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How do I rehang a wooden door with worn screw holes?

As you can see in the below image, the upper screw holding in the lock plate (name?) has stripped completely out of the crappy soft wood frame. The plate is loose, and the door catches on it further damaging the plate and the door.

I cannot relocate the plate, as that's well beyond my abilities as a DIY guy. What's the best way to secure the screw in the hole? Epoxy? Is simple hot glue good enough? I don't need to ever get it back out again... I just want it in tight so that plate doesn't catch on things and the door can be closed without worry...

Thank you!

door frame


4 Answers 4


Remove the plate and drill out the hole and fill it with glue and a dowel. I've used a 3/8" oak dowel in the past for this. Use a good wood glue and after it dries, shave it down with a wood chisel. Use touch-up paint if needed.

Make sure you allow the glue to dry as directions say and pre-drill into the dowel. The screw should fit tight then.

  • I second this method. Works like a charm.
    – Dave Nay
    Commented Dec 24, 2011 at 2:58
  • Another version of this is to insert a bunch of toothpicks covered in glue. The toothpicks tend to be made of softwood though, so a good quality dowel will probably work better.
    – RQDQ
    Commented Dec 24, 2011 at 22:32

Depending what's behind it, you might be able to just use a longer screw so that you can catch the stud behind it instead of just the frame. If this is not possible then the dowel route is best.


My quick and dirty fix for this is just to fill the hole with as many wooden matches as you can force in (obviously, remove the match heads first :)

Probably not as secure as filling the hole with a hardwood dowel, but much easier & quicker.

  • I have done this same trick to secure guitar strap buttons that have become loose. It works OK, but they can work loose over time because the soft matchsticks compress easily. A slightly more robust alternative is to use similarly sized sticks of hardwood. You can make them by splitting a scrap with a knife and mallet.
    – skiggety
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 16:04

For a quick fix I've had luck breaking off wooden match sticks or toothpicks into the enlarged hole and then screwing into that. This only works if the hole is just barely bigger than it needs to be for the screw to bite.

  • 2
    Break the heads off the matches...I'd hate to see a hard slam of the door light the house on fire!
    – Dave Nay
    Commented Dec 24, 2011 at 17:15

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