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Freeing a Sticking Door

Project Overview

Doors stick when the hinges sag, when the door frame shifts, or when humidity causes the door and door frame to swell. If the door seems to be sagging within the frame, make sure the hinge screws are tight. Screws that are loose may need to have their screw holes repaired. If the door continues to stick, you'll need to plane or sand the door edge at the point where the door touches the door frame. After you're done, don't forget to refinish the edge of the door.

4 Steps

  1. Drive Hinge Pins Out
  2. Tighten Loose Screws
  3. Insert Golf Tees Into Worn Holes
  4. Drill Pilot Holes

Step 1

Drive Hinge Pins Out

Drive the lower hinge pin out with a screwdriver and hammer. Hold the door in place and drive out the upper pin. Some hinges have an access hole in the bottom. To avoid marring the hinge finish, you can insert a nail or small Phillips screwdriver and drive the pin upward.

Step 2

Tighten Loose Screws

Once the door is removed from its hinges, tighten any loose screws. If the wood behind the hinge will not hold the screws tightly, remove the hinges completely.

Step 3

Insert Golf Tees Into Worn Holes

Coat wooden golf tees or dowels with wood glue and then drive them into the worn screw holes. Let the glue dry completely and then cut off the excess wooden tee.

Step 4

Drill Pilot Holes

Drill pilot holes in the new wood and rehang the hinge with the new wood as a base for the screws.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner


Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


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