Learn to fix or paint a door with ease

Has your door suffered some hard knocks? These pointers will teach you how to fix any squeaks or sticks as well as how to revitalize your door with a fresh coat of paint.

Fix or paint a door with ease
Learn to fix or paint a door with ease

Fix a door that squeaks or sticks

1. Door that squeaks. When a door squeaks, the problem is with the hinges.

  • Squirt a tiny amount of aerosol lubricant onto the hinge pins, and then work the door back and forth a few times.
  • With rising butt hinges, lift the door off of the hinge pins, lightly smear them with grease or petroleum jelly, and then replace the door (this is a job much more easily done by two people).

2. Door that stuck. A sticking door is usually caused by a buildup of paint on one edge. The problem usually arises in damp, wet weather, when the wood of an exterior door is liable to swell.

  • Rubbing the edge of the door with a candle may be enough to cure slight sticking.
  • Otherwise, wait for a dry spell, then strip the paint from the door edge and frame.
  • Repaint only when the door is completely dry.
  • If the door sticks on the bottom edge (which they often do), you’ll need to take the door off and plane or file it with a rasp to shave a small amount off of the bottom.

Paint a panelled door

Always open a door before you paint and slide plenty of newspaper underneath to catch the drips. Remove handles and other door furnishings such as escutcheons.

Here’s how to paint the most common door types:

  • Solid doors: Paint the panels first. Use a thin brush for the moldings (one that’s no wider than the moldings themselves). Don’t overload the brush, as this leads to drips and runs. Once you’ve painted the panels, do the horizontal sections between them, eliminating any runs as you go. Finish with the vertical sections.
  • Glass doors: If there are glass panels in the door, use masking tape or a paint shield to help keep paint off of the glass. If any paint does dry on the glass, it should be carefully scraped off with a glass scraping tool or a razor blade.

Doors need to be both functional and stylish. By maintaining them and making sure that their paint is fresh, you’ll have doors that are both!

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