Have you ever wondered how to fix a door frame?
Like most things in the house, door frames also experience wear and tear. Even though these products are designed to last as long as 50 years, prolonged exposure to moisture, poor materials, accidents, years of use, and shoddy workmanship can eventually cause problems with your frame.
While it may be easy to hide this defect, it's never a good look. Plus, damage to parts of interior door can affect the energy efficiency of your home, causing you to spend more on heating and cooling bills.
A simple repair can change your home's appearance, giving you a sense of satisfaction knowing you can put your best foot forward whenever you walk through the door.
The good news is that it's a relatively easy project. You'll need a few tools, a drill, and some basic hand and power tools. You may have to remove some of the trim to get to the damaged area, but it's all fairly straightforward.
If you're ready for a DIY repair, read on for some tips on how to fix a broken door frame.
What Tools Will You Need to Fix a Frame
Before we get started with how to repair a door frame, let's look at the tools you will need to get the job done. Different tools are required for different types of repairs, however, the following are some of the most commonly used:
Body or wood filler
This is a small tube of putty that you apply to the crack in your door frame using a paintbrush. It’s also applied with a putty knife and will fill in any cracks, holes, and gaps in your door frame.
Carpenter’s glue is another common tool used to fix broken door frames. You can buy it from most DIY stores or online at places like Amazon or eBay. However, if you plan on fixing large areas of your door frame then it may be worth investing in some extra strong supplies like JB Weld or epoxy resin glue.
The hammer is the most basic tool used for repairing doors. The hammer will be used to drive nails used in fixing the damaged area. This is also used to spread the wood filler into the holes of the door frame.
Another tool you need to fix a broken door frame is a level. It will help you check whether the new piece of wood or timber is placed at the same level as the old one. This will make sure that there’s no gap between the two pieces, which could cause additional problems later on.
Once you’ve determined that your project is going to be successful, it’s time to start nailing down your new door frame piece by piece. You can use any type of nail for this project and you can find them at any hardware store or online retailer.
Primer and paint
A primer is a solution that is used to prepare the wood to receive the paint. It is often used to make the wood look new. Once the primer has been applied, you can use paint to seal the wood and to fix any marks or scratches.
Pry bar or chisel
This tool will help you pry away the broken pieces of wood so that you can begin replacing them with new ones.
Sandpaper is used to smooth out the surface of your new door frame once it's been cut and fitted into place. It's also helpful when filing down any rough edges left behind by broken pieces of wood.
Shims are thin pieces of wood or metal. They are used to make adjustments in door frames, including broken ones. You can find these at any hardware store or even a local home improvement store. They come in various thicknesses, so make sure you buy ones that are appropriate for your project.
A tape measure is used to measure the length of the door frame so you can make sure everything fits together properly before moving forward with repairs or replacement parts. This is a very important tool because if you cut out your new piece too large or too narrow, then it won't fit properly.
Wire mesh, also known as wire fencing or chicken wire, is not only used for keeping animals out but also for repairing doors and windows, especially where the wood is rotten. Fill up the damaged area with wire mesh so that it holds its shape better. Then, using a few screws, fix the components in place so they don't fall out or move about.
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may not need all the tools listed here. You will need a set of tools from the list to fix a warped door frame. A different set to repair wood rot, and another set for a broken or split door frame.
Steps for Repairing Broken Door Frame
Repairing a broken door frame is an easy job that can be completed by anyone with the right tools and materials. It takes only a few steps, and you can do it yourself.
Remove the door stop and the molding.
The first step in a broken door frame fix is removing any molding or trim that may cover up your repair area. You will need your hammer and chisel to do this.
Measure 5 inches above and below the affected area.
Once you have removed all of the moldings from above or below your area at issue, use the measuring tape to measure 5 inches above and below where you intend to make your repair. Be sure to mark this section with a pencil or felt marker.
Cut the frame's damaged area out.
Cut out the damaged area with a circular saw or jigsaw tool, depending on what kind of wood is used in your frame. You may need more than one cutout if your door has multiple damaged areas. Alternatively, you can just replace the entire frame.
Cut a piece of wood to the same dimensions as the damaged area.
Cut a piece of wood to match the dimensions of your cutout area so that it'll fit neatly into place when you put everything back together again! Try to use a piece of wood that is as close to the original as possible so that the difference is not very obvious.
Glue and nail the new wood into place.
Glue and nail the new wood into place with 2 or 3-inch long nails. Make sure that you use carpenter's glue or a stronger epoxy so that your new door frame is secure against future weather changes or water damage.
Use wood filler to close the spaces between the boards.
You can buy this at any home improvement store or hardware store. It is made of a hardening resin that solidifies when it dries out in order to fill any gaps that may be between your boards and prevent them from warping over time as they dry out.
This will also cover any holes and allow you to sand down any splinters after it dries.
The new wood should be primed and painted to match the door frame.
The next step is to prime and paint the new wood that you have installed on your door frame. Priming makes sure that all of the wood surfaces are prepared for painting, while painting helps to make sure that the new frame part looks very much like the original.
Replace the molding and door stop.
Finally, replace the molding and door stop you removed at the beginning. You can use carpenter's glue to make them stick, but a nail gun may be a better choice.
It is important to point out here that if your frame has considerable damage, simply repairing it may not be enough. Updating your home with modern interior doors for a seamless match may be the best option.
Removal and Installation of the Door Frame
Sometimes, when repairing broken door frame, it is not enough to simply cut out the damaged area, insert a new one, and fix. You have to remove the entire frame, especially if the damage is extensive or you have split in multiple places. Then you will make the repairs and install the frame back in the entryway.
Again, this is an easy-to-do process that can be done by anyone with the right tools. Here are common steps for removing and installing a door frame.
Removing an old door frame
- Take the door off.
- Remove the trim.
- Take the door jamb off.
- Remove the old door frame.
- Remove any remaining nails from the wall.
Installing a new door frame
- Put the door frame together.
- Insert the frame into the existing opening.
- Make sure the door is plumb by shimming the openings.
- Put the trim back in.
- Caulk the edges of the trim where it meets the wall.
- Let it dry.
- Attach the door accessories.
Fix Broken Door Frame Yourself or Call a Contractor?
While it is true that good quality interior doors can last a really long time, a broken door frame is a common problem that many homeowners encounter. And this is something that should be fixed as quickly as possible.
Whether you repair a broken door frame by yourself depends on the type of door and the extent of the damage.
Of course, you will save some money doing it yourself, but you could also end up making a mistake that could cost you more in repairs.
If the damage is minimal and you have the tools, materials, and skill set to do a good job, then by all means go for it. If, however, you are unsure how to repair broken door frame or doubt your ability to get it right, then call a contractor to come out and inspect it.
Now that you know how to repair a broken interior door frame, you can use these simple tips to keep your home in working order.
As with most things, prevention is key. Watch out for parts that can easily break off, hinges and frames that can crack and warp over time, and take good care of your doors.
It is also a good idea to refresh your home with new doors every few years. Visit our sales page here at United Porte for quality products that will transform the look and feel of your space.