Relocating an out of alignment strike plate

The door to the closet in our master bedroom hasn’t correctly latched shut since we moved into this house 3 years ago. The door rests ajar, and even when we pushed it shut, the latch bolt didn’t line up with the appropriate hole in the strike plate.

I dunno how it got this way. It’s possible that when we removed all the doors on day one in the house to paint that something got swapped and put back on the wrong door… but unlikely. It might be settling in the house, but nothing else seems to have settled and nothing seems out of square. Who knows. At any rate, I finally got around to fixing it.

Fixing the door so that it would rest shut rather than a few inches open just required inserting a few business cards behind the lower hinge as a shim. It worked perfectly. Getting the latch to line up took quite a bit more work.

Anyway, here’s the door (resting ajar as always):

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This door is not shut, does not latch.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but this strike plate is not the original strike plate that was here. You can see that the chiseled out area to recess the strike plate is larger than the strike plate itself. It’s similar, but different. Who knows what happened to the original strike plate.

I decided that the easiest way to fix this mess was to move the strike plate. Just sounded easier than trying to move the hinges or knobs or anything.

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Strike plate is not original, not the right dimension, and not in the right place (and missing a screw).

To fix it, I did the following:

1) I removed the strike plate, and filled the old hole up with generic all purpose wood filler.

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Old holes with wood filler.

2) I sanded off the excess wood filler.

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Jamb sanded smooth.

3) I chiseled in a new recessed area for the repositioned strike plate.

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You can see where the new and old chiseled areas overlap, and where they do not.

4) I screwed on the new strike plate & chiseled out the recess for the latch bolt.

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I only chiseled out the top hole for the latch bolt. I didn’t bother with the deadbolt hole. It can be chiseled out later if desired.

5) I repainted the surrounding areas with one of my kids toy paintbrushes.

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It could use a second coat of paint but I bet I’ll never get around to it.

That’s it. Huzzah for doing something productive!

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