How to Fix a Sticking Door

Can You Paint a Fiberglass Door?

1. How to Locate the Problem Area

Look at the door and inspect it. Look for paint wear or any other obvious damage to the door or frame. Additionally, look for any dirt or sticky buildup that may only require cleaning. Close the door and examine the space between the door and the frame, paying attention to any areas where the space is particularly small. It is ideal to check an outside door in a sunny or well-lit area.

Wrap the closed door with a sheet of paper with thick stock. This is a helpful tool if you can’t locate the sticking spot on the door by physically inspecting it. Most of the doors should be easily navigated by paper. The trouble spot is wherever the piece of paper gets trapped.

As you open or close the door, look for any spots that might stick. Try closing it with your hands on the bottom, side, and top of the door. As you close it, you’ll be able to sense where there is the most resistance. Take note of the hinges. The door sticking can be the result of squeaky hinges. This implies that they need to be lubricated if you hear it.

Take note of the season. Humidity changes are probably to blame if the door just appears to be slightly sticking. When the humidity increases, wood expands and shrinks when the humidity decreases. Because a door that sticks in the summer might not stick in the winter, it is crucial to comprehend this. In this situation, you should try a less extreme option first, such as lightly sanding the door, as it would otherwise be drafty and shrink in the winter.

2. Taking Care of Seasonal Sticking

Check the humidity levels in your home as part of your initial examination because one of the most typical causes of a sticky door is swollen wood. Use bar soap to scrub the trouble spot. The door should close more smoothly as a result of less friction. Use a soap that leaves a powdery residue on the door’s sides and is dry and moisturizing-free. This is a gentle and temporary remedy that will occasionally need to be used when it’s humid.

Start the air conditioning. The removal of extra moisture from the air and a reduction in indoor humidity are two purposes of an air conditioner. This expensive fix will assist with your sticky doors, though. The size of the wood door will decrease when the humidity in your home decreases.

You can purchase a sanitizer for a long-term solution. Try running a dehumidifier in the space if humidity makes your door swell and stick. A dehumidifier functions by drawing in air, eliminating moisture from the air, and then returning the air to space. A dehumidifier’s main benefit is that it is portable, allowing you to place it next to the stuck door.

3. Hinges Lubrication Techniques

fixing sticking door, half-opened

Determine if the issue is with the door hinges. It is not surprising that doors can begin to tarnish after being opened and shut numerous times. The door may stick as a result of friction created by scratches and other minor hinge problems. You can go one step further and remove the door from the frame if you are concerned that the lubricant might stain it. Find out here how to take a door off its hinges.

Lubricate the hinges with petroleum jelly, after completing this, repeatedly open and shut the door to allow the jelly to penetrate the hinge joints.

4. Getting the Hinge Screws Tight

As you open and close the door, look at the bottom and top of it. The door may be dragging on the floor or stuck near the top. If this is the case, the hinges’ screws may have become looser over time.

To tighten each screw, use a screwdriver. Avoid using a drill since over-tightening the screws might harm the wood and lead to worse issues. Work slowly and clockwise to ensure that you don’t tighten it too far. Since hinge screws are prone to stripping out, you might need to use a longer screw or plug the hole before tightening it again.

The distance between the door and the frame can be reduced by tightening the screw and vice versa. Play with it until it is just right. Possibly the hinges were bent if that didn’t work. With the hinge pin removed, bend the hinge knuckles back slightly with a wrench so that the door will readily open when you reinstall the pin.

5. Getting the Door Trimmed

Verify that the issue is not simply temporary or more manageable. You might need to trim your door if you’ve made sure the hinge screws are firmly fastened, that the hinges are properly lubricated, and confirmed that the problem is not due to a brief increase in humidity. This is a complex and long-lasting remedy.

The door should be removed after making a note of the sticking point on the door. In order to avoid over-trimming your door, it is crucial to identify precisely where the door is rubbing.

Trim the door using a precise block plane. A straightforward woodworking tool called a block plane enables you to shave wood very thinly. It is ideal for this operation since it allows you to make small adjustments to the door’s width or height without creating excessive gaps between the door and frame. Use a palm sander to remove the wood off your door if you’re a novice or if there isn’t much of it to remove.

Refinish or repaint the door section you just cut using a block plane. This step might need to be repeated if you don’t make sure it is the right size first. Your door will appear and function like it is brand new once the paint has dried.

Sometimes the issue goes beyond a bloated door or some loose screws. Sticking doors can also be caused by shifted foundations, though foundation repairs are not recommended for do-it-yourselfers. Concrete or mortar fractures, gaps around windows or doors, and drooping floorboards indicate a foundation issue.

Contact a qualified foundation repair business to evaluate the matter if you believe the foundation is the problem. Leaks, bug infestations, structural issues, and other issues can be caused by foundation issues, so they should be fixed as soon as is practical. Foundation repairs should always be handled by a professional.

In conclusion, there may be many different reasons why your door is stuck. You can fix a sticking door by yourself, as described above. If you cannot solve the source of the problem yourself or you do not feel adequate for the technique to be applied, you can always get support from a professional.


  • Bayram Sarıkaya

    Hello, my name is Bayram and I’m 26 years old. You may know me from my writings here on Hardware Culture. I'm trying to convey what I've learned over more than four years of blog-searching and forum journeys. I'm a technical employee at a radio station, the almost polar opposite of the natural habitat where I think I belong. I love my job as I used to toy with technological gadgets when I was a kid, too. My hobbies are writing papers on cinema, playing basketball, and playing guitar. Now, let's get back to the plants, the topic of this biography. Why I share my opinions and reviews here is to share the knowledge with others who might be up and coming and having trouble finding the fundamental info on the net. I see myself in those and feel a kind of fraternity. Let's walk this road together for we’ll enjoy the experience of each other.

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