Step-By-Step Guide On How To Fix A Hole In A Door Like A Pro

Are you doing some home repairs? Or maybe you just accidentally knocked a hole in your wooden door? Hollow-core doors are the most common interior doors for houses and apartments. Although they are pretty affordable, they can be easily damaged since they are relatively flimsy. The good news is that it is easy to fix the hole using materials available at your local hardware store!

A broken wooden door and a hole in the door close up

Hollow-core doors withstand normal wear and tear, but one unfortunate accident, like a screwed-in hook, may result in a jagged hole. The door repair will only take 1 or 2 hours. Keep on reading to find out a step-by-step guide to fixing a hole in such a door. We even tell you how to repair drill holes and irregular holes in solid doors!

Can you repair a hollow door?

Do you need to buy a new door, or can you repair one with a hole? As much as we love hollow core doors for their variety of styles and value for money, these doors aren’t known for their durability and strength. This is why a hole could appear while you are moving furniture or because of an accident with the doorstop or an anxious pet. 

Do you want to get your door looking back at its best? Of course, one option is to replace it, but you can also make it a DIY home improvement project to repair it! Make sure to inspect the damage there is and the size and depth of the hole. That way, you’ll know the quantity of the materials you’ll need, the time the project will take and how good the results will be. It’s not the same to have a small hole or one that is taking up ample space in the door frame, making you remove and fit a new door frame. Keep on reading to find out all you need to know about fixing a hole in a wooden door!

Prepare the hole for repairing

Before you begin, there are some things you should do. The first thing is to get all the tools and supplies you’ll need. Also, always remember to wear protective eyewear, gloves and long sleeves when working with sanding tools, glues and epoxies. Follow these steps to prepare the hole for repair.

Step 1: Gather your supplies and tools

Here’s a list of all you’ll need to have before you start repairing your door:

  • Paper towels
  • Expanding foam insulation
  • Auto-body filler
  • Hardener catalyst
  • Popsicle stick
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper or detail sander
  • Spackle
  • Plastic tray
  • Screwdriver
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Paint scraper
  • Utility knife
  • Artist’s paintbrush
  • Wood primer
  • Paint
Home Repair and Building Concept. Spatula, Putty Paste, Sandpaper, Paint Brush, Working Gloves on Textured Background

Step 2: Cut any loose plywood away from the hole’s edges

The door hole probably has some loose plywood and splinters around the edges. With a utility knife, cut this material out until you have a clean spot with smooth edges.

Step 3: Pack a couple of paper towels into the hole

Push in the hole 3 or 4 paper towels. You’ll need them to support the expanding foam you’re about to add. Without them, the foam would fall to the hollow door’s bottom.

Step 4: Fill the hole with expanding foam insulation

The foam insulation material comes in a large aerosol can with a long plastic applicator tip. You should squirt a generous amount into the hole to expand the foam and fill the hollow space behind the hole. Then give it several hours to allow it to dry

Step-by-step guide: How to fix a hole in a hollow-core door

The steps for how to fix a door hole are short and straightforward—no special skills required. Read on for the excellent and fast fix details! 

Step 1: Cut the protruding foam

With your utility knife, cut any excess foam away until it is slightly lower than the surface of the door. Wait a few hours until the expanding foam is fully dry before you start trimming. 

Step 2: Mix auto-body filler and a hardener catalyst at a 2:1 ratio

  1. Scoop an auto-body type that works with fiberglass out of its container and into a plastic tray. 
  2. Squeeze in half as much hardener catalyst. 
  3. Use a popsicle stick to stir them until they are thoroughly blended.

Step 3: Apply the filler mixture over the dried expanding foam

  1. With your popsicle stick, scoop up some of the mix and smear it over the dried foam filling the hole in the door. 
  2. When it starts to thicken, take a putty knife’s edge and scrape it across to smooth the surface and remove any excess residue.
  3. Wait for it to fully dry before you proceed.
Hand with a spatula, spatula with spackle paste structure, process of applying layer of putty trowel

Step 4: Sand the filler with 100-grit sandpaper

With a sandpaper or detail sander, sand the thoroughly dried surface until it’s flush with the surface of the door and completely smooth. You should also sand off any leftovers.

