Farmhouse Fixes: Doors That Don’t Latch



When we bought our house, several of our interior doors did not close.  Three years went by, and they still did not close.  The important ones did–bathrooms, our bedroom, and all of the external doors.  But there were two bedrooms, a door to the landing that we now consider our own “walk-in” closet, and an office door that were actually missing very important parts.  You could turn the knob all day long but there was nothing for it to grab onto on the other side of the frame.  All of the hardware had been removed, and you could see holes where things used to be.  Seems like a pretty simple fix, right?  Just get all new hardware, and we’re set!  But it wasn’t that simple.  All of the doors have pretty much the original cast iron rim lock sets that can be found on web sites like House of Antique Hardware, and are up there in price.  The locks and doorknobs are still in great shape (and are pretty cool looking!), but we were missing the “strike” as it’s called.  So my husband got creative and gathered some supplies to make what we needed.

Here’s what he used:

  • Flat steel cut to size- some 4 1/2″ and some 5 1/2″
  • Hammered black spray paint
  • Drill to put holes into the steel where the nuts go
  • Nuts and spacers to finish them off

Here’s how they turned out:










We’re both pretty happy with how they turned out.  The doors close, and the makeshift hardware fits in pretty well for the most part.  Although, taking these pictures made me see how many areas need touched up!   I’m going to have to save that for another time.

Has anyone come across something like this in their house–where the old stuff looks cool but just doesn’t work right anymore?




  1. Kristen says:

    I know the woes of this all too well. All of our doors in the house have antique hardware. When we had a flood and the restoration people were fixing things up, they lost one of the strike plates. The guy had a friend that was a metal worker, so he asked if he could make one for him. He made one and the guy asked him how much he owed him, and he said “You couldn’t afford it.” haha.

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