I'm left with this old door frame (door has been removed) that is not flush with the existing wall. The way I see it, I have two options:

  1. Plaster over the timber and bring it out a few mm so that it's flush with the existing wall (I know it's not possible to plaster over timber, and any plasterboard would bring it out further past the wall, so unsure how I'd do this)
  2. Leave the doorframe as it is, and make a feature of it. But again, I'm unsure here how I'd neatly join the existing wall level to the timber level - any suggestions?

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3 Answers 3


Cut the plaster edge straight. Build up two more layers of casing. One that brings it flush with the plaster, and the next that covers the interface in the normal way. Two options for how these two layers meet the existing corner of the casing and jamb:

  • Flush: Line them all up flush with the jamb, then use filler and paint to hide it all.
  • Look at the detail where the jamb meets the casing now. Replicate that detail, or create something sympathetic to it, where each of the next two layers are set back a little more from the jamb, just like the first layer is. IMO this would look too fussy, unless your whole house is very ornate. But appearance is up to you. Look for "layered door casing" for examples.

I can't see terribly well from the picture but are you sure that's plaster? I can't see the lath and keys behind, although the crumbly bits do look like some failed plaster.

To me it looks like the casing is removed. Door casing is easily DIY, rent a miter saw, trim nails, construction adhesive, and a nail gun (or you can nail by hand with a nailset if you have the time) from the home center and pick up door casing from there or from a mill shop. Take careful measurements to get something that will hide unfinished work, caulk with the adhesive around small joints, add filler strips here and there. This is the modern approach.

You can also create a return in the plaster. I am not sure you have plaster here, but if you want a consistent and durable result, you can pick up metal lath, aluminum snips, more trim nails, and plastering material. Cut the wall return square as everyone has said, tack metal lath into the wood lath end, and to the door, either on a 45, or a 90 with the lath bent as a corner bead, then squish plaster through until it cures, paint. This is good because the plastering materials and experience will help around the house with repairs.


What I'd do is cut the rough edge straight and stack drywall, possibly with some wood spacers depending on thickness needed to bring the drywall surface flush. Finish the joint, then edge with some corner molding or similar. How much coverage of the existing frame is your choice.

The right thing to do would be to re-case the doorway, though that might be more work than you're willing/capable to do.


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