How to Fix an Interior Door


One of the many chores of maintaining a home is to inspect the interior doors on a regular basis. This will alert you to sagging hinges or lose doorknobs. While these are not the only two things that interior doors tend to suffer, they are the two that are generally overlooked the most. Other issues that you may face include holes in hollow core doors or cracks in solid wood doors. Each of these does not require a professional carpenter to fix. A screwdriver, new screws and a little ingenuity and each of these repairs is easily accomplished.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head screwdriver New screws that match the old screws Spackling compound Wood putty Putty knife Sandpaper

Sagging Hinges

  • Remove one screw from one of the hinges on the door. Be certain to match this screw in size and length as close as possible. In some cases, the screw may need to be a bit longer to get a better grip.

  • Install each new screw as you remove the old screws one at a time. If needed, slide a book under the door to hold it up while you finish this part of the project.

  • Install new hinges only if the old one is badly damaged. You will want to replace all the hinges on one door so you do not mix old and new hinges.


  • Inspect the doorknob at the surface of the door itself and also at the latch. If the existing screws at the latch will tighten up, there will be no need to replace them.

  • Inspect the screws on the doorknob plate. If they are in good condition, tighten them back down to hold the doorknob in place.

  • Replace the doorknob if this is an ongoing problem. The threads in the screws may have lost their strength and need to be replaced.

Holes and Cracks

  • Inspect the hole in a hollow core interior door. Measure the diameter of the hole to see if it is smaller than 3 inches.

  • Locate a small piece of ¼-inch plywood that will slip inside the hole. Drill a small hole in the center of this plywood and thread a small string through the hole and tie a knot in it so it will not pull back through.

  • Apply some glue to the plywood, slip it in the hole and pull it against the inside of the door with the string. Hold the string in place until the plywood will not move when you release it, or secure it to the door with screws that will be removed once the glue is set.

  • Cut the string with a pair of scissors or remove the screws. Fill the holes with spackling compound and sand when dry. Refinish as needed by painting, etc.

  • Fill cracks in solid doors with wood putty and sand when dry. Repaint or re-stain the door as needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear safety glasses. If the hole in the door is larger than 3-inches, you may want to use a different method in repairing it. Check with your local retail lumber supply for other methods.
  • Do not over tighten the screws in the hinges or doorknobs, as this will compromise their integrity. Do not mix types of screws as this could compromise the strength of the hinge.

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