Yesterday I was removing some interior doors for a tiling project that was about to happen, and for one hinge on one door I couldn't knock the pin out. But I did notice that for that hinge, that the screws into the frame appeared loose.

I decided to unscrew the hinge from the frame in order to remove the door. In doing so I discovered that 2 of 3 screws were loose to the point that they were not biting into the wood. I couldn't use a screw driver or electric drill to unscrew them. Instead I had to manually unscrew then with my fingers while pulling back on the head (but they didn't just pull out).

When it comes time to put this door back, what would be the most pragmatic way of securing this hinge? I don't like the idea of digging into the wall to properly fix the frame when 7 of the 9 screws holding the door up are perfectly serviceable.

1 Answer 1


Toothpicks and glue is the easiest. Put glue on toothpicks and fill the hole/s.

Cut the toothpicks at the level of the wood. let the glue dry.

Place the hinge/s back on with with screws.

Can also use longer screws for better holding power.

  • D'oh that's obvious now that you mention it. I'm guessing that you only need 1 or 2 toothpicks, because I can't see you getting any more into the hole.
    – Peter M
    May 23, 2022 at 20:24
  • 1
    @PeterM - The idea of stuffing up the entire hole with toothpicks and glue (or a carved hole plug and glue) is that you let it dry fully and then drill a new pilot hole for the screw of the proper size.
    – Michael Karas
    May 23, 2022 at 20:43
  • @MichaelKaras The "drilling" bit isn't mentioned explicitly in the answer. Theoretically you only need to add some extra material around the edge of the current hole. So how to do this was a bit baffling to me
    – Peter M
    May 23, 2022 at 20:46
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    sanded golf tees are a harder wood and can be worked more like a nail, bamboo skewers have a lot of holding power as well. If you use round toothpicks, which you should, cut off the pointed ends before inserting.
    – dandavis
    May 23, 2022 at 20:48
  • @PeterM - Adding some "extra material" may work (even possibly without gluing but the best is to tightly glue and close the old screw hole and then make a new properly sized pilot hole.
    – Michael Karas
    May 23, 2022 at 23:36

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