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Sticking Doors: How to Fix Them

Doors will eventually sag and stick as they age, usually once they reach the middle of their service life. It’s annoying to hear the cracks and snaps of the door, but it’s even more annoying trying to close it tightly. If adjusting the hinge doesn’t work, what you’ll need to do is plane the door.

In this post, Handyman Connection of Lincoln discusses how to fix a sticking and sagging door with a belt sander.

The First Steps

Start by scribing the door where it rubs against the jamb. Use a carpenter’s compass for this to accurately determine where the door is actually rubbing against. Once you’ve done your measurements, remove the door from its frame.

Contrary to popular belief, the best tool to plane the door is a belt sander. The coarse texture of the belt removes wood quickly and you’ll usually end up with an even finish. Technically, you can use an electric planer, but belt sanders are cheaper.

Sanding the Door

With your 50-grit sanding belt, all you need to do is remove the excess wood with it. Sand it right up to the line that you marked earlier, taking care not to sand into it. Make sure to keep the sander moving to avoid grinding a hole in one spot. Stop every few seconds to check if you’re sanding squarely and not creating a beveled edge. While this design used to be popular in older homes, this isn’t what you’re trying to achieve here.

Once you’re about a sixteenth of an inch away from the scribe line, we recommend switching to an 80-grit belt so you can cleanly and thoroughly sand the actual line. Finally, switching to a 120-grit belt allows you to smooth the edge of the door.

Once you’re done, all you need to do is to apply a wood stain or paint the sanded edge of the door. Here’s a tip: when you’re varnishing the edge of the door, apply some polyurethane using a lint-free rag. This makes varnishing less messy to do compared with using a brush.

If you’re not confident sanding and planing your sticking and sagging doors, then let our experts at Handyman Connection of Lincoln do it for you. Call us today at (402) 205-2575 or fill out our form to learn more about our repair services.

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