Doors no longer fit!

longhallDecember 5, 2009

Not sure if this is the correct place to post my questions but it feels like a home disaster to me so I will go with it! We just finished having primed interior double doors installed in our office. We are doing the painting ourselves, so we removed the doors and hinges, painted, and returned them to their EXACT same places. Now, our doors that were a perfect fit yesterday no longer fit! They are now too tight for the space and will only close if forced. I am sure the paint has made the doors a little wider, or something like that....What can we do? I am about to put a hammer through the glass, which I am sure would not solve my problem!:) Please help!

Thank you!

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unless you put a LOT of paint on them, you have either put door 1 where door 2 goes and etc..., or you do not have the hinges back on properly.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:15PM
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Did you take the hinges off the door when you painted? The hinge leaves should be left in place and masked off for painting. The hinge mortises are very precisely cut to make the door work. If any paint gets in there, they do not fit the same. Since the paint is still new, it will be a little soft and easy to chisel away. If you wait until the paint cures, it will be harder than the wood. You will find it very difficult to clean out the mortises with a chisel.

Make sure to completely clean out the side of the mortises near the hinge pivots, on both the door and jamb.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:50PM
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Without seeing the situation, itÂs hard to say but IÂll take a guess. If you used a heavy coat or two of water based paint, theoretically the doors could have swelled enough to create the problem. Normally the finished reveal around the door next to the jamb is 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. If the doors were installed tight to begin with than yes, the paint could have easily made the doors too tight.

A common mistake is to apply one or two heavy coats of paint with the idea that more is better. These thick layers take forever to dry even though the doors feel dry. The paint material soaks into the wood which swells the door plus the added thickness of the heavy paint just adds to the problem.

IÂm guessing itÂs a combination of two things. The doors were installed too tight and the paint was applied too heavy. Also for interior doors, especially commercial that could take a lot of abuse, I recommend and exterior oil based paint. This paint takes longer to dry but itÂs harder, resists scratching, finger prints and markings much better and you wonÂt have a problem with "blocking". Blocking is that sticking between paint surfaces thatÂs common with latex paint.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 1:42PM
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I forgot another possibility; doors (just the same as wood trim and wood flooring) should be allowed to acclimate in the installed location for a few days at least, before hanging. This allows the doors to adapt to the relative humidity and temperature so the doors wonÂt swell or shrink after the install.

If the doors werenÂt allowed time to acclimate before installing and then paint was applied, it will be a problem.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 2:07PM
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