Restore Old Doors – How to Repair Damage and Install Modern Hardware

8 Materials
2 Hours

We recently updated the door hardware and even some of the doors in our home and it’s made an amazing difference. This project gave me the chance to save a few old doors, too. They turned out so good Courtenay asked me to share a few tips on how to restore old doors.

Here’s how you can easily restore old doors and make them functional again by repairing damaged areas and adding modern hardware.

As you can see, the area on the end near the latch looked pretty rough and the mortise-style lock set would be difficult to repair or replace. You can also see a small crack in the closest panel as well. Time to get to work...

To get started on the restoration of this old door we need to remove the old lockset. 

In order to fit a new, modern style knob set into this door we need to layout the position of the new lock and cut a new main bore hole and make any adjustments to latch hole. 

With the holes drilled out, check fit and function of your new holes. Make sure the latch lines up with where our repaired edge will be when we’re complete.

Now, it’s time to measure and cut our wood patch. I used a piece of pine cut from a regular 2×4 because pine is easy to work with. The downside with pine is that it’s soft and may damage again easily but with a patch this small and a quality paint to cover it, I wasn’t too concerned.

Apply a coat of primer to the areas that were repaired and give the entire door a new coat of paint. When the paint has dried, completely install your new knob set, faceplate and strike plate...

Looks pretty great, right?!

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CreekLineHouse .

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Diana Mann
    on Jun 15, 2019

    Looks really sharp! Man! I have that exact same door I think. LOL. Would you mind sharing where you got the hardware? It looks amazing. I boiled my door's old hardware, and planned to spray paint it, but I am loving your new/old look!

  • Ann
    on Jun 16, 2020

    How to clean old hardware from a door or a cabinet . Old crockpot, vinegar, and dawn dish soap, over nite. You can then give good scrub, rinse dry. I have used this method instead of buying new.

Join the conversation

3 of 18 comments
  • Mary Coakley
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Superb work the doorknob is.beautiful

  • Jan
    on Jun 16, 2020

    We just soaked off our hardware from a 140 year old door. Followed the recipe off of Youtube. Baking soda & water simmered in an old pot for 30-45 minutes. Paint peels off like a breeze. Highly recommend!

    • Charise.
      on Jun 17, 2020

      Yeah, but I think updated hardware takes this project to the next level. ...maybe incorporate the original hardware as a repurposed piece, i.e., robe/towel hook.

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