How to Replace an Exterior Door Frame

An exterior door.
  • 7-24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 55-160
What You'll Need
Replacement frame wood (pressure treated framing materials)
Carpenter's or wood glue
Measuring tape
Hammer and nails
Wood putty or wood nails
Paint, paintbrush (optional)

Whether your existing frame has begun to rot or has suffered other damage, or if you simply want to enhance the appearance of your home by modifying one of your doors, there are a variety of reasons to replace exterior door frames. Replacing an outside door frame can give your house's exterior a fresh new look while simultaneously strengthening the area around the door itself. Fortunately, replacing an exterior door frame is a relatively simple task that can be done at home without the help of a professional contractor or carpenter. Read on for instructions on how to replace the exterior door frame on one or more doors to your home.

Step 1 - Gather Your Materials and Tools

Before attempting to remove or replace any of the preexisting door frames, be sure that you have the necessary tools and materials. Many of these materials are available at hardware and home repair stores. Others, such as the replacement frame wood, may best be acquired through carpentry outlets or furnishing stores.

Step 2 - Remove the Existing Frame

If you are removing a damaged or rotten portion of the frame, make a mark above and below any sections that are to be excised. Use your saw to carefully cut through those portions of the frame, ensuring that you eliminate all damaged wood from the outside of the door.

If you plan on removing the frame entirely, you may find that the crowbar is more useful. Take care not to damage the door or the area around the frame as you pry off the pieces of the frame. You may also find that cutting portions of the frame with your saw before you attempt to remove them with the crowbar will help to ease the process.

Step 3 - Measure the Frame Section that Was Removed

Using your tape measure, carefully note the length of each portion of the frame that you removed when possible. Otherwise, measure the area around the door carefully so that you'll know how long to cut your next frame strips.

Step 4 - Cut the New Frame

Use your measuring tape and a pencil to mark off the lengths necessary for the new frame. Cut the pieces with your saw as appropriate.

Step 5 - Attach the New Frame

With a hammer and wood nails or wood putty, attach the pieces of the new frame above and to the sides of the door itself. Be sure to follow any instructions on the wood putty container, and allow for plenty of time for the putty to dry. You may want to use both nails and putty in order to ensure that the frame is securely attached around the door.

Step 6 - Prime and Paint the Frame

If you desire, prime and paint the frame according to the instructions on the primer and paint cans. Allow for adequate drying time before touching or recoating the new frame.