Wood doors are aesthetically pleasing and typical sturdy. However, a hole in a door is not a beautiful scenario, it is not only an eyesore in any house but it will cause structural damage over time. If not given proper attention, it will lead to a much bigger problem in the house.
Whether your door is a solid core or a hollow-core door you don’t need to be an expert to be able to fix it. Though hollow core doors have plenty of advantages, it is lightweight and easy to hang, it is also inexpensive. But is it also fragile and easy to have damage especially if you accidentally knock something heavy?
While solid core door is a little bit different, as the name implies, these doors are made from solid pieces of wood, joined together in a panel style. It is much heavy and durable than its hollow core counterpart.
Don’t you know that you can fix a hole in a door all by yourself, even if you are not an experienced home improver? You don’t need to call in a contractor and spent a lot to fix a hole. As long as you have the right tools, materials, and step-by-step guide, then you are all set on how to fix a hole in a door and made it look gorgeous again.
Materials and tools needed to fix a hole in a door should not be expensive, some of them can be found in your toolbox while the rest can be easily found in any hardware store in your area or in any online store.
Before we go to the step by step procedures, you need the following tools and materials for you to learn how to fix a hole in a door:
Tools you might need to fix a hole in a door
Utility knife– be sure you are using a knife with sharp blades to make your job much easier.
Putty knife – these are available in different sizes, ranging from an inch up to 6-inch blades, the size will depend on your door hole.
Popsicle stick – this is optional; any small flat piece of wood will do the work.
Hammer – any type of hammer will do
Screwdriver – Phillips style is better to use than the flathead because of the smaller size of its head.
Sandpaper – 100 – 120 grit sandpaper is the best one to use, though any fine-grain sandpaper can also be used to smoothen the hole edges. It is available at your local hardware store.
Paintbrush – used a flat brush for this application. All paintbrush sizes are available at your local hardware store as well.
Material for fixing the door
- Low-Rise Expanding Foam – any brand will do as there are many brands in the market with the same function. Even the cheap one can be used to fix the hole in a door. You can check the link for the price of low-rise expanding foam online so you have an idea how much it cost in physical stores. If the store has a variety of options, purchase a low-expansion type, as this will leave you with less cleanup as well.
- Masking Tape – same with expanding foam, any kind of masking tape will work. As it will only be used to avoid paints splashing over while painting the fixed hole later on. Do not use electrical tape or duct tape as these will leave a sticky residue that will be difficult to clean later on.
- Paint – small can size of paint is enough, no need to buy a larger quantity as you may not need it anymore. Be sure to pick the color that matches the existing color of your door. Check with your local paint store for swatches so that you can match them properly with your door. Choose the one that is easy to dry and waterproof, so that it won’t fade easily.
- Cardboard – you won’t need much, only the size of the hole. Any type of cardboard will do, either thin or corrugated or leftover packaging box you have in the house.
- Paper towel – optional; in case no available cardboard, 3 to 4 pieces of paper towel can be used as a substitute for cardboard.
- Wood filler or spackle – you can find this in your local hardware or any online shop like Amazon. This professional-grade, heavy-duty, solvent-based wood filler dries fast and hard and is shrink and crack resistant. It also contains real wood fiber so it looks and acts like real wood.
How do you fix the hole?
Following the steps procedure, will surely bring back your door to its original look and you will be proud of yourself after that because you were able to fix the hole in your door. Let your tools ready, and let’s begin the process of fixing the hole:
1. Protection first – Before anything else, before you start make sure you are protected. Wear a pair of heavy gloves to protect your hands from splints, paints, and any hazardous materials while working to fix a hole in a door. If possible, wear also goggles to protect your eyes from any dust while sanding and in any splash of filler and low expanding foam that will into your eyes and face. Make sure your working area is free from anything that will cause you harm. Always clean your entire area thoroughly once you’re done sanding.
2. Remove the door – if you want to work on a level surface, you can remove your door in its door frame. Remove the door hinges or pins with the help of a hammer and then lift the door off. Start with the bottom hinge, place your screwdriver on the head of the pin inside and gently use the hammer to tap the hinges as the hammer push it up and out of the hinges assembly. Repeat the process until all the hinges are removed, be careful in applying pressure upwardly on the door so that the hinges will not be damaged or become bent, if it will happen the hinges need to replace as bent or warped hinges will not be able to support the door anymore. Once the door was off on its hinges, lay it in as flat on a level surface, where you can work easily. Make sure it is stable and fully supported.
