There’s no better time like the present to roll up your sleeves and find out how you can complete home improvement projects and repairs yourself. All you need is a plan and the right tools for each job. Besides taking care of nagging repairs like a leaky faucet, you’ll increase the beauty of your home with fast and easy in-home repairs, like refurbishing your doors.
1. Refurbishing Interior Doors
Interior doors are usually made from wood and can be susceptible to seasonal changes in climate, which can cause squeaks or sticking. They also can be scratched from usual wear and tear.
What to Do:
- Inspect the hinges for deterioration or loose screws.
- If hinges look oxidized, add a lubricant to alleviate squeaks; work the lubricant into the hinge by opening and closing the door after application.
- If the hinges are caked with old lubricant or dirt, tap out the pins with a hammer and screwdriver and clean with steel wool, then clean the pinholes with a small circular wire brush. Remember to place a shim under the door for support.
- If screws are loose, place a wedge on the latch-end of the door for weight balance before tightening with a screwdriver.
- If a door continues to stick, use a planer to scrape a small layer of wood off the offending edge:
- Draw a line on the door at the spot where it’s hitting the jamb
- If that spot is at the top or on the handle end, you can plane the door without taking it off its hinges. If the tight spot is on the hinge end or at the bottom, take the door off its hinges and set it on its side to plane.
- Inspect the door surface for scratches.
- Fill any scratches with door filler, such as a pencil, crayon or felt-tip pen-type product found at many local hardware stores. Find the shade that most closely matches your door and rub it into the scratch.
2. Restore a Front Door
Exterior doors are made from wood or metal and are usually exposed to the elements. After years of wind, sun, heat and precipitation, your front door and all its hardware may need an upgrade.
What to Do:
- Inspect the door, hinges and hardware for damage, wear and tear.
- If repair is required, take the door off its hinges and remove the hardware.
- Place the door on saw horses and lay down drop cloths.
- Strip off old paint. While latex paint may need a chemical paint stripper for this job (work outdoors or make sure you work indoors with adequate ventilation), most paint can be removed using putty knives, paint scrapers, sandpaper and a hand-held sander or belt sander.
- If you want to finish the door as natural wood, remove all the paint, sand thoroughly and apply a natural product like mineral oil. If you’re re-painting the door, sand roughly until the door is smooth and ready for paint, removing all dust from the surface.
Be sure to stay tuned for two more posts similar to this one, part of our 3-part in-home repair series! And for questions or comments concerning this post, contact us or use the comment section below. Happy door maintaining!
About the Author
Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.