How to Replace Weather Stripping on a Door in 5 Simple Steps

Don’t be draft—installing new weather stripping is a simple project with big rewards

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated May 2, 2022
A mother embracing her children at the front door
Photo: AzmanL / E+ / Getty Images


You've got this!

Time to complete

1 hour

60 minutes


$10 to $30

Weather stripping is sold by the roll, and higher-end materials come with a higher cost.

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What you'll need:


  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sponge
  • Rag
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver or electric drill
  • Putty knife (optional)
  • Staple gun (optional)


  • Adhesive weather stripping
  • Door sweep weather stripping
  • Soapy water
  • Small nails (optional)

Have things been getting a little drafty in your home? It may be time to replace the weather stripping on your doors. This type of exterior door maintenance won’t just make your living space more comfortable—it’ll also save you cash. Fewer drafts equal lower energy bills, and you don’t need to be a pro to get it done. Here’s how to replace worn weather stripping around doors in just 60 minutes.

Prepping to Replace Weather Stripping

Before you start your project, you’ll want to inspect your weather stripping and tighten the hinges on your door. The goal is to make sure that your weather stripping—rather than a loose hinge—is actually what’s causing a draft. If you can lift your door up by the knob, your hinges may be to blame.

Once you rule out the hinges, you need to purchase weather stripping. This requires careful measurements. Close the door and measure the areas where you want to install your replacement weather stripping along the door jambs. Both width and length are important. For example, you’ll often need a thicker type of weather stripping for garage doors. 

When in doubt, you can measure your existing weather stripping for reference as long as it’s not significantly degraded. Door sweeps, which go on the bottom of the door, come in standard sizes. After you take your measurements, add 10 inches to the length to give yourself some leeway. 

How to Buy Weather Stripping

There are different types of weather stripping, and you need to purchase the correct kind. Door sweep weather stripping goes on the bottom of your door, but you’ll need to install another type of door seal around the door frame. Most commonly, homeowners choose a self-adhesive variety because it’s simple to install—but material matters.

Felt or foam varieties, like foam tape, are some of the most popular kinds of self-adhesive weather stripping. These can lack durability, despite their ease. If you’re installing weather stripping on an exterior, you may want to choose something stronger like a self-adhesive v-seal or tension seal weather strip made from vinyl, bronze, aluminum, or stainless steel. Rubber is one of the most durable options, but installation is tricky because you’ll need to nail it in place, so you may want to hire a local handyperson

When purchasing new weather stripping, consider:

  • Where it’s going on your door

  • How much durability you’ll need

  • Your overall budget

  • Your climate 

Dry areas may need more dust protection and cold climates may need more draft protection.

5 Steps to Replace Weather Stripping on Doors

A young man installing weather stripping on a door
Photo: AvailableLight / E+ / Getty Images
  1. Remove Old Weather Stripping and Clean the Area

    Remove your old weather stripping either by hand (if it’s peel-and-stick) or by removing the screws and nails that hold it in place. If you’re having trouble pulling it away from your door, use a putty knife to get under the adhesive.

  2. Clean the Area

    Weather stripping has a tendency to trap dirt and grime. Once you remove the old weather stripping, clean the area with a sponge and soapy water. Dry the area completely using a rag or towel.

  3. Cut Your Weather Stripping

    You’ll need to cut three pieces of weather stripping to fit around your door: 

    • One for the horizontal jamb (the interior top of your door frame) 

    • One for each vertical jamb (the interior sides of your door frame)

    Use your tape measure to determine the right size, then use scissors to make your cut. Keep the length a little longer than required to fine-tune it later. It’s better to have a piece that’s too big than too small. Hold your weather stripping segments up to the door frame to check the sizing.

  4. Install the Weather Stripping

    Peel the adhesive back off your weather stripping, and install it on the corresponding door jamb. If needed, cut the excess weather stripping to get a perfect fit. Press it down firmly to ensure adhesion, and—if you want added security—tack it in place using a staple gun or small nails. 

  5. Install the Door Sweep

    Door sweep weather stripping goes on the bottom of your door rather than the door frame. Some varieties are adhesive. Others need to be screwed into the bottom of your door. Either way, when you install the door sweep, make sure there’s a tight seal along the threshold (bottom of your door frame). This prevents draft.

DIY Weather Stripping vs. Hiring a Pro

You can save more than $100 on the cost of weather stripping if you install it yourself. This is no problem for most DIYers—especially if you’re using self-adhesive weather stripping. Some varieties, like tubular rubber, are more difficult to install because they need to be nailed into place. In that case, you may want to enlist a local handyperson service. If the project extends to more than just a single door, you may want to have a handyperson weatherize your whole home.

Additional Questions

How often should I remove old weather stripping?

As a general rule, you’ll probably need to replace weather stripping on your doors every few years. Inspect your weather stripping annually. If you notice a draft in your home, it never hurts to take a look.

What type of weather stripping should I use?

Most homeowners find self-adhesive weather stripping, like foam tape, the simplest to install DIY. Use a door sweep on the bottom of your door and a door seal around the jambs.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.