Door still sticks? You may want to plane it

The side of an older door was planed to ensure a proper fit in the door frame of this home bathroom.

If you have a sticky wooden door and tightening the hinge screws or shimming the hinges has not solved the problem, it may be time to take more drastic measures. Planing a door is a relatively simple task. A manual plane works fine for most jobs, but if you need to remove more than half an inch from a door edge, an electric planer might be a better choice.

Step 1: Determine where the door is binding. Open and shut the door several times to identify where it is binding. Use a pencil and a ruler to mark the exact portion of the door that needs to be removed. Mark the door on both sides to assure you do not remove too much of the wood.

Step 2: If you need to plane the bottom or hinge side of the door, remove the door from its frame by removing the hinge pins or unscrewing the door side hinge screws. To plane the top or lock side of the door simply place a door stop or wedge beneath the open door to hold it in place and proceed carefully.

Step 3: When planning the top or bottom of the door, start at the outer edges and move toward the center shaving a little at a time. When planning the side of the door, scrape in the direction of the wood grain to protect the door edge.

Step 4: Remove a small portion of wood at a time. If necessary, re-hang the door and test to see if the problem has been corrected. It may seem like a lot of extra work, but when it comes to wood, you can never replace what you have removed, so better safe than sorry.

Step 5: Once you have removed enough wood for the door to open and shut freely, seal the newly exposed wood with primer and paint or stain to match the existing door finish.

Step 6: Re-hang the door, making sure the hinge screws are properly tighten.

Step 7: Sweep up your mess, pick up your tools and tell everyone in the house to be careful not to let the door hit them on their way out…