How to Fix a Hole in a Wood Door

How to Fix a Hole in a Wood Door – Easy Door Repair Guide

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Whether you have a home of teenagers that enjoy roughhousing or you have bad luck hitting your door with hard objects, at some point, you will need to learn how to fix a hole in a wooden door. While this could seem like a daunting project in its own right, we have provided you with all of the information that is needed to ensure that you get the best results when repairing your wood door. So, whether it is a hollow core or a solid door, take a look at what we have provided below.



Different Types of Wood Doors

Before you decide to learn how to patch a hole in a door, you will need to know what type of door you are working with. There are two types of wood doors that you will find in a home, these are hollow and solid wood doors. Both of these require a different approach when repairs are concerned, so take a look at the pros and cons of the two below.

Type of Wood DoorProsCons
Solid Wood Door
  • High level of fire resistance
  • Better at insulating sound
  • Strong
  • Heavy
  • Difficult to install
  • Expensive
Hollow Core Wood Door
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Very easy to install
  • Some are flimsy
  • No sound insulation
Solid Core Door
  • Stable
  • Warp resistant
  • Excellent sound insulation
  • Poor resale value
  • Easily damaged


Solid Wood Door

Solid wood doors are, in fact, solid wood and this is the ideal choice for an exterior door. Except for the knobs, hardware, and hinges, the whole door is made of wood. Solid wood doors were not always made from a whole slab of wood. They are made up of multiple tiny pieces of wood. Solid wood doors may be utilized both indoors and outside.

How to Fix a Solid Wood Door

Exterior and interior doors can both be made of solid wood. When used on the outside, wood must be polished or painted. Where traditional charm is needed, solid wood doors serve as a suitable choice. Learning how to repair holes in solid wood doors is much more challenging than its hollow counterpart.


Solid Core Door

Since the wood is being chopped and treated into a thick fiberboard, doors made from solid core are only ostensibly wood. This fiberboard is useful for soundproofing and generating a general sense of safety. Although the inside is made of fiberboard, the exterior will be made of a better-grade material such as hardwood veneer.

Many solid core doors that have been designed to look as if they have been painted as wood do not have a wood veneer surface at all. In fact, they are thick slabs of MDF or other engineered wood that had been molded and molded to resemble a painted door.

Types of Wooden Door to Fix


Hollow Core Wood Door

While solid wood, as well as solid core doors, have certain shared characteristics, hollow cores are not. The insides of hollow core doors are made of wood, but only by name. Since it is converted into cardboard with corrugated stiffeners, the underlying product is unidentifiable as wood. The exterior is made of fiberboard stamped with wood grain or, in certain cases, actual wood paneling.

Assembling a Hollow Core Door

Although hollow core doors are commonly slandered, they do have a place in homes and buildings as they are significantly less expensive than solid core and solid wood doors. If you need to replace doors in your house, hollow core doors that are placed in bedrooms, restrooms, pantries, and closets can save you a lot of money.



Fixing Holes in Wooden Doors

When it comes to repairing holes or learning how to fix a hole in a wood door, the process can be quite simple; however, you will need to ensure that you have the proper tools and materials on hand. Furthermore, when it comes to the steps that should be followed, they will vary depending on the type of door that you are working on.


Fixing a Hollow Core Door

We will begin with learning how to repair hollow core doors, and one of the main differences when it comes to working with this type of door is that you also have the option of reinforcing the door. The first step involves assembling all of the tools and materials that are needed to ensure that you can get the best results. You will need the following:

  • Paint
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic wood
  • Expanding foam
  • Cardboard
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • A small flat piece of wood
  • Putty knife
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Hammer

Fix Hole in Hollow Core Door


Step One

Remove the wooden door from the door frame and place it on sawhorses or any stable flat surface. You will need to start by removing the door hinges. To do this, start from the bottom and work slowly to ensure that you do not warp or bend the hinge itself.

Keep in mind, not all doors have the same type of hinges, so it is very important to ensure that you understand how the hinge works before trying to remove it.


Step Two

Ensure that the edges of the hole are clean, and this can be done with your utility knife by taking off enough of the door material to end up with a clean edge. You do not want to make the hole any larger and if you can, try adding a bevel along the edge as this will make the subsequent steps much easier.


Step Three

Remove the larger pieces of wood with your needle nose pliers. You do not need to be meticulous by trying to get the smaller pieces of wood out of the door, as this will make no difference to the repair process.

Needle Nose Pliers for Fixing Door


Step Four

Cut a narrow strip of cardboard, on a different surface to avoid damaging the door, and this will create a barrier to prevent the foam from expanding further into the door. You can fit the strip of cardboard into the hole with your screwdriver and needle nose pliers. This will create a space to contain the expanding foam.

