Bye Bye Beam: How To Demo an Annoying Architectural Element

Yo yo!  So once upon a time there was this girl.  And her name was Mandilicious.  She was buying her first home and looked and looked for just the right one.  Finally she found it.  Nasty carpet, dead cockroaches and all.  But aside from all of that there was one thing she thought was super intriguing, these beams in the doorways.  (Yes, this is the REAL MLS listing on my house.)

Living Room Before 2

She,  I mean, I had never seen something like that so I thought it was out of this world cool.  I have thought and thought about things that I could do to that little space, but everything I came up with just made the doorway seem so low and tiny on the high walls.


This little beam was the reason I decided to stripe my hallway, because it emphasized it.

Fast forward to now.

I hate the beam.

The beam had turned into a jungle gym, because of the beam there are wall footprints.


The beam was dead to me.

It had to go.  So it did.  And here is how we did it.

Start by getting the right safety gear for the job.  You need an eye protectant and a mask for starters.  Doing simple safe things like wearing a mask will prevent things that are not fun down the road.  Have you ever had spray paint boogers? Case closed.

3MDIY.comis a great tool to know exactly what is available and what safety gear you need for the job.

Mask Collage

Then you call in the brains of the operation to help you.  If you are as lucky as me it would be your husband.


Make sure you check out the video at the end of the post to see the whole process time lapsed into about 5 seconds.  Because he may be the brains of the operation, but I am the muscle.


Once your beam is safely demo’ed the fun part kicks in.  Time to make it pretty.

Casing out a doorway is SIMPLE.  I PROMISE!

We use preprimed 1×6’s (the wood kind, not the MDF kind).

Start by lining the inside of your doorway with the wood.  Make sure that it is the same thickness as your doorway (or it could get  a little awkward for ya.)

How To Case Out A Doorway

Once the inside of your doorways is framed, its time to take the operation to the outside.  I LOVE the custom look that you can get just by pulling your frame back an inch from the edge of your inner casing.  We used preprimed 1×4’s for the sides and 1×6 for the top apron.  Also remember this post where I told you my ceiling wasn’t painted all the way?  Good.  So don’t judge.



Once everything is cased in its time to caulk, putty and paint!

Normally I use the kind of putty that starts pink and then dries white.  Which is fine.  But on this project I used Patch Plus Primer and I LOVED it.  The reason?  With the primer already in it you don’t get the variation in sheen the way you do with regular spackle.  It was really easy to use (a little bit dryer than normal putty) and I was super impressed with how there was no pitting/sinking when it dried.

Patch Plus Primer

I used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Enamel in Tricorn Black (satin) to finish it off.

How To Case In an Entry

Black Doorway

How To Demo and Case In A Doorway

Bet you didn’t think the ENTIRE hallway was getting a makeover did ya?  Tutorials to follow!!

No one can believe that it is the same height doorway because it is SO much taller.  Finally I feel like you can sense the height of the ceiling and the best part?! NO MORE FOOTY WALLS!!

Oh wait.  HERE is the best part.  And awesome video where you get to see me being strong, getting interrupted, and dancing.  Pretty much a match made in DIY video heaven.  And while you are over there subscribe to my YouTube channel


I hope this post inspires you to realize that your house and the design of it is only limited by yourself.  If you have something like this that you hate, don’t be afraid to tackle it yourself.  Just make sure you are doing it the safe way!


Love Your Guts,  Mandi


I teamed up with 3M DIY Starts Here for this post.  All ideas, opinions, and video of me yelling at my children are 10000% mandilicious.


  • Sausha @ Sweet Pickins 04.10.2012 at 15:31

    I know this post is about your door way – but the planking looks awesome on the diagonal! i cant get enough of that planking, im still looking for more rooms in my house that i can do it in!

