The simple way to remove a door
Photo 1: Loosen the hinge pin
Close the door and tap the hinge pins loose with a hammer and nail.
Photo 2: Tap the pin up
Tap the pin up until it’s loose enough to pull out.
Photo 3: Remove the door
Open the door partway and pull it to the side so it drops off the hinges.
Photo 4: Remount the door
Replace the door on the hinges, using a pry bar if necessary to get the hinge leaves to fit together.
Laying new carpet, stripping or painting a door, sanding down a rubbing edge—there are any number of reasons to take a door off its hinges. And although it looks simple enough, it can turn into a finger-pinching hassle, especially when you’re dealing with a heavy, solid-wood door.
To make this job go smoothly, first close and latch the door. Then remove the hinge pins by tapping on the bottom of the hinge pin with a nail (Photo 1). Don’t try to drive the pins all the way out with the nail—you might damage the trim with the hammer. After they pop up an inch or so, try pulling them free with your fingers. If they’re stubborn, just drive up on the underside of the knuckle with a flat-blade screwdriver (Photo 2).
Slide a piece of cardboard under the door to protect the floor, then ease the door off the hinges by lifting slightly at the knob with one hand and under one of the hinges with the other hand (Photo 3). If the weight of the door makes it difficult to separate the hinges, wedge a pry bar under the door to take the weight off the hinges.
To put the door back on the hinges, grab the door at the center and tip it slightly toward the top, engaging the knuckles of the top hinge. With the weight of the door hanging on the top hinge, work the other hinges together. Push a hinge pin into whichever hinge lines up first, then tap in the remaining pins. If one of the hinges seems slightly low and the other hinges won’t fit together, place a pry bar under the center of the door and—with the lowest set of hinge leaves engaged—lever the door up until the other hinge leaves fit together (Photo 4). Close the door most of the way and hold it firmly for this step—the pry bar may try to push the door in or out as well as up.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Pry bar