Having a door that opens up fully is not always ideal. Sometimes you need to keep the door slightly open to let in fresh air while retaining some privacy, and at other times, you need to keep the door almost closed, but open enough to let your furry pet in.

So how do you stop a door from opening fully? Here are some excellent DIY methods that you can use right away.

1. Use an Improvised Stop

A door that swings open fully might be a temporary inconvenience. You probably need to keep the door slightly open for a few hours, or just long enough to let in some air.

In this scenario, you only need to find an improvised stop that will keep the door open in the exact width or position you have in mind. You can make improvised stops from everyday items in and around your home. Here are some options:

  • Use an old rag: You can push some part of the rag under the door, forming some padding around the outer edge. This will keep the door fixed in the position you want.
  • Use an old shoe: Do you have any old shoes lying around your garage or basement? Get a pair of them and use them as a wedge behind the door while it is in your preferred open width. However, this option only works if the door’s weight won’t push the shoes away as it swings wide open. Also, you need to consider the general aesthetics of having the old shoes visible in the space.
  • Get a brick.:If you can find a neat brick around your home, use it as a wedge behind the door. A square chunk of weighty wood cut in the size of a brick will also do the job.

2. Get a Decorative Stop

If the idea of using any of the improvised stop options above doesn’t appeal to you, consider buying decorative door stops. You will find options made of ceramics or iron. Look for options that are a perfect fit for your door size, but don’t forget to pay attention to the aesthetic appeal of the stop. If it doesn’t fit into your décor, it is no longer decorative, right?

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You can use these stops just like any of the other options. Open the door to your desired width, and then pop the door stop behind to keep it in place. Some options you can buy right away include Cast Iron Mouse, Comfify Cast Iron Owl, and the iCooker 4 Pack. Are you a cat person? You’ll love this Black & White Cat doorstop.

3. Install a Hook or Magnet Stop

You can place these small pieces of hardware on the floor or on the wall behind a door. When you open the door, use the hook or magnet behind the door to attach it to the second half of the hardware mounted on the wall. This will keep the door open.

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The magnetic options work automatically, while the hooks have to be connected manually. A good manual option is the Ives FS446.

4. Install a Door Closer With a Hold-Open Feature

You’ve probably seen that piece of hardware at the top of most doors in commercial buildings that can close a door automatically. These are known as door closers and can be installed in residential apartments as well. You only need to find an option that incorporates the hold-open feature. This way, you can keep your door open just wide enough. A good door-closer model you can consider is the Onarway Adjustable.

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This option is an excellent way to keep the door open because most door-closers can be installed easily, and they don’t interfere with the aesthetics of your apartment as they safely snuggled away at the top of the door. Also, triggering the open and hold is as simple as opening the door a little wider or pushing a part of the design.

Do you already have a door closer installed? Check your hardware store for the hold-open-arm hardware.

5. Bend the Pin in the Door Hinge

This is an old trick that still works perfectly. If you get it right, you can keep your door open at any width you choose without any additional help. Here is what you should do:

  1. Close the door.
  2. Remove the top hinge pin and lay it on a hard surface, preferably concrete.
  3. Strike the pin in the middle with a hammer to cause a slight bend in it.
  4. Put the pin back into the door.
  5. Test the door to see if it can stay in your preferred width without opening fully.

If you get this right, the door will no longer swing open further than you’d like, but you’ll still be able to close the door with ease. If the resistance created in one pin isn’t enough to get the result you are looking for, you should consider repeating the process for the middle or bottom hinge.

If you don’t have a hammer or can’t find a hard enough surface to bend the pin, put a layer of masking tape around the pin before popping it back into the hinge. However, this is a temporary solution that will wear out after a while. You’ll have to keep re-apply tape to the pin(s) to maintain the resistance.


With the above tips, you can keep your door from opening fully. Whether you are trying to prevent your door handle ruining your wall by repeatedly banging on it, or simply looking to leave the door almost closed, but open wide enough to keep an eye on the next room, these tips can help you.

If you choose to go with more technical (and more permanent) options like bending the pin in your hinge, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help to avoid causing more serious damage to the door.

You may also like: Best Ways to Secure a Door From the Inside

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