  • Bev Tank 04.10.2012 at 15:31

    I love how you showed your unfinished paint on the ceiling. We painted our walls about 6 years ago, and I still have a corner above the stairs that never got finished! Someday…

  • Sarah 04.10.2012 at 15:40

    I love it! ~ The real life moment in the video was awesome too ~

  • Carrie from Talking In Space 04.10.2012 at 15:46

    Love, love, love! I love that you used black trim instead of white. Gorgeous.

  • Emilie 04.10.2012 at 15:56

    Hi Mandi!

    LOVIN’ the whole hallway make over! Well done!

    The little space that used to be over your doorway is called a Transom.

    They are traditionally used, with a window installed in that space (but not always) that can be open and shut, to help with light and air flow. The hot air that pools at the top of the ceiling escapes out the transom and the cool air from other rooms enters in below. They are also used to give the illusion of higher ceilings. Which of course you did not need any help with 😉

    I thought this was a cool idea for a transom space

    That being said, if my transom was causing footy walls, I would get out my saw too!

  • Little Paper Dog 04.10.2012 at 15:57

    I loved you husband’s reaction when you told him not to throw the old beam away. Hilarious! :)

  • Gina (Lady Goats) 04.10.2012 at 15:59

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been trying to tell people all along that, if you don’t like it, get rid of it! I know I did.

    We have a plant ledge in our living room and had flat arches.

    Couldn’t stand them.

    Got rid of them (check it out here

    And totally jazzed up my plant ledge, but I still have no idea what I’m going to do.

    Oh! I’m in Chandler! Did you think of a time/place for Saturday?!

  • Erica @ Acire Adventures 04.10.2012 at 16:22

    Haha, favourite part of the video –
    “Don’t throw that away, I need that.”
    “For what?”


  • lannieseanpatel 04.10.2012 at 16:24

    I love the sneak peak to the living room/hallway makeover!! I didn’t realize you are re-doing or have re-done them! I can’t wait to see the new reveal!!!!

  • ChaoticallyCreative 04.10.2012 at 16:40

    Yay, I’ve been dying to paint my trim black but what do you think about leaving the doors white?

  • Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking 04.10.2012 at 16:55

    Cool, now you can invite NBA players over to see your pretty house!

  • Crafty Texan 04.10.2012 at 17:51

    Looks awesome Mandi!!

  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile 04.10.2012 at 18:36

    Wow, what a difference! I love that you painted the trim black instead of white and I LOVE what you’ve done with your hallway :)

  • Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick 04.10.2012 at 19:48

    FREAKIN awesome woman!

  • McKenzie Guymon 04.10.2012 at 20:45

    You are the best. I love this! Could you please just come to Summer Camp at my house?! We could have all sorts of fun DIY adventures.

  • Unknown 04.10.2012 at 20:46

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Kendra 04.10.2012 at 20:48

    It looks awesome! I am in love with your diagonal planked wall! I can’t wait to see more of it!!

  • megitys 04.10.2012 at 21:08

    AH! Awesome hallway treatment. Love how bright it looks now.

  • atypicaljourney 04.10.2012 at 21:12

    Seriously Mandy, you are a GENIUS. I’m so bummed that Epic Room Makeover is already selected for this year, because we literally JUST bought a house and it has these crazy timber beams in what we’re calling the Den. I have no idea what to do with them! One part of me finds them charming and rustic, but the other part of me thinks they’re dated and janky looking. I would love love love to see what you’d do with the room… it’s got so much potential – a HUGE fireplace, a wet bar flanked by built-in bookshelves, a bay window, and original 1970’s brick floors!
    It’s so unique, but I’m afraid I’ll never figure out how to make it feel like MINE. Maybe I’ll just leave it alone for a year and try again next year :)

  • The Moratov's :) 05.10.2012 at 00:43

    I LOVE your blog! You’ve got the most creative design ideas!

  • Ashley 05.10.2012 at 01:02

    Can I please tell you how much I love the style you’re switching to!? I’ve been following your blog for a long time now but these are some of the first pictures I’ve seen that I’m actually anxious for the tutorial and excited to find a place to do it in my own house! So, whatever bug bit you in the middle of the night, it can stay!

