How to Replace Missing Slats From a Louver Door
Louver doors add an elegant touch to all types of doors. The ability to open and close the slats adds versatility to the door design. When any slats are missing or damaged, you don’t have to rush out and buy another door. Replace the slats and restore the door to its original condition. Measure the slats and take note of the types of pins and hardware used on your door. You can find replacement slats and hardware at most large home improvement stores and online.
Removing Damaged Louvers and Old Pins
Slide the tilt rod that adjusts the louvers so that all of the louvers are in the open position.
Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to gently pry apart the staple that holds the louver to the tilt rod piece. Use gentle force to avoid damaging the tilt rod or the staple. If the staple is missing, you can skip this step. You will add a new staple as described in the “Adding New Staples or Eyelets” section.
Pull out the pins that holds the louver on the left and right sides with the pliers. Remove the entire louver slat piece.
Replacement Louver Size and Preparation
Measure the width, length and depth of the louver to determine the dimensions required for the replacement louvers.
Prime and paint or stain the replacement louver and allow drying time, according to the manufacturer's directions for the primer, paint or stain.
Use the pliers and a utility knife to remove any remnants from the wood, nylon or aluminum spring-load pins, which were inside of the stile pinholes. The stiles are the edges of paneling where the pinholes are located.
Adding New Staples and Eyelets
Measure the staple to determine what size you will need for the new replacement louver slat. Use the same size as the other staples so the louvers open and close properly.
Use the needle-nose pliers to grasp the new staple at the top “crown” section. Dab a small amount of contact cement onto the bottom prongs of the staple with a cotton swab.
Thread the staple through the holes of the tilt rod and into the holes of the new louver slat. Use your fingers to gently push the staple straight into the holes in the louver slat. Proceed to the “Adding the New Louver Slats” section if your louvers do not have eyelets.
Follow this step if your louvers have eyelets. Grasp the bottom of the eyelet with the needle-nose pliers. Bend the eyelet carefully so you can remove the louver without breaking the eyelet. If you break the eyelet, you will need to replace it. Thread the staple through the eyelet and gently close the eyelet with the pliers.
Installing New Pins and Louver Slats
Use a cotton swab to dab contact cement onto the fat ends of the spring-load repair pins for the left and right side and inside the pinhole cavity on the left and right sides of the door stile.
Insert the glued end of the spring-load repair pin into the pinhole on the left side and the pinhole on the right side. Insert the shutter pins into the holes on the edges of the replacement louver slat.
Slide the left side of the replacement louver slat into place so that the shutter pin connects with the spring-load pin by pushing it in to the left. Repeat the process to insert the slat into the pinhole on the right.
Repeat all steps to replace any additional louver slats if needed.
Things You Will Need
- Replacement louvers
- Needle-nose pliers
- Tape measure
- Primer and paint or stain
- Utility knife
- Louver eyelets (Optional)
- Cotton swab
- Contact cement
- Consider a new paint or stain color to give your louver doors a new look.