How-To Videos

Repairing a Door that Won’t Stay Open

By: Danny Lipford

A door that won’t stay open can be very annoying. While you could use a doorstop to hold a door open, the stop would have to be removed every time you want to close the door. Here’s an easy way to increase the friction in the hinge to hold a door open:

  • Use a nail set and hammer to remove one of the hinge pins from the door.
  • Place the hinge pin on a hard surface and hit it in the center with a hammer to slightly bend the pin.
  • Tap the pin back in the hinge and try the door.
  • Repeat if needed on the other hinge pins to further increase tension.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

When a door won’t stay open, the casing is probably leaning slightly in the wall frame. Rather than remove and rehang it, try removing one of the hinge pins. Place it on a hard surface and whack it in the middle with a hammer. This should give it a slight bend which will add tension to the hinge when you re-install it. If the door still swings on its own, repeat the process with the other hinges until the door stays put.


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13 Comments on “Repairing a Door that Won’t Stay Open”

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  • Sandy Says:
    March 6th, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I DID IT, the un-handiest person ever. Door stays open 80 degrees, a 50-degree improvement. The hinge pins were wicked to remove but I was so angry with them for seven years, I just stuck with it. I did the top two pins. Not sure I want to jinx anything by doing the bottom one.

    Someone earlier suggested slipping a bread-bag tie (a twist-em) in the hinge-pin hole but when I replaced the hinge pins, it denuded one twist-em and decapitated the other. So, many thanks. I hope the fix lasts.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 15th, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Hi, Shell,
    Here’s “Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question:
    “If slightly bending one door pin is not working, try a second pin. I’m sure that will do it. Thanks for your question!”

  • Shell Says:
    March 2nd, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Hi, I tried this and it worked somewhat but, I still can’t get the door to fully stay open. Should I try the pin at the top again or any further tips?

  • Official Comment:

    Chelsea Lipford Wolf Says:
    February 12th, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Glad to hear it! Thanks for letting us know it worked for you!

  • Mrs Vasquez Says:
    February 11th, 2018 at 2:13 am

    Hello and thank you for your tip, it worked beautifully

  • Kevin Chitwood Says:
    January 13th, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Wow. Perfect info. I was prepared to loosen the hinges and shim them. This method worked great. Took almost 2 minutes.

  • Richard Mills Says:
    January 2nd, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks for the great tip! I was going to take the pins out and try and rough them up, and I was thinking maybe I need to shim the hinges or something, but your method was WAY easier. makes so much sense. By making them a little out of straight, they have a bit more resistance so it works great. Thanks!

  • Valerie A Says:
    July 10th, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I have to say I was skeptical that this technique would work, but it did. I had to do all three hinges but the door is staying open. Thank you for a money-saving, time-saving method! I’m very appreciative.

  • Official Comment:

    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    May 25th, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Janet, yes, door pins are available at home centers and are very inexpensive. Best of luck!

  • Janet Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Every single interior door of our home of 16 years (new when we purchased) closes aporox a quarter way, one closes all the way and I’ve put up with this for entire 16 years! I’ve paid a handyman to attempt the fix, he took a couple of those grocery store twines (not sure of correct name), the things you close your produce bags with or trash bags. This worked for about 2 months. I want to try this suggestion but have a question first. What are the chances the pin won’t go back in after hit with hammer? We would be sad to find I’ve made it worse. Are these pins easy to find and buy again if this happens?
    Thanks for the video.

  • Jaime Says:
    April 27th, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Awesome tip works great!

  • W. Grant Says:
    January 12th, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    P.S. One of my buddies makes fun of me saying, “If you want to hide something from me just hide it in a toolbox” referring to my lacking ability to fix anything. I say that to say if I can do this anyone can do it!! Easy Peasy!!!

  • W. Grant Says:
    January 12th, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I bought my house about three years ago and have lived with three doors that wouldn’t stay open. I figured they hadn’t been ‘plummed’ correctly and regretted the fact that I was going to have to shell out some cash to hire a contractor to fix the problem. Today I finally got fed up and took it on myself to see if I could find a fix and found your video. About an hour later all three doors are fixed! Two of the doors called for me to take out the top two pins, but end result: FIXED! Thanks!

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Repairing a Door that Won’t Stay Open