How to Replace a Door Knob Strike Plate

What You'll Need
Strike plate
Wood putty

There are several reasons for why you would want or need to replace a door knob strike plate. You may be replacing or updating your doorknobs and you want the strike plate to match the new finish you have selected. Sometimes, due to time, age, and climate—such as changes in temperature and humidity—the strike plate will have to be replaced or moved in order for the door to close and the latch to lock properly.

Step 1 — Simply Replace the Old Strike Plate

If you are simply replacing one strike plate with another, all you will need is a few minutes and a screwdriver. Remove the old strike plate from the doorjamb by unscrewing it from the wall. Align your new strike plate over the screw holes already in the wood, making sure that the curve of the plate is facing in the direction from which it will be receiving the latch. Then, just screw the new strike plate into place.

Step 2 — Re-Placing the Strike Plate

If you need to move your strike plate either up or down on the doorjamb, the first thing you will need to do is mark where the strike plate will have to go. Once you have removed the plate from the wood, put a good layer of chalk on the bolt of the latch. Then gently close the door. When you open the door, you will have a mark left on the doorjamb indicating where the hold of the new strike plate will have to be in order to catch the latch.

Step 3 — Fill Any Unused Holes

If you are moving the strike plate, be sure to fill in the old holes left behind by the old plate. Using wood putty, fill the screw holes, as well as the bolt hole, you will not be using. Once the putty is dry, sand it down for a smooth finish.

Step 4 — Check the Fit

Tape the new strike plate into its new place on the doorjamb. You do not yet have a hole for the bolt, but this will tell you if the plate is in fact in the correct place to receive the latch. Once you are sure that the plate is properly positioned, mark the hole for the bolt and remove the plate.

Step 5 — Cutting Out the Bolt Catch

Using a sharp, angled chisel, and gently hammering, cut away the wood in the doorjamb for the bolt to be caught. Tape the strike plate back up to test that the hole is deep enough to receive the latch. Once you have reached the necessary depth, remove the tape.

Step 6 — Mounting the New Strike Plate

Lastly, screw the strike plate into place on the doorjamb. Close and open the door to be sure that the latch is catching properly.