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How Do You Stop Doors From Sticking With Fresh Paint

You can quickly and affordably update your home by giving an interior or exterior door a paint job. It’s a straightforward operation, although you can find the paint stuck on the doors and the door jamb after you’re done painting. If you have a freshly painted front door, it can be embarrassing when you welcome guests to find the edges of the door stuck all around your door jam.

At the time of your paint job, leaving a freshly painted door opened isn’t a solution because your home is vulnerable as the paint dries. Fortunately, there are steps you may take to avoid this. When making any home improvement, you can avoid this common issue with some planning and preparation.

As an overview, it is best to paint any doors, and in particular exterior doors, when it’s warm, sunny, and there is low humidity. In addition, to stop the door sticking after painting, use a jack plane to remove high spots where two surfaces meet.

door fresh paint

In our guide, you can use this easy fix, or follow our direction and go over all your doors and see how to keep door from sticking. By the end, you’ll know various ways how to deal with sticky paint on doors in your new house without needing a temporary fix for your freshly painted doors. (Read Attic Door Won’t Close All The Way)

Stop A Freshly Painted Door Sticking After Painting ?

If you paint any surface, it’s heartbreaking to see your work undone when the oil-based exterior paint you used peels off when you open the door.

Interior doors face the same issue, and you may want to know how to keep latex paint from sticking on two surfaces.

Here’s all you need to ensure your surfaces will be dry, and your freshly painted doors won’t peel or be stuck in a closed position.

1. Choose The Best Time

Start this project on a sunny, warm, and dry day to avoid a sticky issue.

Paint dries much slower in humid weather or rainy conditions; thus, you end up with paint sticking.

Start your exterior door painting process early in the day to allow your door to be completely dry by the time you need to close it.

It also helps to paint the door on the first day and on the second and paint the exterior door jamb on the second day.

2. Prepare Your Door Properly

Start by carefully looking for old paint drips and high spots. Then, when you paint a smooth door, paint contact is improved.

To ensure an even paint cure and lessen the chance of the freshly painted jamb sticking to the door, sand away lumps and bumps.

Also, take out the weather stripping before painting the door.

Rubber gaskets become stuck with wet paint. Install a new gasket when you’ve completed painting.

In addition, to avoid a sticky situation on your door hinges, you can cover these with painter’s tape rather than paint over the screw heads and dig out white paint with a screwdriver.

3. Paint Use

Applying primer first will ensure the best paint adhesion and prevent fresh paint from sticking to doors and windows.

Apply oil-based paints using a nylon paintbrush after the primer has been applied. Remember that adequate drying time is necessary for a successful paint cure, yet keep your door out of direct sunlight.

While latex paint can be ready in around 4 to 6 hours, oil-based paint should allow around 24 hours to dry before installing hardware like hinges, doorknobs, etc. (Read House Fan Speeds Up And Slows Down)

4. Lubricants

Lubricate doors that are attached to the frame to reduce sticking.

The top and corners of the door should be rubbed with dry soap, petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, or a home lubricant spray to avoid sticking.

Applying lubricant to the top and edges of the door will serve as a temporary fix.

If the door edges stick to the frame, other issues may be unrelated to the paint, such as improper door hanging or drooping hinges.

5. Use Wax Paper and Other Protection

If you need to paint both the door and door jamb quickly, you can paint either first and wait for one to two hours for it to dry. Then, place a layer of wax paper on the semi-dry paint as a barrier between the two surfaces.

Wax paper sticks to wet paint, yet at least you’ll be able to close your exterior door at night and avoid paint stickiness.

As an alternative to wax paper, you can rub a white candle across the edges of the painted door to prevent sticking.

Ensure you don’t rub it against unpainted surfaces as your paint won’t stick when you come to paint them.

6. Modify Hinges

The paint may stick to the frame when the door is closed if the door is too large for the frame because of thick paint.

The hinges can occasionally be tightened or adjusted to fix sticking paint. Before looking for improvements, tighten the hinge screws.

Replace the slot of the long screw into the two central hinge parts with longer ones as another hinge alteration.

Remove the hinges if this does not reduce or eliminate the paint sticking. The side holes should be filled in with wood putty.

On the door, mark the location where the hinges need to be adjusted. Then, create holes for hinge installation by drilling in a new location. (Learn How To Remove Glue From Engineered Hardwood Flooring)

7. Sand or Plane

The top or edges of the door might be sanded when there is just too much paint on the painted door.

You can quickly remove layered paint using a wood chisel filled with sanding.

