A Common Situation:

Casing Problems:
Drywall Not Flush With Jamb

In This Article:

Protruding wallboard is cut back so the door casing can sit properly against the jamb.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: 15 Minutes

By , Editor


On this door some of the drywall protruded by almost 1/4". This was caused by the wall not being plumb. However, the door was installed plumb, and this small problem remained.

This is a very common problem in new construction and remodeling. This would be less frequent if more framing carpenters were eager to get out their levels and make sure all the walls were plumb.


Using a scrap of casing to check the entire door jamb, I quickly determined that the problem was confined to one short section. It's hard to see, but there is a large gap between the little piece of casing and the door jamb.


Using the same scrap, I let the edge overhang into the doorway and then made a pencil mark. This way, the mark would be just inside of the casing after installation.


This is how the casing would rest if the wall was flush with the door jamb. Note the slight recess in the back of the trim. It is supposed to help with this problem, but only for a small mis-alignment.

I marked the wall up to the striker plate, where the wall was okay.


Then I laid a straight-edge against the mark and made a cut. I cut twice to ensure full penetration of the paper. This is easiest if the knife is very sharp.

I used a chisel to scrape away the paper and a thin layer of gypsum. I can usually scrape this without having to hammer on the chisel.

A chisel may not be the best tool for all people. A rasp or Surform tool can be a better way to scrape away excess gypsum... but this method only works after the paper facing has been peeled away. 

When I encountered a drywall screw I just drove it in farther.  Nails would get pounded in.

After the scraping was done I vacuumed the floor.


Then I checked to see if enough material was removed.

After the casing was installed there were no gaps. However, the casing does rest on a different angle than the other pieces. This is the only trace of any irregularity. Certainly a much better result than having a 1/4" gap between the trim and the door jamb.


From back here you cannot tell that anything was ever wrong.



Tools Used:

  • Sharp Utility Knife
  • Level or Metal Ruler
  • Chisel, Rasp or Surform Tool
  • Vacuum Cleaner

Materials Used:

  • None

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Copyright © 1999, 2005  HammerZone.com

Written September 15, 1999 
Revised January 10, 2005