How to Build a Dining Room Arch

Steve Watson of Don't Sweat It helps homeowners add character with a stylized archway.


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Materials and Tools:

2 small diameter columns
6 sheets 1/2-inch A/C plywood
1 sheet 1/4-inch luan
1 sheet 1/8 drywall
20 2x4x8 lumber
wood filler
circular saw
jig saw
measuring tape
reciprocating saw
safety glasses



1. Lay out the arch on a sheet of 1/2-inch plywood. Cut out half of the arch and use that piece as a template for the other half to ensure a perfectly symmetrical arch. Once the entire arch is cut out, use that as a template to mark the drywall on the existing header. Mark both sides of the header with the template.


2. Cut away the drywall using a reciprocating saw (or jab saw), and remove the drywall to expose the framing.

3. Next, cut out the framing.

4. Using the first arch as a template, cut a second arch out of 1/2-inch plywood.


5. Nail 8-inch pieces of 2x4 to the ceiling joists at 16-inch centers along the new header location.

6. Nail one plywood arch to each side of the blocks, creating a 9-inch wide overhead arch. Next, nail in more blocks of 2x4 along the curve on the bottom of the arch. Nail a piece of 1/4-inch luan plywood to these blocks to complete the structure.


7. Fill all the nail holes and the edges of the plywood, then sand flat when dry.

8. Cut the columns to fit the height under the new arched header and secure them in place.

9. Finish the arch by priming and painting to match the room.

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