We are renovating our house and we have a door in my office that is going to conceal a small bar. It's supposed to be hidden so we are planning on wallpapering over the door and using a push-to-open latch.

It's modeled after this design:

enter image description here

Anyway, the door is installed but the contractor is saying that we need to have door trim around it. Obviously having trim around it is going to make it pretty obvious that there is a door there, kind of spoiling the effect. He said we could wallpaper over the trim but that seems a bit odd too. Is there no way to seal up the gaps around the door with putty or joint compound or something to make it flush enough with the wall so that we can wallpaper over it?

Here is what the door currently looks like. Note that it was not supposed to have a hole for a knob so we are going to have that filled in.

enter image description here

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    Door trim is to hide imperfections between the door and wall. I thought you always had to use door trim also, then I watched the TV show West Wing. They do not have trim around their doors and it look a bit odd at first, why I noted it.
    – crip659
    Mar 24, 2023 at 10:59
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    You don't need the trim but without it you may have problems with the edge of the dry wall deteriorating unless you provide some kind of edge to protect it.
    – gnicko
    Mar 24, 2023 at 13:36
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    @crip659 The West Wing (the real one, not just on the TV show) is obviously a bit of a custom build. If you want to spend a lot of money, you can make stuff like that happen... Mar 24, 2023 at 13:48
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    I don't see why you necessarily need door trim if you do a good job with the jambs and their transition to the drywall (corner bead).
    – Huesmann
    Mar 24, 2023 at 14:12
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    Fully invisible doors are usually achieved by using paneling or other finish materials across the entire wall or region of wall, incorporating the door and its trim into the design. Book shelves are a common way to do that. With drywall it's not going to be totally invisible so you need to define the job a little better, There are all kinds of edge materials and products for drywall and all kinds of door finishes.
    – jay613
    Mar 24, 2023 at 14:26

4 Answers 4


You can use a flat tear-away bead to provide a clean finish to the drywall edge around the door.

Before mud: enter image description here

After mud: enter image description here

Finished: enter image description here

  • I just noticed... in the "after mud" picture, it shows a bead of mud left behind where the strip is being torn away, while in the "finished" picture, there's no bead there. Are we to presume that this bead was simply sanded off? That seems logical, but I'd think it's an important tip to mention how one gets from step 2 to step 3.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 29, 2023 at 11:17

If you are willing to do some rework (or for those future people who haven't done any drywall yet), you can use J-trim, sometimes called U channel or J bead.

For example, here's the first link that I can find that should be semi permanent to what I'm talking about:

It's used to dead end drywall into another material, but can be used to help prevent contact damage when transitioning to a doorframe. I've used it for that, myself.

Random video on how to install the trim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akeOM_EKkwU

Once you have that on, you can simply use drywall tape and mud to bridge the gap between the trim and the doorframe.

I did this on the inside of my front door 3 years ago and it looks a lot cleaner than standard molding. I'm planning on doing the rest of the house this way. There are places where I will need hidden hinges simply so they aren't sticking out and in the way, like in hallways, but I didn't bother with that for the front door. That is obviously a door and the hinges are protected by a set of shelves behind the door, so no one is likely to run into them.


starting with, you need new hidden hinges. Then you can fill the gaps between the door frame and the stucco wall.

To cover the gap and make the mud stick, use stucco mesh. It is slightly adhesive on one side so it will stay in place while you work.

It looks like this


Finally the great deception trick would be to install wall (door) mounted lamp, or hand a painting.

  • 2
    Good point about the hinges being visible. A bit of a giveaway no matter how well the rest of it is hidden!
    – FreeMan
    Mar 24, 2023 at 11:53
  • The other giveaway will be the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. You can hide it by putting molding on the bottom (as well as on the walls, which currently lack it), but unless the construction is very precise, having the molding go all the way to the floor may cause it to scuff or even stick when opening/closing - and an arc-shaped scrape on the floor would be an even more obvious giveaway. High pile wall-to-wall carpeting might also help. Mar 24, 2023 at 13:53
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    Until the carpet starts to wear from the door swing. ;) Those of us who do construction (for a living or DIY) tend to notice things like gaps in molding. Those who don't, don't tend to notice. (Source: walking through "Home-A-Rama" type house tours and noticing shoddy trim work while those around me are oohing and aahing over how nice it looks.)
    – FreeMan
    Mar 24, 2023 at 15:37
  • Yeah you're right about the hinges. We had planned on handling that by painting them the same color as the wallpaper. The flooring is wood so no carpet to hide the gap or grab the door. We do plan to put baseboards down there with a little clearance on the bottom. Obviously we have to make some concessions for the sake of functionality so it doesn't have to be perfect.
    – d512
    Mar 24, 2023 at 16:58
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    Just note that the baseboard on the door is going to bang into the baseboard in the corner unless you bevel the heck out of it or use parliament hinges (which will require door tuning to work right) Mar 24, 2023 at 17:45

yes I would use drywall compound to finish the area where the trim would go and then cover it with the wallpaper.

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