Removal Tips for Stuck Door Hinges

Whether you have just purchased a house that sat vacant or you live in an older home, there is a good chance that the door hardware is in need of immediate attention. A lot can hinge on the hardware used to support the weight of doors and help them function properly. In fact, door hinges get stuck for many reasons. The people who lived in your home before you might have painted over the hinges or neglected them entirely. The door hinges in your home might have also sat in the closed position for a long time. However your hinges became stuck, there are a few ways you can remove them for painting and renovating. In this guide, we offer a handful of removal tips for stuck door hinges.

Removal Tips for Stuck Door Hinges

Removing a door from the door jamb might seem simple enough. All you need to do is pull the hinge pin and lift the door off its hinges. However, things can get tricky if the hinges or hinge pins appear to be stuck. Whether they have been painted over with layers of paint or they have rusted beyond saving, not all hope is lost. You should start by trying the simplest methods of removal before moving on to extreme measures.

  1. Cut away at any paint layers over the top of the hinge pin by using a sharp utility knife. Carefully slide the blade through the paint in the thin space between the top of the hinge pin and the top of the hinge plate.
  2. Hold a screwdriver at the bottom of the hinge pin and gently tap it using a hammer or a mallet to pry the pin head from the hinge. If the hinge pin is particularly difficult to remove, an 8d nail or a similarly sized nail may help. Position the point of the nail at the base of the pin and gently tap the nail head from beneath to force the pin free.
  3. When a hinge is being particularly stubborn, you can spray a silicone-based lubricating spray to help it come loose. Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the spray to penetrate all the moving parts of the hinge. Close the door to take some weight off the hinge. Tap the base of the hinge pin gently using a hammer and pop the pin up using a screwdriver.
  4. Once the hinge pin is loose, you can safely lift the door off its hinges. If the hinge components are still in good condition and don’t need to be replaced, you can use some form of lubrication to keep them from getting stuck in the future. Spray lubricants are effective at keeping all the moving parts of a hinge working properly, but you can also use bar soap, olive oil, or petroleum jelly to keep your existing hinges lubricated and able to function.

If you have exhausted every removal tip on this list but the hinge still won’t budge, you might want to try unscrewing the hinge from the door and the door jamb. This removal process will take more time and effort, but at least you will be able to remove the door and replace the hardware when the time comes to reinstall. To remove the hinge plate and pin from the door and door jamb, you need to unscrew both hinge plates. If the door has three hinges, leave the middle hinge for last. We recommend wedging a piece of wood or a phone book underneath the door to keep it stabilized and from sagging. It always helps to have a second pair of hands on standby, just in case the door should start to fall.

To remove old paint from an existing hinge, fill a stainless steel saucepan with two or three cups of water and enough baking powder to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Immerse the entire hinge under the water, taking care not to stir up the baking soda. Cook the hinge over low heat for 15 minutes or until the paint starts to peel off of the metal. Lift the hinge from the water using a pair of tongs. Remove any loose paint with a clean rag. Leave the hinge to cool and dry. Tap the hinge pin out of the hinge using a screwdriver or a hammer and nail.

Using one or a combination of these methods, you should be able to remove any stuck and stubborn hinges. If those hinges need to be replaced, we have all your needs covered with a wide selection of hardware and door hinges with removable pins. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this guide or our product selection.