Door frame replacement

2 Apr 2006
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United Kingdom
Our house is a 60s build and the skirting boards, architrave and Door frames are original I suspect. I intend replacing the skirting boards which isn’t a problem but the door frames are throwing me a bit.

The previous owners had fitted solid wood doors but the hinge positions aren’t the same and therefore the frames are full of filler and very badly painted. My OCD cannot cope with this and I am trying to decide the best way forward.
I would like to install new skirting, architrave and frames but I suspect this could turn into a big job.
There are 4 doors out of 6 that will require the attention first.

I wondered if there was a way to cosmetically cover the door frame such as very thin strips of wood which could be tacked/glued in place and then glossed over.

Failing that is replacing the door frames a challenge? The doors haven’t been hung well so I believe I could do a better job but I need to be clear on the best route.
Inhabe attached a picture to give you an idea of the issue and any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Another picture to show how poor a job it is


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You look to have door casing rather than linings? which makes job more difficult, easier to remove doors and make good frame with wood filler, then redecorate, no easy solution.
Thanks FH, just had to look up the difference between a lining and casing. I believe we do have casings.

Excuse my ignorance but why would it make it more difficult to sort? I was expecting to have to remove the architrave and then the door casing anyway and replace.

I suppose the other option is a hot air gun to remove the paint. Fill, prime and paint. Looking at the hash they have made with the new hinge positions I am very sceptical that remedial work could get the finish I want. What are your thoughts please? Can send more pictures if required.

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Yes, it is possible to reskin a lining with a thin veneer of timber (actually something like 6 to 10mm thick - necessary to allow for the architrave reveals) and replace the architraves and stop laths - in fact it's not uncommon to do that in shop fitting, etc (take a close look next time you go into a refurbished Next, for example) - but the problem is that by doing so the door will need to be a special size as the opening is now reduced. The rebate in door casings mean that timber linings of something like 14mm would be required, assuming 30 minute casings which have 12 to 13mm deep .
Replacing the complete casings is likely to be less work and allows you to use off the shelf standard doors. You'll ideally need a 6ft level to set the jambs and a 2ft level for the head. The reason for the 6ft level is not just to check for plumb, but also to eradicate bowing in the jambs which cannot be done with a short level. Tip: set the hinge side first.
Thanks JK, very informative. The doors are very good quality put hung badly which is very frustrating.
Is it feasible that the doors would fit the new casings? I wouldnt want to replace them so this may give me a steer anyway.
Thanks for the reply
It all depends. Are they standard size doors are they square, are they flat (I.e. not warped) and do they have neat hinge recesses? If so then the job should be doable without too many issues. Have you ever installed a door casing before? Only asking because I've seen and corrected a lot of badly installed stuff over the years (not always DIY jobs, either) as well as hanging doors in really odd openings
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I was watching a guide on the old YouTube Skill builder channel last night. Whilst appeared relatively logical to put together it was clear there are a lot of things to consider and a lot of opportunities to get it wrong.

I believe the doors to be straight just badly hung. Is this something you could quote to do? We are near Stockport. It would be in the new year now at this rate but I would be happy to send more detailed photos so you can assess the job.

A decent decorator should be able to sand it flat and then fill with 2 pack filler.
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Theres a trick to sanding filler dead flat.

Stick some 80 grit or 120 grit abrasive to some pieces of ply, mdf whatever

The hard backing will ensure you sand flat.

Dont use your hands or a soft block as the backing, you will just follow the contours.
Thanks to you both, it has to be worth a try in the first instance before committing to replacing the woodwork.

Last question, would you remove the paint first, hot air and a scraper first?

It must be the best approach I would imagine?
I seldom burn off sound paintwork. I simply sand it flat, effectively treating it as a thick layer of filler. That said, I have lots of nice Festool sanders connected to dust extractors.
In any case you need to be careful when burning off old paintwork because many gloss paints made up until WWII and a little after contained lead. It is always safer to sand these paints, so long as you use an adequate dust extractor to collect the dust directly from the sander

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