How to Repair Wooden Doors


Wooden doors can split, warp, swell or stick--especially in hot and humid regions or areas that have frequent temperature fluctuations. In addition, doors are in constant use, which can lead to eventual loosening and damage. Periodic repairs are necessary, and are (fortunately) very simple and straightforward. Read on to learn how to repair wooden doors.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood glue
  • Screwdriver
  • Waterproof wood sealer
  • Paint removal tool
  • Wood stain or paint
  • The first thing you need to do is diagnose the problem. Cosmetic damage such as splits or cracks can be remedied using wood glue. If a door is misshapen or warped slightly by the elements, it won't lock or latch properly. In most cases, you can use your screwdriver to remove and realign the plate into which the lock fastens. However, if the door is seriously warped, your only recourse is to replace the door.

  • If the door is merely loose, use your screwdriver to tighten the hinge screws, then adjust the strike plate by loosening its screws and shifting it slightly.

  • A door that binds or sticks could be sagging on its hinges or may have a collection of paint buildup or dirt that prevents it from opening and closing easily. Tighten all hinge screws (being careful not to overtorque or strip them), then take a paint removal tool and remove the excess paint/dirt. This normally solves the problem. If needed, re-paint or stain the door and finish with a good quality wood sealer to protect the integrity of the wood from future moisture damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If dealing with a taller door, use a sturdy stepladder to reach the upper areas of the door.
  • If you're working on an interior door, open nearby windows and be sure the area is well ventilated. Paint, wood stain and some types of wood glue produce toxic fumes that should not be inhaled over lengthy periods.
  • Be sure to avoid getting any materials such as paint, sealer or other elements into your eyes. Observe all cautions listed on product labels when performing this or any DIY project.

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