We have a pair of sliding / pocket doors where one side is painted and the other side is mostly taken up with a mirror.

Well, the color was atrocious so we painted one side, but didn't get to painting the mirrored side yet (have to remove the mirror, paint, reinstall...). This means the doors have warped as the weather changed, and aren't sliding freely in their tracks any more; they bind on the trim around the opening.

Is there a simple way to fix this? I could sand down the trim so it has a matching convex shape, but that seems like a kludge. Un-bow the doors somehow?

  • 1
    How much warping are you talking about? If the door does not fit in the hole due to normal seasonal changes, I would say the trim was too tight in the first place.
    – Tester101
    Jun 30, 2011 at 16:47
  • I'm not sure if this was a pre-existing problem; we just moved in. Right now it's warping about 1/8" from top to middle. Jul 1, 2011 at 12:44

3 Answers 3


I had the same problem, and was able to resolve the problem by counter-bending the door. You can try it in the frame, or you can remove the door and use some wood you might have laying around. If you do it in the frame, you won't be able to operate the door while you're working on it, and it will probably take a few days. But the idea is to stick some wood or something to make the door bow the other way. You'll need to be creative so you don't scrape-up the door. If you can figure a way to counter-bow the door by hand, then slip the scraps of wood in there, that would be good. Maybe put the top and bottom scraps in there, then get someone to heave on the middle section while you slipped another scrap of wood in there. Trying it in the jamb might take longer because you can't get that much of a counter bend in it, due to the frame only being so wide. Taking it out of the jamb might be faster, since you can get more of a counter bend, but obviously removing pocket doors can be tricky.

my artwork, hehe


This is very Easy to do!

_Click photo for full size
enter image description here enter image description here

I will show you a method that took me less than 2 hours to fix and I did not remove my Pocket Door. As for I can not because I built it in using Bullnose Corner Bead. Very Smooth look but can be very difficult down the road when it comes to changing out the hardware or replacing the door in general. The instructions I am supplying you with is if your door has been only painted on one side and after the paint dried your door is now warped and is rubbing on the insides of the wall/frame.

Supplies you will need to fix your Warped Pocket Door. NO TOOLS!

  1. Duct Tape,
  2. Wood Shims,
  3. Spray Bottle,
  4. (Bucket or Paint Tray),
  5. (Paint Brush or Paint Roller okay this is a tool),
  6. (Humidifier optional),
  7. Table Salt,
  8. Water,


  1. Shims (3 to 6 depending on how much gap there is you will need to double up on 1 or 2 )
  2. Duct Tape. (Place the Tape around the Shims to prevent from scratching door)

(NOTE: Skip step 3 and go to Step 6 if you have both sides of your door painted.

3.Bucket of Water or a Paint Tray works perfect. You can use a Spray bottle too!

4.Paint Roller or {Paint Brush)( You will need to roll only the one side of the door and if the door and in this case the opposite side of you painted.)

  1. Make sure the Door is fully wet and Please protect the floor with a cloth as for there will be water that will drip.)

  2. Humidifier (cheap $15 unit works perfect. (Optional but will speed up the process)

  3. 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt (Mix this in your Humidifier to create the Vapor/Steam Please follow the instructions of your Manufacturer's unit.)

So here is the method that I used and it worked in 2 hours. Open the Door and push it back into the Pocket/Frame of back into the wall etc.

You will place your shims at the top of the door and bottom on the side that is not painted. Your middle shim will be place in the middle of the door ( you may need to place more than one shim on the painted side. Place them 12 inches from the handle just above it and the other 12 inches bellow the handle) This will help if your door is rubbing in more then one spot. The shims will be tight but make sure you have the same even gap on both sides of the door inside frame. You will stand in the middle and eyeball this as for there is no need to measure. Now place your Humidifier as close to the door on the floor in the middle of the jam so the Steam will rise up into the cavity/frame of the door.

You will need to monitor your door every half hour to see if you need to push the shims in further. If your shims still feel tight and have not play/movement then let it set for 1/2 hour. Now you can remove the shims and look at the shape of the door and it will began to straighten and you will need to keep the Humidifier on it.on if your shims are still in place. Now after inspecting the gap and straightness of the door and you are not fully satisfied then place the shims back in the door making sure they are tighter then before. Continue to do this and as I mentioned before you must make sure to monitor the door. If you forget to then your door will start to warp the opposite side and you are going to have to start all over again but placing your shims in a different position.

  • So, what do you do after that? Are you intending to have the humidifier run forever?
    – wallyk
    Jan 8, 2017 at 21:05

For better results, I suggest you use two shims on each side like this:

(source: aac-research.at)

My door is painted on both sides, I drilled an array of holes to assist with the moisture; will increase hole density or diameter if this doesn't work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.