How to Repair Punch Holes in Hollow Doors in 3 Easy Steps

Nov 16, 2022

Hollow doors have their benefits, but they can get damaged easily. Anything from a kick to a toy can make a hole in it. The good news is that you don’t have to replace punch holes in your hollow core door when you can repair it. It’s a simple patch and paint job that will save considerable time, money, and resources.

How to Repair Punch Holes in Hollow Doors

Follow these steps to repair punch holes in your hollow door. If done right, you shouldn’t be able to see the damage:

Step 1 – Clean the Damaged Area

The holes will have splinters which you should remove before repairs. Remove them using a utility knife and cut away any damaged wood till you see a clean hole that is somewhat smooth around the edges. Rub these with gritty sandpaper to even out the surface.

Make sure you cut away from yourself to avoid injuries. You may need to make the hole larger before you start repairs since those are easier to fix than tinier ones. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good.

Step 2 – Fill the Holes

Hollow doors aren’t 100% hollow. They have pockets. Fill up the pockets with holes until they are packed to the brim. You can use chopped-up wood as the filler and stuff it using skewers, ensuring the holes are covered. Use a hammer and dowel to pack the filler flush against the door, and when the glue dries, even it out using sandpaper.

Step 3 – Refinish the Whole Door

The door will not look the same after repairs, but you can make it look brand new with a fresh coat of paint and stain. So don’t just stain or paint the repaired areas.

You will need to remove the door from its hinges to do this. This includes the doorknobs and other hardware. Use painter’s tape to cordon off areas you don’t want to paint over. Choose a broad paintbrush or a foam paint roller to paint the door in long and even strokes. Once you have applied the first coat, allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Apply a second coat of paint or wood stain if needed. Each coat of paint will make the door darker and improve its overall look. Leave the door to dry for 24 hours before reinstalling the hardware. Remember that many stains and paints take several days to cure, so make sure the repaired door remains unblemished for at least a week.

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