Return to the Old House Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Resizing a door

Posted by karinl (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 3, 09 at 23:03

We have a nice old wood door that I'd like to use in the house, but it's a shade small for the opening - a half inch too narrow, and two inches too short.

It's a panel door, with four or five horizontal panels, probably fir (haven't stripped it yet).

I'm thinking some strips could be added all around to make it fit. I guess if I fill and paint, it wouldn't even show. Is there a way to do it that would actually look good if the door was not painted?

KarinL


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Resizing a door

I'm afraid that adding strips around the edges and not painting will make the door look like, well, a too small door that got trimmed out. Is it possible to add material to the top and side jambs to make it match the door size? That would look more natural, especially if you gave the trim material a profile so it looked intentional. Just a thought....


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Thanks Kudzu. As I was falling asleep last night the option of resizing the jamb rather than the door hit me like a bolt of lightning while I was gloomily accepting that there was not going to be any way to make an enlarged door not look like an enlarged door. I'm not sure which, if either, task I really want to do (especially thinking about latch location) and so I think enlarging the door and planning to paint it is probably option A.

The only other thing I thought of was ripping the door lengthwise and widthwise and inserting strips within it rather than around the edge. But I think it would kill me to make the cut, and the strength compromise would probably be too great.

Ah well, for today I'm still stripping a different door and am about to learn about how trim is attached to the panel insets, since there is a gap behind the trim that paint got well into over the years and I am determined to get it out.

I'm on the door learning curve this month...

KarinL


 o
RE: Resizing a door

We had just such a door in our house, with strips at the bottom and side. They were sanded and painted so that we actually never noticed.


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Karin-
If you do a good job of attaching the strips, filling with wood filler if necessary, sanding, and then painting the door, you should be good. It would be helpful if you had access to a tablesaw to get a clean, tight edge where you join the wood strips. I agree that ripping the door to enlarge it is asking for trouble, big-time.


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Thanks Geller, and Kudzu again. I'll ponder the options for a while yet before getting started, but yes, I will try to do a decent job of whatever I do!

KarinL


 o
RE: Resizing a door

I have a door that we added strips to. I haven't stained it yet, so I can't tell if it looks cobbled, but I will post a photo when it's done.

Are you going to hang the door yourself? I have 8 doors to hang and I'm a bit intimidated. I have instructions on planing, shimming the hinges, etc., to get a good fit, but I still fear they are going to swing in a catty-wompus way. Maybe I should start a new thread on that.


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Gee, I'm beginning to feel downright normal with all this company in the door enlarging process! Thanks for chiming in.

I have been thinking through to the hanging step, assuming that the strip is added on the hinge side (with the old hinge recesses probably cut right off in pursuit of a good edge first) since adding it to the latch side seems like a monumental amount of work, maybe not do-able at all and certainly not by me.

But if the strip is too big the question of the panels being centered begins to raise its ugly head.

We will do the hanging ourselves, or attempt to, but if there weren't two of us (plus a teenager) and only a couple of doors I might reconsider that.

If you want to start a thread about hanging doors by all means do, though I certainly don't object to receiving email responses on the topic if they come to this thread. I also might start another thread on door restoration. There are also some door threads on the home repair forum, and an internet search for "hanging a door how to" brings up a host of items, including videos.

KarinL


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Karin-
I understand the issue about where to add the strips (hinge side, lock side, both?). I think symmetry is important, but, since you're only about 1/2" narrow, you may be able to get away with adding a strip to only one side. The hinge side would be easiest since you wouldn't have to worry about changing lock holes and/or setbacks. If you go with the hinge side, it would be good to have a number of clamps and a long board to apply even and strong clamping pressure during glue-up. And, when you install the hinges, make sure to use long screws (2" at least) so that the door, rather than the strip, carries the bulk of the weight.

slateberry-
Since you are staining, you may want to use a sealer before applying the stain. Otherwise the newly added wood may show a much different appearance and stick out like a sore thumb.


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Here's a really good example of what you can do (if you've got the skills, unlike me :-)) if you want to extend a door. I haven't needed to try this myself, but it's pretty detailed. The whole website is terrific.

Here is a link that might be useful: Craig & Yvonne's Victorian Home - door


 o
RE: Resizing a door

Here's a really good example of what you can do (if you've got the skills, unlike me :-)) if you want to extend a door. I haven't needed to try this myself, but it's pretty detailed. The whole website is terrific.

Here is a link that might be useful: Craig & Yvonne's Victorian Home - door


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Old House Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here