  • Celeste 05.10.2012 at 04:20

    diagonal paneling? what the what? who even thinks of these things? that looks completely fetch. (mean girls reference. If you got it, we are officially friends)

    • Cindy 07.10.2012 at 00:07

      Stop trying to make “fetch” happen.

  • Jamie 05.10.2012 at 13:05

    This was my fav video you made. I love that you shared a real life mom moment, this is my life. (i just had to stop and change a poopy diaper in the middle of typing this ha ha). My other fav is how you are all decked out in safety gear and Court is like “what ev”. 😉 I love your style and how sophisticated it has become. I swear that the shot of your finished door frame looks like what it could be in House Beautiful.

  • firefighterswife928 05.10.2012 at 14:19

    It looks awesome!! I just hope other DIYers don’t just cut down any old beam they don’t like. As the blogger, please remind them that, in some homes, the beam may be structural….whether it’s an eye sore, makes “footy walls”, or not! :) They could end up with REAL problems, and not just an eye sore, if they take out something and it’s structural. in AZ!

  • firefighterswife928 05.10.2012 at 14:21

    It looks awesome!! I just hope other DIYers don’t just cut down any old beam they don’t like. As the blogger, please remind them that, in some homes, the beam may be structural….whether it’s an eye sore, makes “footy walls”, or not! :) They could end up with REAL problems, and not just an eye sore, if they take out something and it’s structural. in AZ!

  • firefighterswife928 05.10.2012 at 14:21

    It looks awesome!! I just hope other DIYers don’t just cut down any old beam they don’t like. As the blogger, please remind them that, in some homes, the beam may be structural….whether it’s an eye sore, makes “footy walls”, or not! :) They could end up with REAL problems, and not just an eye sore, if they take out something and it’s structural. in AZ!

  • astr!d 05.10.2012 at 15:56

    that looks awesome!!! i just freaking love your style!! question- will the base boards and crown be in black or white???
    and poor little dylan, she just wanted some paper!!! lol, kids are so funny!!!

  • Kristen @ Storefront Life 05.10.2012 at 18:21

    Your timing is incredibly. I did the exact opposite this week, and put in a transom!

  • Derek and Amanda 05.10.2012 at 21:11

    You’re killing me. I want a house bad enough already, but you make me feel like I need a house. Patience Amanda, patience.

  • Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography 05.10.2012 at 22:17

    That looks awesome!!!

  • *katie 05.10.2012 at 22:54

    Awesome!! Looks sooo much better! And I’m excited to see the hallway!

  • Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust 06.10.2012 at 01:20

    I want to be Ivie’s favorite too! Ha ha. That was so cute. Thanks for the fun video & for sharing your project with us. It looks great.

    Warmly, Michelle

  • Esther 06.10.2012 at 02:38

    One word: LOVE!~!~! SOOOO much better!

  • Johnnie 06.10.2012 at 14:35

    Unbelievably super crazy awesome cool!! Wow. It has been awhile since a project got me this excited. Note to self, come back here often.


  • Cindy 07.10.2012 at 00:04

    That mask photo collage is the coolest thing I’ve seen since forever. I have no other choice but to share it on my Facebook page. xo

  • Ashlee 08.10.2012 at 18:57

    I seriously can NOT wait to see how you did youra planked wall. I am SO doing that in my living room this winter! I love it!!!

  • Jacki (Mom) 11.10.2012 at 17:11

    Mandi, I think you are amazing. One thought/question for you. Would you ever consider doing an “Ask Mandi” segment on your blog or through FB? I have a few features in my home that I hate, but I can’t figure out what to do with them and I’m sure you would think of something awesome.

  • resurrection | 29.09.2013 at 14:05

    […] we started to piece in the wood for the door frames, inspired by Vintage Revivals. We plan on staining ours with Minwax’s mahogany and a satin finish. We still need to finish […]


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