This is a tricky process, so take your time, as it will be easy to lose your patience.


Step Five

When the cardboard chamber has been fitted, add your expanding foam, but be careful not to add too much as this can expand to a point where it will crack your door. As the foam expands, take a piece of masking tape and make a frame that encompasses the parameter of the hole. This will prevent the foam from adhering to the undamaged part of the door. The foam itself will take up to four hours to fully cure, so take a break in the meantime.

Filler Foam to Fix Hollow Core Door


Step Six

With your utility knife, cut off any excess foam and while you are doing this, dig into the foam to make an indentation that will be filled with your patching material. You will now remove the masking tape and use your plastic wood filler, which is the ideal wood filler for doors, on the damaged parts of the door. With a flat piece of wood, spread it evenly to completely fill the gap and to ensure that there are no bubbles or anything of the sort.

You can also add some filler to ensure that you get a smooth and flush finish during the sanding process.


Step Seven

Once the plastic wood filler has dried, you will be able to use fine-grit sandpaper to get a smooth surface that will be ready for paint. Before you begin painting, you need to use a damp cloth to wipe down the area and then clean it with a lint-free cloth or a paper towel.


Step Eight

Apply a uniform coat of paint with your paintbrush and then let it dry. You could also use two coats if you feel like it. You can hang the door by essentially reversing the first step when the paint has completely dried. To repair hollow core doors, the process is very simple and all you need to do is ensure that you wait long enough for the materials to cure.

Wait for Spray Foam to Set

When it comes to repairing solid core doors, the process is pretty much the same and you will need the same materials. Do not forget to be mindful of the expanding foam and you should only use wood filler for door projects as another type of wood filler could give you unsatisfactory results.


Fixing a Solid Wood Door

If you would learn how to repair holes in solid wood door, then you are in luck as we have provided a complete tutorial on how to do it. However, it is important to understand why solid wood doors would crack. These cracks are primarily caused by the wood’s inability to expand and contract with various levels of humidity and temperature.

Guide to Fixing a Hole in a Door

Furthermore, the paint and lacquer that hold the wood panels in place will crack at various weak points. If the cracks are not tended to immediately, they will eventually expand to a point where the insulating properties of the door will be compromised. If you are learning how to fix a hole in a wood door, solid wood doors take a bit longer and the technique is different compared to hollow core doors. To get started, you will need the following tools and materials.

  • Paint
  • Plastic wood
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Natural fiber string
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Putty knife
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Hacksaw blade
  • Utility knife


Step One

Start by cleaning the edges of the crack with the hacksaw blade and the utility knife. The goal is to get rid of the detritus that has settled in the gap. It is also very important to ensure that the wood is exposed.


Step Two

Now you are going to need to measure two pieces of string that slightly exceed the length of the crack on the door. Soak the first piece of string in glue and then use the edge of the screwdriver to stuff the glue-soaked string into the door’s crack. You can start from the top and work your way down; however, it is very important not to push the string too far into the crack. Additionally, the panels need to remain parallel and should not twist as you pack the string.

Fix Wooden Door with String


Step Three

With the second string, you should repeat the process and once this is complete you should double-check that there is enough space for you to add putty. Before you can move on to the next step, you will need to allow the glue to harden.

This should take a few hours, but it is better to wait than to try and proceed with wet glue, as this will produce inferior results.


Step Four

Clean the surface of the wood to ensure that the putty has a clean surface to adhere to. With your putty knife, spread a layer of wood putty over the opening. Your goal is to try and create a uniform surface that would be simple to paint. Take the time to let the wood putty dry for a few hours.

Wood Filler for Fixing Hole in Door


Step Five

Once dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to make a uniform surface for the paint. Then you will need to paint the repaired surface with the intention of matching the door. It is also a good idea to repaint the entire panel as this will allow a much more consistent look.



Door Design Styles

Doors are generally available in two design styles and understanding these will help you when it comes to learning how to patch a hole in a door. The design style of a door will usually depend on the type of door it is, so let us discuss this in more detail below.


Flush Doors

A flush door is essentially a flat door with a smooth surface that lacks any panels or trims. It is made of a wooden structure that is coated on both sides with ply, natural wood, or MDF board. They feature flat surfaces on both ends and hollow interior regions that are filled with a filler material such as cardboard. The door is then painted, veneered, or laminated in a variety of colors and patterns.

Guide to Fixing Flush Doors


Panel Doors

Panel doors are constructed using typical wood joiners such as rails, stiles, and filler panels, which are then combined to form the door. They may be made from several types of wood and come in a variety of colors. They have a long history and have served in the building sector for a long time. Panel doors have long been a popular choice in the construction business.

