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Fitting an Internal Door Frame

If you are planning on renovating a room, then you should not overlook the doorway. The door is more than just a thing that keeps heat in and noise out, it serves as a form of decoration too. A nice looking internal door will complete the look of your room. Sometimes you can get away with replacing just the door, but if the actual frame is warped, damaged or worn looking then you may want to replace that too.

Replacing internal door frames is a job that takes some care and attention, but you don’t need to be greatly experienced in DIY to do it.  If you buy the right interior door frame kit and take your time when measuring and installing it, then replacing the door itself should be a breeze.

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Firstly, measure the dimensions of the existing door frame, then cut away the architrave, plinth blocks and jambs, to reveal the opening.
  2. Next, cut the new frame so that all the pieces are the right size. For maximum accuracy, use a table saw and a cutting fence for most of the cuts. If you are replacing the decorative architrave, you might need to use a mitre saw for some of those cuts.
  3. Once the frame is prepared, it’s time to install it. Make sure that the frame is level and plumb and place one of the side jambs vertically in the doorway, then nail it to the framing using 2” nails, so that it is completely flush with the wall and touching the floor. Repeat the process on the other side, and finish with the header jamb, making sure that all the pieces are flush with the surrounding wall and with each other.
  4. Next, make sure that the plinth blocks (the bottom parts which go where the baseboard and vertical casing meet) are in place and are secure. Nail them in place.
  5. Once the main frame is in place it’s time to put the casting trim around the frame. Do the two side pieces first, placing nails about 12” apart, then put the thin upper piece in place. 
  6. Finally, install the decorative molding, and then finish using decorative wood filler to cover up any exposed joints or nail holes.  When the wood filler is dry, sand it gently, prime the surface, and paint it.

If you want a visual aid, SkillBuilder on Youtube has an in-depth tutorial on How to Fit Door Frame Lining.

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Conclusions and final tips:

Fitting an internal door frame can be time consuming, but if you have a friend or family member on hand to help with replacing the door it is a job that is perfectly within the reach of a focused DIY enthusiast. Do remember, however, that internal door frames can be fragile and will warp or become misaligned if you do not handle them carefully. Sometimes it is easier to simply fit a pre-hung door, complete with the frame, so you don’t have to worry about it losing its shape.