A Simple Guide for Replacing Mid-Century Door Hinges

If you have a Mid-Century home, chances are the door hinges are in a dire straight and in need of attention. Today we are working on replacing both old and semi new (late 80’s” door hinges. Our goal is to have them not only match the door handles that are satin silver but also to clean up the look. The camera does not really capture the updated look and it is a detail for sure, but it is one of the items on various check lists. An added plus was that it was not that expensive (less than $100 for everything we needed).

This is one of many in the series that falls between both projects (updating and replacing items) over to the maintenance side that needs to be done. After all, oiling up old squeaky hinges is a maintenance item. Let me know in the comments which one you feel like it should land.

Typical problems with Door Hinges

What you will find with older homes are a couple of common issues. The good news is that you have several options to address these problems with door hinges.

  1. Hinges are old and rusty
  2. Noisy hinges (can be fixed with WD40)
  3. Lack of luster
  4. Painted over or have paint on them from sloppy painters
  5. Your door handle hardware has changed (and you need to match it)

Door Hinge Problems easy and difficult fixes

If you fall into this category that you want to address the hinges this may help you get moving quickly with little effort and thought. My biggest problem in life is over analyzing. It does not matter if it is at work or home, I sometimes wonder why it takes so long to make a decision. I often think back to the 1980’s Nike catch phrase of “Just DO IT”. So if you are like me, perhaps this blog post will help expedite your decision making.

If you have door hinges that are rusty, you can take them down and apart (removing the center shaft pin that holds both ends together). Remove the screws to take them off and clean them.

I recommend soaking them (if brass) into a warm bath of vinegar. This will not only help to clean up the brass if they are solid but will help to loosen any material like paint. Solid brass can be cleaned (if the protective coat is no longer present) with steel wool). Polish up to your satisfaction and then dry. To protect them you will want to spray them (outside or well ventilated area) with a clear coat to protect from them turning dark again.

Keep in mind if your hinges are NOT solid brass and of brass / gold color do NOT use vinegar or steel wool. That will destroy the finish. Just deep sink with warm soapy water and scrub with a toothbrush and or soft scrub pad. Lubricate the hinges with WD40 and let dry. Reinstall and you are good.

IF you are changing the color like we are (we had a mixture of painted, half painted, stained etc.) a mess. We are just replacing with the same kind throughout the house. 13 doors in total x 3 hinges per door. So I searched online, eBay, local retailers etc. etc. (remember my earlier statement of overthinking?). Then I came across this brand on Amazon (AmzGod). They had both square and round edge hinges that were sturdy and had great reviews. The price was not too bad either. Typical 1960’s and earlier had the square type of hinges to which a couple of our doors had those. Since we were not changing the doors we put back in what was there.

Installation of Mid-Century Door Hinges

Installation is a snap by following this method. Open the door half way and support the very end (opposite of the hinge side of the door) with a rolled up towel. This way you can start to remove the hinges and the door will not move.

Remove and replace each hinge one at a time. Each door took me roughly 5 minutes each. I did have to cut around some of the hinges that were painted. I used an X-ACTO knife but there was still some spots that caused minor peeling of paint. Some touch up and all done.

From This…. To That

Some of the pocket doors also had old brass handles which were changed out at the same time.

After replacing hinges and also door handles on the pocket doors, there was one last detail needed. Hinge Pin Door Stoppers. If you have a door like us that does not have a wall behind it, (in our bathroom as an example with a bathtub and a closet door behind) you need these.

One final thought, we also had a couple of areas where the doors stay open for most of the day. Like one of the bathrooms with two doors that open close to each other. They share the same wall when open. This presents a problem when going from the living room to the bedroom. A normal door stopper would help keep the door from crashing into the wall, but the door still flops back into traffic.

A simple door stopper with a magnet works perfectly. I ordered these up and used them in multiple doors not only due to the style and look but to their function. They hold the doors in place even if you slightly hit the door handle.

Another item off the check list and more documentation for our home! A simple process of removing the old door hinges and other door hardware to complete an upgrade/color change of the hardware and also to address worn squeaky hinges.

Until next time!


Joe Salling
July 26, 2023 at 8:27 am

This is a simple post but helpful for thought

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