3. Clean the hole – the hole in your door might have some loose plywood around the edges. Remove debris, fragment, or loose splinter from the impact. Use your utility knife, pliers, and sandpaper to clean the edges until it’s become smooth. The aim is to clean the edges and beveled but not to enlarge the hole more than is necessary. You can have used a different sheet of sandpaper from the one you will use to sand the filler and low expanding foam. After sanding, use either a damp cloth or a dry vacuum to wipe them away.
4. Apply filler on the hole – cut a strip of cardboard and roll it up to fit in the hole. This will provide support inside the door after the hole is patched. If in case, you don’t have any available cardboard, then a couple of paper towels will do the work. It is light enough that it can support its weight creating friction against the inner walls of the door. Take some paper towels and gently insert them in the hollow part of the door. The area where you’ve applied the filler should be the same level as the rest of the door.
5. Fill the hole with low expanding foam – Always opt for a low expanding foam because the high expansion version could create new damage on the door. Upon applying the foam to the hole, make sure you work cautiously to allow the foam to expand and fill the hole. Take time do not rush, because working too quickly could result in applying an excessive amount of foam and might potentially damage the door.
6. Tape the perimeter of the hole – While the foam is beginning to expand, framed around the outside of the hole by the use of masking tape. This will keep the foam from sticking and expanding to undamaged areas of the door and of course, will make the final step a bit easier and cleaning will be easy as well.
7. Allow the foam to dry – complete drying will take about 4 hours or as per the manufacturer’s guidelines on the pack. The expanding foams need to be completely dry before trimming, if the center is still wet, wait for more hours until it is fully dry.
8. Trim Excess Foam – used your utility knife to cut off excess spray foam that has expanded outside the hole. Dig into the foam and make sure to create a notch that will be filled with the wood filler
9. Fill the hole – remove the masking tape and apply and spread the wood filler or spackle evenly. making sure that the gaps are filled. You can use a popsicle stick to make sure you can reach all the gaps to patch with to make sure that all will be solid and no air bubbles to be retained. Wait for the filler to dry. Drying time depends on the thickness of your filler and as per the manufacturer’s instruction. Once the filler has started to thicken, it’s now time to get the putty knife, used the edge, and scrape it across the filler. Continue till the surface is smooth and any excess, semi-dry filler was removed. It is advisable to use plastic wood filler because it is sand-able, stainable, and easy to paint with. Make sure the filler is fully dry before you proceed with the next step.
10. Sand the surface – used 100 or 120 grit sandpaper or any fine sandpaper you have at home. Make sure to apply little pressure to smoothen the surface until it is level with the rest of the door. Also, sand off any leftover expanding foam or filler that has stuck to the door’s edges.
11. Time to paint – make sure that the area is free from any dust, use a damp towel to wipe out the dust, allow it to dry before painting the fixing hole of the door. Make sure that you have the correct color paint for your door. You can consult your local hardware store for color matching. Bring home some multiple swatches and find the color closest to that of your door,
Apply a single coat using your large paintbrush, in a long and smooth stroke as uniform as possible, paint over the patched hole, and let it dry thoroughly. Give the paint about an hour to dry. You might even need to apply two or more coats to get the exact color of the whole door, otherwise, you have to paint the whole door to match the color. Be sure that nobody will come close to the door as even a small error can ruin the finished look.
Also, remember that some paint takes several days to cure completely, especially if it is interior paint, so consider this factor when deciding the number of coats, you should apply to the door.
Depend on where is the hole, you have the option to remove the door from the door frame, detached the hinges using screwdrivers, remove the door lever and doorknob so that you can work evenly and regain a more even finish. But make sure that you know how to bring it back again after.
Fixing the hole in the door seems difficult at first but if you follow the entire process you can complete it in a matter of few hours, of course still it depends on the size of the hole that is going to fix. It is really important to arrange all of your tools and materials before you start your project on how to fix a hole in a door, or else you will find yourself running back and forth to the hardware store midway through your project. Keep in mind that fixing a hole in a door required more patience than effort.