The drywall around my door frame is proud of the door frame. One one side it is pretty small, maybe 1/16in. But on the other side, and part of the top, it gets as large as 1/4in.

I am unsure of the best way to deal with the gap once I put the casing on. I read about ripping a thin piece down on a table saw. But in this case, it is uneven and not really tapering. It is 1/4in at the top, 1/8 at the middle, and 1/4 at the bottom again.

Is this a size gap I can caulk? If not, what would you suggest is the best way to deal with this gap?

Thank you!

  • 3
    Can you post pictures of it? It seems either the drywall is bow out or the frame was not cut straight. A straight edge should tell.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 0:33
  • 1
    Indoor door, presumably?
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 0:55
  • @keshlam it is the inside of an exterior door.
    – evt
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 1:03
  • @crip659 sure. What sort of photo would be helpful?
    – evt
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 1:04
  • Is the drywall proud of the door frame, or proud of the trim? Usually, the drywall goes over top of the door frame (the king and jack studs).
    – SteveSh
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 1:50

5 Answers 5


I've used three techniques to deal with this problem, which can be caused by several issues.

Fix the underlying issue
Sometimes it's a result of sloppy framing (misaligned trimmer studs, king studs, and header). It may also be the result of material such as vapor barrier sealant creating spread, or it can be due to lumber in legacy sizes, such as the 3-5/8" stud seen in the 60s and 70s. You may be able to rectify that enough to deal with the problem through various means. Sometimes it's as simple as adding a few more screws through the drywall. Sometimes you need to run a saw down the stud to clear debris.

Trim back the drywall
Do this by cutting through the surface paper about 3/8" (10mm) inside the outer edge of the trim position. Then, either shave down to the level of the jamb or simply fold the edge down tight, depending on whether there's a gap behind. Be sure to vacuum the raw gypsum well so it's not leaking dust for months.

This approach requires a little creativity (compound angles) when doing the casing joints because they'll be tilted, but it can work well. If you don't have a compound miter saw, lift the appropriate end of the workpiece with a block to get a back-tilt.

Install extension jambs
Make them uniform thickness to achieve a level about 80% of the thickest offset. Install them with a reveal (not flush with the jamb), for best appearance. Since most modern jambs have a rounded corner, setting them flush makes an awkward joint, and flush joints are challenging to begin with.


There are many good approaches to this problem, but here’s the quick and dirty:

Pound the edge of the drywall down with a hammer. Yes, pulverize the gypsum until roughly flush with the door jamb. Try to stay within the first 1.5 inches and absolutely don’t hit outside the width of the casing you plan to apply.

Now buy stock in your favorite provider of paintable caulking, because you’ll use a fair bit to make this look innocuous.

  • 3
    I've done this, too, but you really want to clean up that dust or it'll leak out for months (or longer). Cut it away and vacuum it. I'm not sure what the caulk would be for. Done right, this technique results in a standard appearance.
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 12:59
  • 3
    I've had to do the same several times to fix sloppy drywall installation. I'll add that a trick I use is to slip a piece of scrap lumber between the hammer and the drywall to widen the area being shaped. Helps keep the appearance even by spreading the force out.
    – Chris O
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 16:41

Ideally the frame would match the wall thickness and be level on both sides of the wall.

You don't have that luxury, so you'll need some trim that has been rebated on one edge in the back - so the trim is thicker on the door edge one edge than on the drywall edge.

This will probably mean you'll need to modify the trim yourself. Ideally you'd use a shaper but I'm guessing you don't a have a full woodwork shop. A table saw or router could be used instead.

Start with 3/4" trim, don't try this with 1/2" thick trim.


This happens because there is a bow in the jack stud next to the doorframe.

It isn't the end of the world. Install your casing, nailing it to the door frame first. After those nails are in add a few to the outside of the casing where the gap might be larger, to pinch the gap a little closer. There will be a little "give" in the casing that will take up some of the gaps. The rest can be caulked and will be unnoticeable unless closely scrutinized.


Rip a 1/4" strip of wood and glue it onto the edge of the door frame. Now your drywall will be even at the top and bottom, and the frame will be 1/8" proud of the drywall in the middle. Sand the glued edge flat, paint, install your casing, and caulk the edge.

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