Removing a door with hinges is a useful skill to have when you need to replace the door, paint, varnish, or otherwise maintain the door. A few easy-to-follow steps will have your door removed in a few minutes!
To remove a door with hinges, use a large nail to tap the hinge pivot pin from the bottom of the hinge with a hammer. Use a flat-head screwdriver under the pivot pin head to tape it out the rest of the way. Lift the door on both sides and jiggle it to free it from the hinge on the door frame.
Removing a door with hinges is not difficult, but a few challenges may arise that can complicate the process. Follow our easy door removal steps and some tips to make the removal easier and less frustrating!
As you’ll see below, this is an easy tutorial. Check out the three steps below.
- Flat-head Screwdriver
- Large nail or a nail punch
Removing a door with hinges is pretty easy, but the job requires some strength or an assistant to help steady the door and remove it from the hinges.
Step 1: Use the Hammer and Nail to Dislodge the Hinge Pivot Pin
The two halves of the hinge are held together by the hinge pivot pin. The pin must be removed to separate the two halves of the hinge to remove the door.
The process is best started with the door open to enable you to manipulate the door during removal and remove the door at the end of the process.
Open the door to expose the central pivot pin and give yourself enough space to work between the side of the door and the doorframe.
Position the tip of the nail on the bottom side of the pivot pin at the base of the door hinge. Gently tap the head of the nail to drive the hinge pivot pin upwards.
In some cases where the hinge pin is very tight in the hinge, the nail may bend when you hit it with the hammer. The alternative is to use a more robust tool instead of a nail, such as a nail punch or a thicker rod, which is less likely to bend.
If the hinge has been painted, the pivot pin may be reluctant to move out of the hinge. The solution is to apply more force to the hammer blows to the pivot pin base.
Another option to release some of the tension in the hinge and allow the pivot pin to move more easily is to lift the far end of the door slightly.
If you have an assistant helping you, ask the person to grasp the handles on either side of the door and lift it slightly.
Another option is to wedge cardboard or a small wedge of wood under the end of the door to lift it towards the hinges.
This action releases the weight of the door from the hinge and allows the pivot pin to come out easier.
Pro Tip: Cut the sharp point off the nail using a hacksaw or an angle grinder. This will prevent the sharp tip from slipping off the pivot pin base when the hammer hits the nail.
Do not tap the hinge pin all the way out with the nail. The nail will replace the hinge pin, and you may have difficulty removing the nail from the hinge to remove the door.
Step 2: Use the Screwdriver to Tap the Hinge Pin Out
When the head of the hinge pin is high enough above the top of the hinge, it is time to switch to using the screwdriver.
Position the flat-head screwdriver under the head of the pivot pin. Tap the screwdriver with the hammer to knock the pin the rest of the way out of the hinge. Once the pin is almost all the way out, it should be loose enough to remove by hand.
If the hinge is old, the grease in the hinge may have hardened, making it difficult to remove the pin. Use a lubricant such as WD-40, and spray it on the hinge to loosen up the old grease.
If the door has two hinges, remove the bottom hinge first. When you remove the top hinge, and the door comes loose, you will be in a standing position to balance the door and prevent it from falling, damaging the door or the door frame.
If the door has 3 hinges, remove the middle hinge first, then the lower hinge, and finally the upper hinge.
Pro Tip: Before you remove the hinge pin completely, knock the other hinge pins loose for all the other hinges connected to the door. Following this sequence allows you to loosen all the pins without the door falling over when the last pin is removed.
Step 3: Remove the Door From the Hinges
Take care when the final pin is removed from the hinge; the door could topple over and cause injury. The door will most likely remain in place since the hinge knuckles will support the door.
Hold the door with both hands, and jiggle the door to dislodge it from the hinge. Take care not to move the door too much, as you could bend the hinge knuckles. If the knuckles bend, it will be difficult to re-fit the door. A gentle jiggle should be sufficient to get the door free.
Be prepared to take the door's weight once it comes free from the hinges. This part of the process requires some strength to hold the door, and it is beneficial to have an assistant to help hold the door upright.
As you jiggle the door, lift the end of the door furthest from the hinges up and down gently to free it from the hinge knuckles.
How to Re-Fit the Door With Hinges
The process to re-fit the door is essentially a reversal of the removal process, starting with the topmost hinge. Position the door so the knuckles of the top hinge engage and are aligned as straight as possible.
Slip the hinge pivot pin deep enough into the hinge to hold the door in place. Position the bottom hinge similarly, with the pin inserted far enough to hold the door in position.
If the door has 2 hinges, do the top hinge first, then the bottom hinge, and finally the middle hinge. The top and bottom hinges should make aligning the middle hinge and dropping the pin in place very easy.
Tap all the hinge pins into place through the hinge knuckles, ensuring the holes are aligned as you go. Tap the top hinge pin into place, followed by the bottom hinge, and then any other hinges fitted to the door.
Does This Removal Process Work With All Doors With Hinges?
Not all door hinges have a removable pin. The process we have described will only work if the central pin on the hinge is removable.
If your door hinges do not have a removable pin, the only way to remove the door is to unscrew the hinge from the door or the doorframe to remove the door.
Support the door while the hinges are being unscrewed. This precaution prevents the door from pulling on the loosened screws and damaging the holes. This damage would make it difficult to tighten the screws securely when the door is re-fitted.