  1. Insert cardboard between the frame and top of the door to examine where the door or frame makes contact and will stick.
  2. Remove the door after marking the sticking points with a pencil.
  3. Shave the door from the corner toward the center using a jack plane.
  4. Sand the planed region to get a smooth, paintable surface.


What Makes Doors Stick After Painting?

Doors and windows could stick because of weather and seasonal changes.

The combination of moisture and heat causes a wood door or frame to swell, and a sagging door can touch the frame.

An unsealed or old door dries, and as it isn’t properly sealed, it could absorb moisture, causing the wood to crack.

However, moisture absorption shouldn’t be a problem if the door has been adequately sealed after you apply the paint.

Climate change may cause a painted door to adhere to the frame, but painting will cause the door to contracting, progressively lessening or eliminating the sticking.

How to Paint Interior Doors, So They Don’t Stick

Here’s how to make an interior door less likely to stick when you paint it.

To stop the door from sticking when closed, locate any existing sticking points and remove them using a jack plane.

Then, sand the entire door, fill any holes with wood filler, apply the primer, and leave the top and bottom edges unpainted.

However, what if your door already sticks?

Interior doors can stop sticking by sanding or planing larger sticking areas, using petroleum jelly for minor sticking points, lowering humidity, or adjusting/ moving door hinge pins or hinges.

How To Paint Interior Doors

1. Cover Door Hardware With Painter’s Tape

Painter’s tape should protect the door hardware from paint splashes before beginning any painting.

As an alternative, you can entirely remove the hinges and knobs while painting.


2. Place Newspaper On Your Floor

It would help if you covered the floor with newspaper or another appropriate protective cover besides safeguarding the door hardware to prevent paint from getting on it.

You can cover any neighboring furniture with sheets. (Read Acrylic Vs Enamel Paint)

3. Remove Sticking Points Using Plane

If the door has sticking points, remove the sticking places with a jack plane to smooth off the wood and verify the door fits without sticking.

Steps to remove the sticking points:

  1. Close the door until it becomes stuck.
  2. With a pencil, mark the edges of the sticking door to see how much wood to remove. (you may need to remove the door).
  3. To remove the wood from the spots that have been indicated, use a jack plane with a razor-sharp blade.
  4. To ensure the door no longer sticks, re-attach it to the frame and check the planed areas.

4. Sand the Entire Door

Sand away the existing paint so it can be primed and re-painted, so it doesn’t stick. An electric sander makes light work of an arduous task.

Here are the steps of how to sand your interior door:

  1. Put on a dusk mask and safety glasses to protect yourself.
  2. Put medium-sized sandpaper in the sander (80-120 grit).
  3. Sand the door evenly until all the previous paint has been removed.
  4. To eliminate scratches, sand the entire door with 150-180 grit sandpaper.
  5. To get a smooth surface, sand the entire door with 220-240 grit sandpaper.
  6. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove dust.

5. Paint the Door

Following the steps below, paint your bedroom door as the last step:

  1. Lay the door flat.
  2. Paint the door’s front and rear.
  3. To prevent the door from sticking, do not paint the top and bottom edges of the door.
  4. Allow the paint to completely dry.
  5. Adding more coats as necessary (re-sand between coats to remove bubbles).
  6. Re-attach the door to the hinges inside the door frame.

drying time

Drying Time

Oil-based paint takes 6 to 8 hours to dry to the touch, but you should wait 24 hours before applying the second coat until the paint is completely dry.

Although oil-based paint is more enduring, it takes more time to dry and is more difficult to wipe.

If you use latex paint, the door will dry to the touch in an hour and be ready for a second door in only four hours.

The latex paint will dry more quickly, but it won’t last as long.

Roller or Brush

Paint is applied more effectively and uniformly with foam rollers, which also don’t leave sloppy brush marks.

Foam rollers have rounded ends that make them superior to standard-nap rollers since they

The portions of your door that require additional detail can be painted with a brush.

roller or brush

Unstick an Interior Door

You can use one or more of the following methods to unstick an interior door if it is stuck:

Reduce Humidity

To lower the humidity using a dehumidifier, dry your clothing outside, remove house plants, keep the room adequately aired, address damaged pipes and moist basements, and take cooler showers.

If the humidity in your bedroom is above 70%, your wooden doors may swell owing to moisture retention, causing them to get stuck in the door frame.

Lubricate Sticking Points

To unstick your bedroom door, close it gently and notice any sticking areas with the frame.

If they are minor, rub petroleum jelly, soap, paraffin wax, and a white candle on them to minimize friction without sanding.

How Do You Stop Doors From Sticking With Fresh Paint (2)