It can be tricky to remove your door from its hinge, especially in cases where the door has been securely latched in one place for a relatively long time. Although the difficulty level will usually depend on the general condition and age of your door's pin and hinge, carefully nudging it out using a wedge and a hammer would do the trick in most cases.
There are plenty of reasons to take your door off its hinges such as laying a new carpet, painting or stripping a door or for sanding down its edges. The task it may seem apparently simple, but it really isn't, unless you know exactly what you are doing. If not, it can become a finger-pinching hassle, especially if you are dealing with a heavy and solid wooden door.
So, if you follow the steps outlined below; you will be able to remove your door easily and swiftly without pinching your fingers or marring the trim, door, or floor.
Remove the Hinge Pins
Before you start removing the door’s hinge pins, it is a smart move to ensure you have all the items and tools you require for successfully getting this job done. A wedge and a hammer are most important; you will also need a nail set or nail punch for knocking the pins out. A flat blade screwdriver will be required to further pry the pins once they are partway out. Do not use a regular nail for knocking out the hinge pins as it will usually bend and make the job more tedious.
Slide a Supporting Material Underneath the Door
Lodge a heavy book under your door for support. This is important because you will be destabilizing the door, so it is vital to have some type of support to prevent the door from toppling over when you are busy unpinning it. It can be risky, especially if the door is heavy.
Sliding a book or two under the crack in the door will provide your door a stable surface to rest on as you remove the pins. Alternatively, if you can arrange another pair of hands, he will be able to firmly hold the door in place. If separating the hinges becomes difficult due to the weight of the door, try wedging a pry bar under it to get some load off the hinges.
Force the Pin Upwards
Take your nail punch and a hammer and using gentle strokes ram the pin in an upward direction. Carefully placing the flat end of your nail against the pin, then gently tap it upwards using the hammer. Continue tapping it up and steadily increase the force until it is eventually lodged upwards. For optimal results do not try and ram the nails using one or two heavy blows – take it slow.
If you try to be too brash and quick it will not end well as the pin will get damaged or scratched. Spraying it with a lubricant such as WD-40 will be helpful if you are encountering persistent difficulty in getting the pin to nudge upwards.
Nudge the Pin Loose
When you have got the pin unstuck a couple of centimeters from the top, you may use your old screwdriver for prying it up a little further. Tap the hinge gently with your hammer to loosen it. In case this does not work, ram the pin upwards with a couple of more taps using the hammer.
To get optimum stability, first remove the bottom hinge, then the top hinge. In case your door is secured with three hinges, take out the middle hinge first. Some people use a chisel for this purpose, but using a flathead screwdriver is best. It may get damaged in the process, but do not worry as it is not very expensive.
Remove the Door
Once you have removed all the pieces, it is time to take down the door. Be extremely careful when taking it down, as doors are usually very heavy. Without any support from the hinges your door will need plenty of control.
We highly recommend you have at least two people to safely carry it down. In case you need to do it by yourself, be very careful to prevent it from toppling over.
Replace the Door
For putting the new door on the hinges, grab your door from the center then gently tip it to the top and engage all the knuckles off its top hinge. While the weight of your door hangs on the top hinge, carefully work all the other hinges together. Slide the hinge pin into those hinges that line up first, and then drive in all the remaining hinge pins.
If some hinges seem a bit low or out of place, and the others do not fit together properly, slide a solid pry bar underneath the center of your door and engage the lowest hinge leaves. Then carefully level your door upwards until the remaining hinge leaves fit into place. Firmly hold the door and close it most of the way then remove the pry bar as it may push the door up or sideways.
Your door has been replaced, now you can give it the finishing touch you desire. It is always good to casually spray it with a thick lubricant such as white grease. WD-40 will usually dry out much quicker. This will help ensure the door’s hinges are both slick and quiet.