Wood Panel Door Fixing Guide



Different Types of Wood Fillers

Wood fillers are an important material for door repairs and if you would like to learn how to fix a hole in a wood door then it is important to understand what each type of wood filler does. There are five types of wood fillers that are generally used for door repairs and we will take a quick look at each one below.


Wooden Bondo

This is a new type of wood filler. Wooden Bondo, as opposed to wood putty, is water-based and provides robustness and integrity. And if you are searching for a stainable filler, this is the one for you. Additionally, it is also easy to use and has decent adhesive properties.


Wood Putty

Wood putty is an oil-based filler that never hardens completely. It is best suited for outdoor use on pre-treated wood. One of the main downsides of wood putty, apart from its lack of hardening, is the smell and the extra wood that is needed to ensure that it works properly.

Putty Types for Fixing Wood Door


Exterior Wood Filler

As the name states, this is a filler for outdoor woods since it responds well to the environment. However, for improved weather-proofing, it must be combined with acrylic latex. Nevertheless, this is a must-have for all exterior wood repairs as it will ensure that the wood remains protected from the elements.


Epoxy-Based Wood Filler

This is a transparent or tinted chemical epoxy-based wood filler. It is used to restore the structural integrity of a damaged area of a door because it generates a stronger surface toughness than the material itself, which makes it harder to sand off. 

Epoxy Putty for Fixing Hole in Door



This is one of the only solvent-based fillers with varied wood tones that is ideal for repairing aesthetic damage on different kinds of wood. Despite the fact that this filler does not ensure long-term strength, it is nevertheless a market favorite because it is pre-mixed.



Using a Hardener for Repairing a Door

Since it contains a hardening element, a wood filler is usually sufficient to fix a hole found in a wooden door, such as an oak door. However, depending on these two criteria, you may require a hardener to reinforce the sturdiness of the hole repair:

  • The size of the hole
  • The overall condition of the door being repaired

A hardener will allow the wood filler to work better as it will become stronger once added to the compound. So, a hardener has its place when it comes to door repairs and if you would like to learn how to fix a hole in a wood door without using a hardener, there are plenty of other materials that can be used.



Replacing vs. Repairing a Wood Door

One of the most crucial components of door maintenance is front door repair. Front doors, being the principal gateway to most homes, can show signs of wear and tear over time. An outdated door might not only detract from the aesthetics of your house, but it may also be a security issue. The steps required to repair or swap it out will vary depending on the sort of door you have.

Wood doors are strong and may last a long time. They do, however, require upkeep in order to maintain them appearing at their best. If you find any shifts in the functionality of your exterior door, you should take action. Multiple variables will influence whether you replace or repair your door.

Repairing a Solid Core Door


When to Repair

A door can fail for a variety of reasons, and only a limited number of them can be restored. Fortunately, there are several methods for determining what is the issue with your door, as well as numerous methods for fixing or repairing it.


Defective Hinges

The door is not the only object that can reveal the effects of time. Door furnishings and equipment can rust or corrode, compromising the door’s functionality. When subjected to water, the metal used to produce screws and hinges can corrode, and it may also deteriorate when dirt accumulates. Again, they may appear to be major flaws, but they do not necessitate the replacement of the complete door.

Repair Hinges on Wooden Door



Due to strong temperature fluctuations, wooden doors might expand. They are also prone to absorbing moisture in damp or wet situations. This might result in a deformed door that no longer fits in its frame and quickly becomes stuck. Whenever this happens, it is tempting to believe that your door has to be replaced. Fortunately, there are various home solutions available to cheaply repair your skewed door.

To fit into its frame, a bloated door may merely require sanding. Hinges, locks, and other components may also need to be realigned so that the door can function properly again.


When to Replace

You should replace your door once it has been determined that the cost of repair will exceed the cost of replacement. Some doors also cannot be returned to a perfect state due to intricate designs or the discontinuation of certain hardware. The reality is that replacing a door is expensive and it can be difficult for a novice DIY enthusiast to install a new door.

Fixing vs. Replacing Door


Now that you know how to fix a hole in wood doors you will save hundreds of dollars in labor costs. The materials needed are cheap, and all you need is patience and the ability to follow our instructions. Once completed, you should have an incredible finished product that is able to stand the test of time once again. We wish you the best of luck with this project!




Frequently Asked Questions


Are Door Repairs Expensive?

This depends on the extent of the damage. If you are repairing a small hole or a crack, then it is more time-consuming than anything else. However, trying to repair a door that has been split in half is a herculean effort that can be very expensive.


Will I Need Any Power Tools for This Project?

Power tools are optional, but you can get away with using a screwdriver instead of a drill and standard sandpaper instead of a power sander.


Is It Easier to Replace the Door?

Yes, but it is much more expensive. We would recommend that you try to repair a hole or crack in a door before thinking about replacing the door.

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