Step 5: Apply spackle over the sanded filler

Apply a layer over the hole using a putty knife. Work in smooth, long strokes to apply the putty. Then allow it to dry, giving it about an hour.

Step 6: Sand the hole once the putty has dried

Rub a sheet of sandpaper over the dried surface until it’s completely smooth and flat. You can also use 100-grit sandpaper for this task. Keep in mind that you should use a different sheet from the one you used to sand down in the previous steps.

Step 7: Detach handle, hardware and hinges from your door

Sanding the door will have made certain areas uneven. Now, there are 2 ways you can use to make the entire surface regain an even finish. You may either paint the area you repaired or remove all the door hardware and paint it entirely. For the best results, we recommend taking the latter route. Remove the doorknob, hinges, and strike plate with a screwdriver. You should not use an electric drill as it could damage your door.

Step 8: Apply a coat of paint over the hole

Once the spackle has dried and you have sanded it down, you’re ready to finish fixing the door hole. Cover any door’s glass panels with painter’s tape to keep them from getting stained with paint. Then, using a large paintbrush, apply a coat of paint over the patched hole. For the layer of pigment to look as uniform as possible, work in long, smooth strokes. Give the paint about an hour to dry, and you are done! Keep in mind to use paint that matches the colour of the rest of the door.

Step 9: Apply a second coat of paint

You can apply more than one coat to darken the paint colour and enhance the door’s looks. Just keep in mind to only use the second coat after the first one has dried. Let this also dry before touching the door. For more details on how to paint an interior door, check here.

Painting of wooden door, workers hand and brush

How to repair drill holes

Using a power drill can not only make a hole in the wall but could also accidentally make a door hole. Repairing screw holes in hollow doors or solid wood doors is fairly simple. Small holes in wood doors coming from lock changes or other hardware can be easily fixed with a dowel.

  1. Find a dowel with the diameter of the hole and cut it to fit. It should stick out about 2.5 cm from either side of the door.
  2. Coat the dowel with the carpenter’s glue and tap it gently into the hole using a hammer. When one end is flush with the surface of the door, let your glue dry.
  3. With a hacksaw, cut the other end of the dowel off.
  4. Sand down any rough areas.
  5. Repeat for all holes as necessary.
  6. Paint the patched area or the entire door, and you’ll complete your project!

How to repair irregular holes on solid doors

To fix a hole in a solid wood door, you’ll basically follow the same instructions as the ones for a hollow door but with different materials.

  1. To support the filling material, use C-clamps to hold a piece of wood to one side of the door.  
  2. Fill irregular or large holes with epoxy wood filler mixed with hardener
  3. For a smooth surface, trowel it into the hole.
  4. Leave the patch with a concave centre and let it dry.
  5. When the filler has hardened, remove the C-clamp and the wood on the other side of the door. 
  6. Coat the patch with drywall joint compound on the exposed patch’s both sides.
  7. After the drywall joint compound has dried, paint the patch.

How much does it cost to fix a hole in a door?

In the UK, carpentry and door repair services generally cost £60 to £100, but average prices can vary. Sometimes, to have a hole in your door professionally repaired can cost you more than replacing the entire door. On the other hand, when you’re doing the patching yourself, you’ll only need to pay for the supplies!

happy woman standing behind blue door smiling


You now know that you can restore any busted door to good-as-new condition, following just a few steps. Not only can you finish the job quickly, but the steps are also simple and require no experience. All you have to do is get your tools and supplies, wear the proper protective equipment and follow our step-by-step guide! Say goodbye to any door hole and welcome back your room privacy and home aesthetics!

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