Step-by-Step Tutorial for Repairing a Sticking Door - Handyman Services Durbanville, Brackenfell and Bellville

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Repairing a Sticking Door

Is your door sticking and becoming a nuisance? Don’t worry, with a little handyman know-how, you can easily fix this common issue yourself. In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through the process of identifying the cause of the sticking, adjusting hinges, and sanding. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and let’s get started!

Identifying the Cause of the Sticking Door

Before diving into repairs, it’s crucial to identify the root cause behind your door sticking. Here are a few possible culprits to consider:

  1. Swelling due to humidity: Wood tends to expand in humid conditions, causing the door to stick. Check if the sticking occurs only during specific weather conditions.

  2. Misaligned hinges: If the door is not properly aligned with the frame, it can lead to sticking. Inspect the hinges for any obvious misalignment.

  3. Settling of the building: Over time, buildings can settle, causing the door frame to shift slightly. This might lead to the door sticking. Check for any visible gaps or unevenness in the frame.

Adjusting Hinges for Smooth Operation

Now that you’ve identified the cause, let’s move on to adjusting the hinges, which is often the easiest solution to fix a sticking door. Follow these steps:

  1. Examine the hinges: Inspect all the hinges to ensure they are secure and firmly attached to both the door and the frame. Tighten any loose screws using a screwdriver.

  2. Evaluate alignment: Close the door and observe the gaps between the door and the frame. If the gaps are uneven, it indicates misalignment.

  3. Shim the hinges: Remove the pins from the hinges and place thin wooden shims or cardboard pieces beneath them. This will help realign the door and reduce sticking. Start with a single shim and gradually add more if necessary.

  4. Test the door: Once the shims are in place, carefully close and open the door to check if it operates smoothly. If it still sticks, you may need to adjust or add more shims until the desired results are achieved.

Sanding the Door for a Perfect Fit

If adjusting the hinges didn’t resolve the sticking issue, the problem may be due to the door itself. Follow these steps to sand the door:

  1. Remove the door: Carefully remove the door from the hinges by unscrewing them. Place the door on a sturdy work surface, ensuring that it is supported securely.

  2. Identify sticking areas: Close inspection will reveal the parts of the door that are rubbing against the frame or threshold. These areas require sanding to create a smooth, even surface.

  3. Start sanding: Using sandpaper or an electric sander, gently sand the sticking areas of the door. Move in the direction of the wood grain to prevent damage. Remove small amounts of wood at a time until the desired fit is achieved.

  4. Check the fit: Periodically test the door by placing it back in the frame. Check for smooth operation and adjust as needed until the sticking is completely eliminated.

  5. Seal or repaint: Once the door fits properly, consider applying a sealant or repainting it for added protection and aesthetic appeal.


Q: What if my wooden door continues to stick even after adjusting the hinges and sanding?

A: If these methods don’t resolve the issue, it’s possible that the door or the frame may be warped or damaged beyond repair. In such cases, it is recommended to consult a professional carpenter or consider replacing the door.

Q: Can I use lubricants to fix a sticking door?

A: It’s generally not advised to use lubricants on wooden doors as they can attract dirt and dust, potentially causing more issues in the long run. Adjusting hinges and sanding are the preferred methods for fixing a sticking wooden door.

Q: Are there any preventative measures I can take to avoid sticking doors in the future?

A: Yes! Here are a few preventative measures:

  • Ensure proper ventilation in your home to control humidity levels.
  • Regularly inspect and tighten loose hinges and screws.
  • Avoid extreme temperature or moisture fluctuations in the door’s surroundings.
  • Consider installing weatherstripping to protect the door against external elements.


Fixing a sticking door doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following this step-by-step tutorial, you can repair it like a handyman. Start by identifying the cause, adjust the hinges if necessary, and then move on to sanding the door for a perfect fit. Remember to exercise patience and make gradual adjustments for the best results. However, if all else fails, enlisting professional help or replacing the door may be the best solution. Enjoy the satisfaction of a smoothly operating door and the skills you’ve acquired along the way!

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