Removing a Door from its Hinges

Step by Step Instructions for Removing a Door from its Hinges

By Mark J. Donovan

Often it’s necessary to remove a door from its hinges. It could be due to the fact that you want to paint or refinish a door, or you simply need to remove the door to gain an extra couple of inches to squeak a piece of furniture through.

Whatever may be the case removing a door from its hinges is easy to do and can be done quickly. You just want to make sure you don’t pinch a finger in the process. The root of the task is removing the door hinge pins from the door hinges. The hinge pins are what hold the door to the door frame hinge plate assembly.

To remove a door from its door hinges all you need for tools is a 4 inch thin Philips head screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver and a hammer.

Removing Door Hinges Pins

To remove the door from its hinges first close the door and make it latches shut. Make sure that you are standing on the side of the closed door, such that you can see and have access to the hinges and hinge pins.

Now with the door closed slide the thin Philips screwdriver up underneath the bottom hinge assembly so that the end of the screwdriver butts up against the bottom end of the hinge pin. Then, using your hammer tap the handle end of the screwdriver to knock the hinge pin upwards. Once the cap of the hinge pin is raised up off of the top hinge ring a little, use the common flat screwdriver and/or the claw end of the hammer to pull out the hinge pin all the way.

Repeat this process for removing the other hinge pins, working your way up from the bottom. In total there should be three or four hinge pins to remove.

Now that you’ve removed all the hinge pins slowly open the door. Make sure you grip both sides of the door as you slowly continue to open it.

On the hinge side you’ll need to squeeze your fingers in between the door jamb and the door to grab onto the door. This is where you can have your fingers pinched if not careful.

Once the door is opened several inches you should be able to get a sufficient enough grip on both side edges of the door to lift it up and off the door hinge bracket plates. If it is a large heavy door, you may want a second pair of hands to help lift the door off its hinges.

Once you’ve removed the door from the hinge bracket plates, place the door to the side of the door frame opening. You may want to rest it on a piece of large cardboard or old towel to protect the floor.

How to remove a door hinge.

If you need to remove the door hinge plates because you are refinishing the door or door frame, use your Philips screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the hinge plates to the door frame and the door.

To reattach the door to the door frame, pick the door up at its center and tip the top of it into the knuckles of the top hinge door plate. With the weight of the door resting on the top hinge slowly move the door and work the other hinges into place. Then slip and push a hinge pin into whichever door hinge lines up first. Then insert the remaining hinge pins. Use your hammer to tap the hinge pins all the way down into the hinge knuckles.

For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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Additional Door Resources from

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