How to Fix a Hole In the Door – 2 Door Types

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Holes in the door can be frustrating and fixing them can be a daunting task. This is especially true for front doors. However, if you know how to fix a hole in the door, this task will not feel so overwhelming.

You can get a hole in the door when it’s been damaged by an object or gradually worn out over time. If holes have been ripped into the door but the shape is still sturdy and intact, you can repair the holes.

Read on to discover the steps for how to fix a hole in your door.

How to Fix a Hole In the Door

How to Fix a Hole In the Door

Tools & Materials Needed

Aerosol foam insulation
Auto-body filler
Plastic putty knife and utility knife
Drop cloth or paper towels
120-grit sandpaper
Touch-up paint
2- or 3-inch paintbrush
Drywall joint compound
Piece of wood
Wood filler

NOTE: You may need different tools and items, depending on the repair method and the type of your door.

Method 1: How to Fix a Hole in the Door (for Hollow-Core Doors)

Step 1: Cut Damaged or Loose Wood (Plywood) From the Hole/Crack Edges

Any loose fragments or splinters around the rough edges must be cut away with a sharp utility knife. Hold it at a slight angle. This way you’ll make a beveled cut. Take all the safety precautions for this step and never cut towards yourself.

After removing the pieces of plywood, the hole in your door should be relatively neat. Don’t be surprised if you end up with a slightly larger hole.

Step 2: Stuff Paper Towels Around the Inside of the Hole

Push in 3-6 paper towels, depending on the size of the hole, until they are tightly set in the hollow area. Thick poster boards, small bits of newspaper, or pieces of cardboard can also come in handy. By packing them in the crack or hole, you will make a barrier around the hollow area’s perimeter.

The crumpled cardboard or paper is meant to keep expanding foam – you will add it in the next step – in place for a short while. It will serve as a temporary block that supports insulation foam whilst it’s drying.

Step 3: Add Expanding Foam

Now it is time to fill the hole. Use low-expansion foam to avoid creating larger damage. Those aerosol foams usually come in spray cans with either a straw or nozzle.

After pointing it into the damaged area stuffed with paper, spray generously starting at the back. Don’t skimp on foam, as any excess protruding from the hole is easy to remove. As you’re squirting foam, it will be expanding and filling in the hole gradually.

Step 4: Let the Foam Dry Completely

Allow the foam to dry for a couple of hours. While it usually takes about five hours, you need to check the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s best to leave it to dry overnight.

When can you proceed to the next step? The foam should feel rubbery and soft, but make sure it’s not tacky.

Step 5: Apply Auto-Body Filler

Once the foam has dried, you will need to trim away an excessive amount with a putty or utility knife. Make sure it is a bit lower (up to 0.1 inches) than the door surface.

Take auto-body resin and mix it with a hardener catalyst in a plastic tray or disposable bowl until you get a 2:1 ratio. Then fill the hole with this solution using a putty knife so that it is evenly spread over the hole. Leave it to dry.

Step 6: Spackle and Sand Smooth

Since the surface should be smooth and flat, sand it down with fine sandpaper. Make the affected area even with the door so that the auto body filler is removed totally. That will make the surface take paint well.

Apply spackle (make sure it is paintable) using a putty knife so that it’s spread over the filler ​ in a thin layer. Once this compound dries out, sand down again to create a smooth surface.

Step 7: Paint

Before starting to paint, remove any dust using a damp cloth to make the area perfectly clean. Once it dries, paint over the patched hole, i.e. the repaired area. Apply a few coats if necessary. You may need to paint your door completely.

Method 2: How to Fix Holes in Solid Wood Doors

While solid wood doors are less prone to damage, holes may also form in them sometimes. Learn how to fix them.

Step 1: Neaten the Hole

Rough edges around holes should be cut away. For this task, use a utility knife. Remove any splintered and ragged edges that are poking out the door using gentle sawing motions.

Try not to make the hole larger if not necessary.

Step 2: Apply Paintable Wood Filler

Before filling the hole, check the instructions on the package. Use filler that is compatible with the material your door is made from.

Make a slightly elevated patch that is somewhat concave. It will be sanded back when you line it up with the surface of your door.

Step 3: Cover the Hole with a Piece of Wood

Next, the repair should be covered properly. Place a matching piece of solid core wood and secure it in place with C-clamps. Let the wood filler dry before moving to the next step.

Step 4: Add Drywall Joint Compound and Sand Smooth

Remove your C-clamps and cover the repair with a joint compound. Allow it to dry. Then make the surface smooth with 120-grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Paint the Repaired Area

Choose the matching touch-up paint that will hide any sign of a repair and hole. It may be necessary to apply 2-4 paint coats for the best results. Don’t add the next coat of paint if the previous one hasn’t dried thoroughly.

FAQs About How to Fix a Hole in the Door

How Do You Fix Holes in Your Front Door?

Clean up the area around the hole and make the door surface smooth and flat with sandpaper. Next, the hole needs to be filled in with wood filler and sawdust before sanding it down. When you’re done sanding, let it dry for at least 24 hours. Paint over the door and nobody will know there was a hole!

Should I Fill or Patch a Hole in a Wooded Door?

First, you need to know how big the hole is. If it’s small, you can just fill it with a mixture of wood filler so that the entire area is covered. If it’s a big hole, you’re going to have to replace the piece of wood that has been chipped away, following the guide in Method 2.

How to Patch Holes in the Wood Door?

Put some wood glue with a putty knife and push a wooden patch into the hole, which fits in with your door. Once the glue has hardened, you need to sand it down before painting over the door.


this guide on how to fix a hole in the door yourself is rather handy when accidents happen and there’s a hole in the door. Buying a new door is surprisingly expensive, whereas repairing the hole is a budget-friendly solution. You can repair a hole in the door and keep using it for many years to come.

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