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Hanging a doorHanging a door

Hanging a jamming door is a simple exercise if done the right way. Forget about the quick fix, because it will lead to more quick fixes. This is our experience. Measure twice cut once

When winter months approach timber doors will soak up air Bourne moisture like a sponge and get stuck. It happens every year. And, most carpenters/handymen take the same quick fix approach.

The wrong Way

They leave the door on the hinges and just plane the parts of the door that are jamming. Usually with a blunt hand or electric plane, leaving nasty ripple marks. I have even witnessed cases where a rasp was used, not sanded and paint not colour match to existing colours.

This is a good way to get a bad reputation, just for the sake of a quick few dollars. You fall into the hands of property owners who adopt the same mind set, which is, just fix it as cheaply as possible. WRONG, it will come back to bite you every time and end up costing a lot more.

Why would you dig a hole for your own business?


Do it once do it right. You are called out to repair doors that are jamming. Advice, front up with your nail pouch on. It instils confidence in the customer and they feel you are ready to tackle the issue head on.

Get Prepared

Put a drop cloth on the floor at the work face. If it is an old door then you will be confronted by screws that coated with many layers of paint, so much so that the screw slots are hardly visible. Solution, direct a heat gun at the hinge screws to soften the paint and simply gouge out the paint. Insert your screw driver to the slot and give a good wack. The screws will come out with relative ease.

Carefully remove the door and take it outside. Lay down a drop cloth and set up your saw stools atop. The drop cloth will gather all the wood shavings you are about to produce, which will save heaps of time at clean up stage.

The drop cloth will also prevent scratching the edge of the door. It is all about working smart. Set up your work site properly at the start and you will save time at the back end. Trust me, I am speaking from experience. I’ve seen tradies cutting timber with a power saw while they have the timber saddling over one of their legs, which is cocked on the back a work van, all because they cannot be bothered to set up properly. Consider the consequences!


Mark the location of the hinges and then plane a good 3 to 4 mm of the hinge edge, check in the hinges with a sharp chisel, or by using a hinge jig/template for your router. But, if you are only doing one door, it is quicker to use a chisel. Sand smooth and prime the exposed edge. With a very sharp chisel, scrape a section of paint off the bottom edge of the door and immediately fill this area with rapid set plaster mixed with a small amount of PVA glue.

Adding the PVA glue is like adding lime putty to cement mortar, it becomes far more workable and will adhere far better to timber. While the primer and plaster are drying, head off to the hardware store to match the paint colour from the sample you extracted.  Experienced technical sales people can usually get a 98% colour match. However, it will be unlikely to notice the patching as it will be at the very bottom of the door.


Back on site, sand the plaster patch, rehang the door. Always place a drop cloth down especially if the area has carpet. I always use masking tape to fasten the drop cloth to the floor and always have a bucket of clean water just in case I accidently spill paint. I will say it again, spend a little more time setting up, or spend more time trying to rid paint stains from carpet. Paint the primed edge and the patch at the bottom of the door with the colour matched paint. Vacuum any debris or dust, roll up the drop cloth and you are on your way.

We Are The Handy Man You Need!


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