Asked on Aug 21, 2019

How can I change a door to swing out instead of in?

by Teresa

I removed my walk-in closet door because it swings into the closet and i needed the wall space so no I want to put the door back and have it swing into the hallway instead of into the closet

  6 answers
  • Toni @ Girl, Just DIY! Toni @ Girl, Just DIY! on Aug 21, 2019

    Since the door stop is generally centered in the middle of the door frame it might be as simple as moving the hinges to the opposite side of the frame. But you'll want to check to ensure that the hinge on the door doesn't need to be moved/adjusted as well (that could get tricky). If the door knob was on the left and the hinges on the right when the door swung in, for example, the easiest way to transition it would for the door knob now to be on the right and the hinges on the left as the door swings out. And of course you'll need to relocate the strike plate as well to secure the door when it's closed.

  • J J on Aug 21, 2019

    You could also do barn door.

  • Seth Seth on Aug 21, 2019


    You could install a bifold door, but if you want to use the door, there are a couple of ways to do it. It depends on how the opening is framed. The stop molding may not be centered. Some doors are pre-hung with an integrated frame, all as one piece, designed to open one way. If it is all one piece, the video below shows the basic way to reverse the swing. You will know if it is one piece when you remove the trim and see how it is framed. If it is not a pre-hung unit like the video, the process is going to be more complicated. Message us back if it is not pre-hung and we can guide you on that.

  • V Smith V Smith on Aug 22, 2019

    It isn't hard to do, but you will need a sharp wood chisel and a drill with the a drill bit that is just a little smaller than your screws, a Philips screw driver, a hammer, and some small finishing nails. The door is removed. If they are different, change the knobs to the right sides. Use a flat blade (like a putty knife) to pry off the stop trim. If it is painted score it first with a razor knife. The right side becomes the left and the left side becomes the right. The top stop trim just turns around.

    With the hinges still on the door put the door in the opening as you want it and mark the jam with a pencil. I generally use books to raise the door into position but a helper is a good thing.

    Remove the hinges from the door. Most likely you will see where the door was chiseled out to accommodate the hinges. Flip the hinge to the front side of the door and line it up with those chiseled out areas. Mark the new hinge placements with a pencil. Here you are going to continue the chiseled flat to the front of the door. Using a sharp wood chisel GENTLY chisel away the ridge toward the front of the door until the hinge will rest in the old flat from the front of the door. You can fill the old hinge holes with wooden golf tees and wood glue. Cut the top of the tees off flush with the door after the glue has cured. Place a hinge to the front side of the door and mark your holes and drill. Attach the hinges and hold the door in place with the hinges against the jam shim it into place open, line up the hinges with the marks you made on the jam and drill the holes for the hinges in the jam. This is a good place to have a helper holding the door for you.

    You will need to drill and chisel a new hole under the striker plate and mark and drill holes for the striker plate. A little lipstick on the latch tongue will help you place the striker.

    If your wood is painted you can fill the old hinge holes and the old latch hole with Bondo or wood filler. If your wood is stained you need to use a wood filler that is stainable. Once all of that is done you can reinstall the stop trim. If you broke it taking it off don't worry you can buy new trim and it will be on the inside of the closet now so just butt the pieces to the top piece, no miter needed. Touch up the paint or stain. EASY you can do this.

  • If you have the wall space consider doing a barn door. Then you get to keep your wall inside the closet. You could do a bifold door but if it's a walk in closet make sure you have enough room to enter it.

    • Teresa Teresa on Sep 04, 2019

      Thank you. I do have the wall space for barn doors . Will look for a video to explain how to install a barn door

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 10, 2021


    Why not use a concertina door or a pocket door or a door curtain or bifold?