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How To Remove A Pocket Door For Painting

If you're planning on painting your pocket door, you must also be thinking of removing it to avoid getting the paint everywhere. Do you have questions on how to get this done? We have researched how to remove the pocket door to help you accomplish this task. Let's dive in!

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To remove your pocket door, remove the trim before or keep it on. If you decide to remove the trim from your door, follow these steps:

  1. Scrape off the caulks around the door line.
  2. Remove the trim.
  3. Lift the wheels out of the J-Track/release the lever.
  4. Tilt and lift the pocket door.
  5. Pull out the door.

If you do not want to remove the trim, you can do these steps instead:

  1. Look for the jamb stops.
  2. Remove the jamb stops.
  3. Disconnect the pocket door from the track/trolleys.
  4. Detach the door from the frame.

While these steps look like enough to do the job, you will need more specific instructions to ensure it will be successfully done without damaging your pocket door or frame.

We will talk about that in a little bit, along with how you can paint it and what's the best color or decoration you can put. With that said, let's get right into this topic below!

White closetpocket doors wood closeup - How To Remove A Pocket Door For Painting

Removing The Pocket Door

Open sliding wooden pocket door concealed with a wall cavity inside a house with close up detail of the handle

Pocket doors require a different removal method than conventional doors.

With conventional doors, you need to remove the screws on the hinges that hold the door in place and allow it to swing when opening and closing.

But pocket doors require more than a screwdriver to be detached.

Here are the tools that you will need:

  • Cutter or utility knife
  • Hammer
  • Flat bar
  • Pliers

Before you begin, note that you should avoid being aggressive since you want to preserve the parts you will disassemble for when you put them back later.

Also, wear protective gloves and eyeglasses to be safe from accidents and injuries.

Lastly, even though removing a pocket door is a DIY project, do not forget to ask for assistance from skilled professionals if you need one.

Removing The Pocket Door (And Trim)

Step 1

If you have caulks along the paint line between the trim and wall, scrape them off using a utility knife or a cutter. This can give you an opening for the next step.

Step 2

Next, remove the trim along both sides of the door frame. You must first open the pocket door. Then, go to your preferred end corner of the trim.

Get your flat bar and position its end on the lining that separates the board and the wall. Insert that by hitting it with a hammer. This will loosen the trim's attachment.

Once there is enough space, pull the flat bar out and put its other end in. Slowly and carefully pull the trim outwards. Repeat the same process until you reach the other end of the trim.

Be extra cautious in spots where there are nails pinned. That is a vital area where the wood can break. Once you're all done, you might notice leftover nails on the wall.

Pull them all out using your hammer's claw or with plies.

Step 3

The following step will be divided into two categories—one for those whose pocket doors use J-track and the other for those who use the trolley system. Let's start first with the first one.

If you are using the J-Track system, close the pocket door again. Get down on the bottom part of the door and pull it towards you until tilted. Lift it upwards to get the wheels out of the track.

If the door is too heavy, ask for assistance to prevent accidents or damage.

This step will depend on your hanger set for those using the trolley system. But usually, you will need to look for the lever. There you will unscrew the trolleys that are clipped into the track.

Note that this does not apply to all the trolley systems of pocket doors.

Step 4

Next, tilt the door in your direction to push it upwards. This will place it in a ready-for-pulling position.

Step 5

Take the door out and put it where you will do the painting.

Removing The Pocket Door (Without Removing The Trim)

  • Step 1 - Look for the jamb stop. It's at the head of the pocket door, at either end of the track.
  • Step 2 - Using a screwdriver, detach the jamb stop. Before doing so, ask for a helper to hold the door for support. This can prevent it from dropping down as you remove the stop.
  • Step 3 - Next, lift the door and check how you can disengage the rollers from the track.
  • Step 4 - Once disconnected, you can now ask your helper to take the door out with you.

What Color Should You Paint A Pocket Door?

Modern interior in loft style barn sliding wooden door in loft room. Studio

If your pocket door is starting to look worn out, replacing it is not the answer. Painting it with a fresh new color can give the door a different look as if it was newly bought.

Also, it can add a transformation to your space no matter what design you will choose. Before we learn how to paint them, let us look at some of the ideas from the other homeowners.

Go Simple With Monochrome

Glazed entrance to the luxurious restaurant — Photo

Painting the pocket door the same color as your walls can give off a clean and subtle look. If your door has no engraving design, it can even look like a wall from afar unless opened.

Be Wild With Vibrant Tints

Painting your pocket door with striking colors can make it the room's focal point. You can opt for a tone that matches the rest of your interior for a cohesive look.

Opt For Pastel Colors

A new pocket door in a house bedroom entrance to bathroom. A pocket door saves space by sliding into the wall rather than swinging open.

If you are not the type who goes for intense color, review your pastel palette and pick the color you want. Pastel colors give a soft look, so they look more calming to the eyes and won't take away much attention.

Matte Finish Maybe

You can opt for the matte finish if you do not want lights reflecting on your door. Since matte absorbs the light, it can hide the door's blemishes.

This is perfect for areas prone to bumping and scratching, such as the kitchen and front door.

Glossy Look

In contrast to matte, a gloss finish can give you a cleaner look. But since it reflects lights, it can be distracting.

Want to learn more about painting? Read this: How To Paint A Wooden Door [Inc. In White]

How Do You Paint A Pocket Door?

White closet doors wood closeup

After choosing which paint color and finish you want to do, you can now proceed to the main event. Painting a pocket door is also an easy task.

Here are some materials you'll need:

  • Saw horses
  • Old newspaper/plastic
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush

Once you've gathered all the tools and materials you will use, you can now start painting by following the procedure below.

  1. Expand the newspaper or plastic on the floor. Try and cover as much floor space as possible.
  2. Place the two saw horses in the middle of the floor cover you created.

Check out this saw horse set on Amazon.

  1. Lay the door on the saw horses. Make sure it is balanced.
  2. Using the painter's tape, cover the hardware you want to protect from paint.

View this painter's tape on Amazon.

  1. Open the paint can and mix with it a stick. Once blended, pour an adequate amount on the paint tray.
  2. Start painting from one corner until you reach the other end. Avoid brushing in different directions and maintain a nice, single stroke until the whole pocket door is covered in paint. Do the same to the other side.

Check out this paint brush set on Amazon.

  1. Wait for the first layer of paint to be completely dry before painting it with a new coat.

Are you also planning on giving your bedroom door a makeover? Check this out: How To Decorate A Bedroom Door: 11 Great Ideas!

To Finish

Removing a pocket door for painting includes scraping off the caulks, removing (or not) the trim along the door frame, and disconnecting the door from the track.

Since you're still going to put the door back, follow our suggestions to avoid any damage.

If you're not confident in doing so, you can always ask for professional help since some steps may require extra pair of hands. Also, you can choose from a lot of inspirational designs.

Whatever matches your style will do. Good luck with your painting project!