How to Install Bead in an Archway

This story shows how to install composite corner bead in an archway.


An archway is a classic architectural design element that can add character to your home and speak about your good taste.

Flank the archway with fluted columns topped with ornate capitals, and you'll give a room a stunning Greek neoclassical flair. A simple archway with a stucco texture on the walls can evoke an Italian villa, a Mexican hacienda, or California's Spanish Revival architecture. With smooth walls and sleek transitions, the look is thoroughly modern. So no matter what design vocabulary you speak, an archway will help you make a fluent statement.

Modern innovations in materials have made archways easier than ever to build and finish. Creating the curves is a straightforward process, and installing the bead isn't difficult when you follow the procedure here.

Many archways eliminate wood trim, so you avoid the lumber expense and skip an exacting carpentry chore.


Project time depends on the size of the archway. Plan on 2 hours to apply the trim on a 6-foot-wide arched doorway and apply the first coat of compound.

Utility knife, drywall mud tray, knives

Embedding drywall tape, installing corner bead

Opening is framed and drywall is hung.

Composite arch tape, metal corner bead, drywall compound

Step 1

Install corner bead along both vertical legs of the arched opening, but stop the metal at least 2 inches below the start of the curve. Unroll composite archway beading against the inner curve of the archway to roughly fit the length. Add 3 or 4 inches, and cut the tape with scissors. Cut another piece of tape to the same length for the other side of the archway.

Step 2

Fold the tape in half lengthwise along its crease, pressing the printed sides together. An inexpensive metal folding tool makes this a quick process. If you don't have the folding tool, wear gloves to protect your fingers from abrasion.

Step 3

To get the beading to follow the archway, you'll remove the strip along one edge to allow the notches to expand along the flat wall. Fold the edge of the strip back against the tape to crease it, and then zip it for a clean separation.

Step 4

With a 6-inch taping knife, apply joint compound to the inside of the archway and the flat wall. Starting at the center, press the tape firmly into the compound. Work around the archway until the tape overlaps the corner bead at both ends.

Step 5

Adjust the tape so that the curve is smooth. When you're satisfied with the result, wipe away excess joint compound. Cut the tape to length so that its tip exactly meets the end of the metal bead. You can apply another coat of compound immediately, provided you avoid excessive thickness. After that application sets, apply one or two coats of compound, then sand.

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One Hour or Less

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