Q&A / 

Door Weatherstripping Sticks to Painted Door

DEAR TIM: We repainted our front door last year and I guess we didn't allow for full drying. Now, even a year later, whenever we open or shut the door it sticks a bit to the weatherstripping. What would be the best way to get rid of the sticking so we have a clean door opening and closing? Would petroleum jelly or a spray lubricant offer any help? Dave Wojtkowski, San Francisco, CA

DEAR DAVE: I had this happen to me on one of my jobs years ago and it was a learning experience that I shall never forget. Forget about using any of those products you mention, as they will just make a mess of things. You just need to either repaint the door or possibly touch it up if that is acceptable. There is a very good chance you will need to buy new weatherstripping unless you can carefully remove all paint from the stripping without harming it. If the door is newer, you should have no problems finding replacement weatherstripping.

Both water and oil-based paints need to fully cure before you allow them to contact another object. This curing process can take days and sometimes weeks depending upon the type of paint and the weather. For paint to develop a substantial degree of hardness, chemical changes have to occur inside the paint. The paint-curing process advances as certain chemical compounds evaporate from the paint.

The problem is some weatherstrips are so good, they block this evaporation process when the door is closed. This is why your door continues to stick.

To prevent this problem from ever happening again, all you have to do is remove the weatherstripping from the door jamb before you start the painting job. The vast majority of weatherstripping materials for newer doors have a small fin that fits into a small groove in the door jamb. To remove the weatherstripping, start at one end of a piece of the weatherstripping and pull the fin out of the groove.

Paint the door and leave the weatherstripping out for a minimum of two weeks. Hot, dry weather accelerates curing and cool, wet weather slows paint curing.

Column EM0018

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