Make bowed studs straight again
1 of 2
Photo 1: Check for problems
Lay a long straightedge across the studs to find studs bowed
more than 1/8 in.
2 of 2
Photo 2: Plane the stud
Hold the straightedge vertically along the stud and mark the bow. Shave off the bow with a power plane.
Drywall will follow the contour of
the studs, so if they’re bowed or out of
alignment, you’ll end up with a wavy wall.
And if your drywall contractor has to fix
the problem, you can bet that you’ll get an
You have a couple of options here,
depending on how many studs are bowed
and how badly they’re bowed. Start by
placing a long straightedge horizontally
across your framed wall (Photo 1). Mark
any studs that are out of alignment. The
studs should be within 1/8 in. of each
other. Anything more will be noticeable in
the finished wall.
Option 1: If only a few studs have
minor outward bows, a power planer will
quickly solve the problem. Simply plane
the bowed studs until they’re flush with
adjacent studs (Photo 2).
Option 2: For minor inward bows, simply
knock the stud out and replace it or
turn it around and plane off the bow. If
you can’t remove it, nail a long, straight
1x2 or 1x3 to the side of the stud.
Option 3: If you have a few severely
bowed-out studs that are more than
1/2 in. out of alignment, make a series of
1-3/4-in.-deep kerfs (saw cuts) every 8 to
10 in. in the bowed area with a circular
saw. Toenail a 16d nail through each kerf.
As you nail, the cuts will close and the
board will straighten. To reinforce the cut
studs, screw scrap 1-in. lumber alongside
the cuts, making sure the scraps don’t protrude past the edge of the stud.