How to Trim a Sticking Door with a Hand Planer -- by Home Repair Tutor

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How to Plane a Door

Over time, doors may begin to stick and bind. Sometimes simply tightening the hinge screws will solve the problem, but occasionally it is necessary to resize the door. For large adjustments, you may need a saw, but to remove wood edges up to about inch (1.0 cm), you can plane the door edges to relieve the binding.


  1. Open and close the door to locate the trouble spots.Mark such spots with a pencil on both sides of the door so that you can maintain the door's symmetry.
  2. Remove the door from the frame.Unscrew the hinges from the door face. Tape the screws to the hinges to avoid misplacing them, and set them aside.
  3. Lay the door on a stable surface.You could balance it on sawhorses or a worktable, or you can lay it on the floor.
  4. Plane the hinge or lock sides of the door in the same direction of wood grain, applying light pressure to remove very small amounts of wood at a time.
  5. Plane the top or bottom edges of the door from the outside edges to the center, again removing only small amounts at a time.If possible, plane both sides equally to maintain the symmetry of the door.
  6. Re-hang the door, and check to see if it still sticks.If so, remove it and plane another small amount from the edges. Continue to plane from each side until the door no longer binds in its frame.
  7. Lightly sand the exposed wood to smooth it.Apply primer and paint the exposed surface, or apply wood sealer to the planed area. Replace the door, tightening the hinge screws properly to prevent sagging.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can a hollow core interior door be cut at the bottom so that I can put new vinyl over existing vinyl? How much can be cut at the bottom?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
  • Question
    How do I hold a door to plane the sides?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can either buy a door stand (e.g. Trend Adjustable Door Stand) or create your own jig using off-cut timber.
  • Question
    I have a non-wood door that needs to be planed for my new flooring to fit. How would I do that?
    Community Answer
    It greatly depends on the type of door. If it is a metal or fiberglass, I'm afraid you are out of luck. Some types may be able to be sanded down. However, never use a plane on anything except wood.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I plane the width of a door to fit?
  • How do I plane a solid oak door without removing the hinges?
  • Is it best to plane the hinge or lock side of a hollow core door?
  • How do you fit a carpet with adhesive?
  • Can you plane a hollow "wood" interior door to make an edge stop sticking?
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  • Apply masking tape to both sides of the door to lessen the risk of chipping.
  • To remove larger sections of wood, start with a circular saw, then follow with a plane. Use a sandpaper block to smooth the last small areas.
  • If you only need to remove a tiny amount of wood on the top or lock side of the door, you can plane it while it is secured to the frame. Place a doorstop under the door to hold it steady, and put a sign on the opposite side to keep someone from knocking you over by moving it.
  • For best results, test and mark the door for sticking on a humid day so that you are checking when the door's wood is most swollen.


  • Check the fit frequently by replacing the door before removing more wood. While it is inconvenient to have to continue to remove and re-hang the door, doing so reduces the likelihood of removing too much and having to completely replace the door.
  • Use protective eyewear, such as goggles or even sunglasses, to protect your eyes from wood splinters and sawdust.

Video: Planing A Door To Fit-Fixing A Sticking Door

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Date: 06.12.2018, 12:52 / Views: 44585