If you want to paint your pocket door, or it has been damaged and you need to repair or replace it, you might be in a quandary as to how to remove it. The procedure depends on the type of hardware the door has, and it's usually a simple one -- but it involves a step that might give you an "a-ha" moment: You have to remove the trim on the pocket side of the door jamb to give the door room to swing out so you can get it off the track.

Door Removal Procedure

You must remove the flat facing on the right side of the jamb to expose the edge of the door. Depending on the style of the pocket door, the door casing -- which is the decorative trim around the outside of the door opening -- may be nailed to this facing; if so, the casing has to come off first. You may also have to remove the facing from the top jamb, although this isn't always necessary.

Step 1

Close the door, and then unscrew the plastic guide from the bottom of the door, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Step 2

Slice through the paint seal between the facing on the right side of the door and the door casing, using a utility knife. When you do this, you'll be able to see whether the casing is nailed to the facing.

Step 3

Work a stiff metal putty knife behind the facing, and pry it outward. You may need a pry bar to help make this easier to do. Once you locate the nails, pry near each one in turn, starting at the top, until it pops out. When all the nails are out, remove the trim piece. If the casing is nailed to the facing, pry off the casing first, using the same technique.

Step 4

Slide the door open until it's about 1/2 inch from being closed and you can grip both edges. If the door has J-rollers, angle the bottom of the door toward you while you lift it to free the rollers from the track. Then remove the door.

Step 5

Use a different procedure to remove a door that rides on trolleys. Locate the plastic levers between the top of the door and the track, and flip them to the open position, using a flat-head screwdriver. Support the door while doing this, and as it falls off the track, you can remove it from the opening.