Standard interior doors don't have to be as sturdy as the entry doors on your house, so they are often constructed with a hollow core. This saves material and makes them lightweight, but also makes them more vulnerable to breakage. Whereas a falling shelf or inadvertent poke with a sharp object might do little more than dent an exterior door, it can put a hole in a hollow-core one. If the hole doesn't go all the way through the door, it's easier to fix, but if it does, it can still be patched.
Things You'll Need
- Patching compound
- Paper cup
- Putty knife
- Drywall joint compound
- Drywall blade
- 100-grit sandpaper
- Utility knife
- Spray foam insulation
- 2-part auto body filler
- 2-part epoxy wood filler
Fill holes smaller than 1 inch in diameter with patching compound, which is powder that you mix with water. Fill the bottom of a paper cup with the compound and pour in a little water, stirring as you do, until you get a thick paste that is stiff enough to remain on the tip of the putty knife when you pick it up.
Fill the hole with the patching compound and scrape it flat with the putty knife. If the hole extends through the other side of the door, fill and scrape that side as well. Let the compound set for 4 to 6 hours.
Spread drywall joint compound on top of the repair and scrape it flat with a drywall blade. Use the joint compound on both sides of the door if the hole extends through. When it dries, sand it flat with 100-grit sandpaper, then touch up the paint with a paintbrush.
Cut around the edges of larger holes with a utility knife to make a smooth bevel. Pack newspaper into the hole, then spray in foam insulation from a can, completely filling the hole.
Cut the insulation flush to the door when it dries. Mix 2-part auto body filler with hardener and spread it over the hole with a putty knife. When it starts to get rubbery, cut off the excess with a utility knife. Sand the surface smooth with 100-grit sandpaper.
Spread on a coat of joint compound with a drywall blade and scrape it smooth with a drywall blade. When the compound dries, sand it smooth, then touch up the paint with a paintbrush.
Patch holes around the knob or near the hinges with 2-part epoxy wood filler. Mix the filler with hardener, then use a putty knife to spread it in the hole. Let it stiffen, then shape it with the knife. When it dries, sand it with 100-grit sandpaper. As with all the patches, a touch-up with paint completes the repair.
Tips & Warnings
- You can use 2-part epoxy filler to mend gouges in the edges and corners of the door. Spread it on, shape it when it stiffens, then sand it when it sets. Epoxy wood filler is available in colors that will match most door stains.
- Work quickly when you are using patching compound or auto body filler. They set in a short time.
- Wear rubber gloves when using spray foam insulation and don't get any on your clothes. It is next to impossible to remove.
- Photo Credit green bedroom two image by Stephen Orsillo from Fotolia.com