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Straightening Warped Wood Doors

By Edited Jun 19, 2015 0 2

Many homeowners experience the frustration of warped wood doors. Suddely or not so suddenly it not longer closes properly or is too tight to close securely or is obviously out of line, it is probably warped.  Warped doors can cause a whole host of problems including the space created by the warp allows drafts to blow through which will increase your energy costs or warps can also allow bugs and small animals or rodents to enter your home. Warping does not just happen to exterior doors, interior wood doors warp too, especially in areas of the house that naturally have high humidity levels or dampness such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements. If your door warps, it does not necessarily mean you have to replace it, you can straighten it by trying several one of the methods to see which one will work for you.


If the warped wood door only has a top and bottom hinge there may be too much pressure on only two hinges. This is an easy fix, install a third hinge centered between the top and bottom hinges. This works best for doors that are not severely warped and are only warped along the edge or framing of it panel.

Ask a friend or neighbor to help because this is a two person job.

Have your helper to push the edge of it, in the center as far as possible towards it frame.

Have your helper hold it in place while you install the third hinge.

When buying a new hinge, choose a sturdy hinge that will stand up to the force required to hold it.

Use this method on exterior wood screen doors to ensure proper closing and opening.

Flattening the Warp

If installing a third  hinge is not possible because it cannot be forced that far into position or it is warped at more than just an edge, remove it from its hinges and remove the  knob.

Lay it on a flat, level surface with the warp facing upwards. Or you can lay it acroos two saw horses with the bowed section facing up.

Place a heavy object on top of the warp, every day add more weight to press the warp down to straighten it. Do not put a lot of weight on it all at once because you can crack the wood.

Straightening a Warped Door

If the entire door has a bow and is warped badly, lay it across two saw horses or on a flat, elevel surface.

Wet heavy towels or an old blanket and lay them on top of the warped section.

Add two to three pounds of weight to the warped section.

Add one to two pounds more weight each day until it is straight again.

Re-wet the towels or blanket every day. Keeping the wood wet will cause it to become more flexible and easier to straighten out.

If you choose this method, it will have to be scraped, primed and repainted after it has dried out completely.


After it has been straighten out, paint it with a primer and 2 to 3 coats of paint to protect it from more moisture and dampness which is the leading cause of warping doors. This is especially true of exterior wood doors, screen doors, bathroom doors and basement doors.

When re-hanging the wood door, take the time to add a third hinge which will help to distribute the weight of it evenly and help prevent twisting and warping.






Jul 10, 2010 4:58pm
I have a tool from my grandfather for fixing them. Basically, there are small pieces that attach almost like a clamp to the top and bottom of the door. (they look like these symbols: [ ]) On each one is a wire that connects to a small block of wood. When the clamps are hooked to the top and bottom, you place the wood block near the middle of the where the bow is sticking out. You then tighten the wires until they are nice and tight. Every couple of days you tighten up the wire a little more and it pulls the block against the bow - which slowly helps to undo the warp.

I'm not sure you can even get them anymore.....plus...the methods you described seems easier.
Jul 11, 2010 8:01am
Variations of that tool are still available, but with the doors today, the framing is more likely to break under the stress rather than straightening the door. That works for solid wood doors, the type without framed panels.
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