how to remove a swinging door

swinging door in a kitchen area
Tools Needed
1 Screwdriver
2 Hammer
3 Wood Putty
4 Putty Knife
Materials Needed
1 Sandpaper
2 Mask
3 Paint or Stain
4 Safety Glasses
Total Cost
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
20-30 Minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

close up of contemporary swinging doors

Many homes have swinging doors that separate the kitchen from the rest of the living area. While these can be preferable over standard doors since they allow you to pass through easily when your hands are full, they also come with drawbacks.

A door swinging back into place may strike someone on the other side which may be a big concern in a household with small children. They also make the kitchen feel closed off from the rest of the house and prevent light from streaming in.

Luckily, removing a swinging door is a quick and easy process. So much so that almost any homeowner can get the job done, needing only basic hand tools to complete the work. Here’s what you need to do.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Disconnect the Receiving Plate

swinging door hardware

Swinging doors have door hinge receiving plates located on the floor near the door jamb on the same side as the hinges. Often, the plate is metal, and it may be visible if it was installed on the surface of the floor.

If you don’t see the receiving plate, you will need to lift the flooring. Examine the flooring to determine if any nails must first be removed with a hammer, if a threshold must be taken off, or if it can simply be pulled away.

As you lift the flooring away, take care as you handle the material. That way, the flooring can be reattached after the door is removed.

Once the door hinge receiving plate has been located, you should see four screws holding it to the floor. Unscrew and remove the screws using a screwdriver. Then, lift the plate. After the plate is removed, you may see a secondary plate. If so, unscrew it as well.


Remove the Swinging Door

swinging doors being removed

Now that the receiving plate is removed, you can disconnect the door itself. Slowly pull the door out and apply downward pressure. This will disengage the top pin and disconnect the door from the upper pivot, allowing it to be removed from the casing.

Once the door is removed, you can place it on the floor in an out of the way location.


Fill the Holes

person holding a tube of wood putty

After the door has been removed, you should have clear access to the top receiving plate located on the upper portion of the door jamb. Locate the screws and remove them with a screwdriver. This allows the upper door hinge receiving plate to be disconnected and set aside.

At this point, the swinging door has been fully removed. However, there is additional finish work that can help restore the appearance of the door jamb.

Begin by using wood putty to fill the holes left by the screws. Simply take the wood putty and push some into the screw hole using the applicator tip. Then, take a putty knife and smooth over the wood putty. As you work, make sure not to make the material completely flush with the door jamb. It is better to overfill than not use enough at this stage.

Once the holes are filled, leave the wood putty to dry based on the manufacturer’s instructions.


Sand the Wood Putty

person holding a sheet of sand paper

After it has dried, you can now sand over the wood putty to make sure it is flush with the rest of the door jamb. Often, sanding it by hand is sufficient, just make sure to follow the direction of the grain on the door jamb as you work.

You do want to put on a mask first to make sure you don’t inhale any of the dust created as you sand the excess material away.


Paint or Stain the Wood Putty

bucket of wood stain

Now that the wood putty has been sanded, you can refinish the surface to match the rest of the door jamb. You can use a matching paint or stain, focusing on the wood putty specifically.

When using stain, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how the material should be brushed on and wiped away.


Secure the Flooring

view of the bottom of swinging kitchen doors

Once the above steps are complete, you can secure the flooring that was lifted during the removal of the lower door hinge receiving plate.

How the flooring will need to be tacked into place varies depending on the material. Typically, it is wise to use whatever method was originally required to keep the material in place, such as nails or glue.

If the receiving plate was located on top of the flooring, you might wish to fill the holes left by the screws along with those in the door jamb. The method required will be based on the floor material, though the wood putty process is suitable for hardwood floors.


After you finish with the steps above, you’re swinging door removal is complete. You can choose to keep the door, in case you may want to use it again in the future, or discard it.

If it is in good condition, you might want to consider donating it to a suitable charity that can either use or sell the door to support their operations, or sell it yourself. Otherwise, it can be taken to a local dump for disposal.

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