Refinishing an entry door often requires removing the door overnight while the work is being done. To secure your home and keep insects out while the work is being done, install plywood to fill the opening.

Here’s a simple way to install plywood in a door opening without having to drive screws or nails into the door frame.

Installing a temporary plywood door:

  1. Cut Plywood: Cut two pieces of plywood to fit the size of the door opening.
  2. Drill Holes: Drill two matching holes through both pieces of plywood, one near the top of the plywood and the other near the bottom.
  3. Position Plywood: Put one piece of plywood on the inside of the door frame and the other on the outside.
  4. Fish Wires: Bend two pieces of tie wire in half and fish one wire through each of the holes.
  5. Insert Outside Handle: Slide a short rebar or pipe through the wire loops on the outside of the door.
  6. Attach Inside Handle: Place another rebar or pipe between the wires on the inside of the door and twist the wires together.
  7. Tighten Wire: Turn the bars in opposite directions to shorten the wire and hold the pieces of plywood securely in the opening.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Danny Lipford: Often, refinishing a door requires you to leave it off the hinges overnight. To secure the opening, cut two pieces of plywood to the dimension of the frame surrounding the door. One will go on the inside, the other on the outside.

So you don’t have to drive screws into the door frame, stack the two plywood pieces together and drill holes through them both—one near the top and one near the bottom.

Once you have a piece on the inside and one on the outside, bend a piece of tie wire in half so it’s about a foot long or so. Fish one of these through each hole. On the loop end have someone slide a short piece of pipe or metal bar through the loop.

While someone holds the outside bar in place, twist the inside bar so the wire between the two is also twisted. As it twists it will become shorter, pulling the pieces of plywood together and securing the opening until you can replace the refinished door.

Danny Lipford: Does that feel tight to you?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, it seems tight.

Danny Lipford: Do you like it?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, it’s beautiful.

Danny Lipford: OK.

Chelsea Lipford: All right.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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