now move forward. First, you’ll have to fix the top piece to the door jamb. Try using a clamp for this. Using a clamp instead of nails will prevent unnecessary holes in the piece.

After you’ve fixed it in place, you’ll need to take a few more measurements. Use a meter tape for the measurements. First, measure the length from the inner edge of the headpiece to the floor. Then, do the same for the outer edge.

Mark the side moulds at the exact lengths and then use the miter box to cut. Once all of that is done, you can move to the next step.

Step 2: Putting it All Together

Once all the pieces have been cut, take the headpiece off the door. Now, glue the headpiece to the side pieces and let it dry. 

When the glue has dried, the frame is ready for fixing. Before you start nailing it to the door jamb, you should make sure it’s aligned properly. Once you’ve aligned it, hammer in the nails. 

You can use a nail set to drive the nail into the surface of the moulding. And then, cover up the holes with some spackling compound. This will give the piece a perfect finish.

And voila! You’ve successfully trimmed your door. 

Trimming with Uneven Walls

Now that you’ve learned the trimming process you can easily follow along. The trimming process is very easy with even walls. But uneven walls make the process much more difficult.

Don’t worry. If you have uneven walls, all isn’t lost. It’s a problem but can be solved with a little extra work. You can try different solutions based on a few factors. Those are the trim texture and the size of the gap. 

Solution 1: In Case of Plain Trims And Small Gaps

Having a plain trim makes the solution easier. It’s the exact same as caulking your shower grout to get rid of the cracks. 

If the gaps are small, you will just need to use caulk to fill them in. Take the caulk tube and apply a generous amount of it to the gaps. Once the gaps are filled, press down on the caulk to level it. 

Next, wipe it down with a wet cloth. And finally, paint over the caulking to match the color of the trim.

Solution 2: In Case of Plain Trims And Large Gaps

If the protrusions are relatively larger, just caulking won’t cut it. In that case, you can use wooden shims to fill the gaps.

First, put together the trim and place it over the door jamb. Next, take a wooden shim and jam it between the trim and wall. Place the shims in the gaps between the trim and the drywall.

Keep placing shims along the entire outer edge of the trim. Once all the shims have been inserted, you should hammer in the 2-inch nails. After you’ve fixed the trim and the shims firmly in place, saw off the excesses. 

All this cutting will require you to use your handsaw a lot. It will get really dirty. But, there are ways you can clean your saw blade yourself.

Getting back to the trimming process, there’s only one more step left. Just caulk over the gaps in the woodwork and then paint over the caulk. This will make the trim level with the wall and the door jamb. 

Solution 3: In Case of Textured Trims 

As previously mentioned, in the case of textured trims you can’t just use caulk. In that case, you’ll have to get a little handy with the tools. The answer’s the exact opposite of what you do for uneven accent and wall tiles.

First, assemble your trim. Then place it on the door jamb. Now take a knife and scribe around the trim. Start at the beginning of the protrusions and stop at the end. Then remove your trim.

Once your marks are in place, hammer the protruding portion to break up the drywall. After the hammering, you’re gonna use a glazier’s bar. Set the flat head flush with the door jamb and hammer the other end. 

This will push the bar into drywall and you can then pry it out. Use the other end to scrape up the gypsum. 

When all of that is done, place your trim on the wall and check. If it sits flush with the door jamb, fix it in place with nails. 

That covers all the ways you can install a door trim on uneven walls. 

FAQs

Question: Will I split my trim if I hammer the nails too hard?

Answer: No, hammering the nail too hard will not split the trim. However, nailing in a chisel-tipped nail in the wrong way might split the wood. If the chisel tip is aligned perpendicularly to the wood grain it can split the wood.

Question: Can I replace my door trim?

Answer: Yes, you can. The door trim is fixed to the jamb with nails. You can pry the door trim off with a pry bar. Just stick the bar between the door trim and the drywall and push. This will get the moulding to come off.

Question: Should I scrape off the gypsum while removing the drywall?

Answer: Yes, when you’re taking off the drywall, scrape some of the gypsums as well. Do not scrape too much of it. Scrape only enough to make the housing flush with the door jamb.

Conclusion

That wraps up the answer to how to install a door trim with uneven walls. The processes of solving the unevenness issue are tedious. But they’ll remove the unsightly gaps between the wall and the trim.

Get your tools out, and follow along with this guide. And you’ll have perfectly aligned aesthetically pleasing door trims in no time.

Good luck!

Richard Allen