How to Install Drywall Bead for an Archway

What You'll Need
Drywall mud tray
Utility knife
Metal corner bead
Drywall compound
Composite arch tape
Taping knife
Sand paper

Drywall bead for an archway provides a traditional element to the architectural design and conveys an impression of good taste. Archways are easier than ever to build, and installing drywall build is no exception thanks to the many modern innovations and standards that have made many DIY jobs easier. Since most archways do not have any wood trim, you also don’t have to worry about getting involved in any complicated carpentry work. All you need is a few hours’ time and some basic tools and materials to apply beading to a standard 6-foot wide archway.

Step 1  - Install Corner Bead

Install the metal corner bead along both of the vertical sides of the archway opening. You should apply this along the height of the archway, stopping about 2 inches below where the archway starts to curve. When you reach the curved top of the archway, install the composite beading, unrolling it as you go. Cut it off with scissors when you need to.

Step 2 – Fold the Tape

Fold the composite arch tape in half along its length, pressing the printed faces together. You can use a special metal folding tool to make this easier though you can also do it with your hands provided that you wear gloves for protection.

You will then need to remove the strip attached to one side of the beading. This will allow the notches of the beading to expand along the flat surface of the wall. When you are done, fold the edge of this strip against the tape, creasing it in the process. Make sure that the separation is clean and take care not to damage the beading.

Step 3 – Apply Joint Compound

Use the taping knife to apply the drywall compound onto the flat wall and the archway itself. Beginning at the center, carefully press the beading in place, fixing it firmly onto the compound. Slowly work your way around the entire extent of the archway, making sure that the tape overlaps the corner beading on both sides. Make sure that the curve is as smooth as possible.

When you are satisfied with the installation, wipe away any excess compound left behind. Cut any excess tape off so that the end of it precisely meets the end of the metal beading. For extra strength and durability, you will need to add an extra coat of the compound, leaving the first one to dry first. Make sure that you do not make the layer of compound too thick.

Step 4 – Finishing Up

When the last application of the compound has set, you will then need to prepare the surface for painting. To do this, use a low grade sandpaper to smooth down the surface. Make sure that the surface is thoroughly dry before doing this.