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fix a hole in hollow door

Having loose hinges that cause irritating noise or a broken handle is bearable to some extent, but having a damaged hollow core door is something that is entirely different. After all, it can lead to changing the entire door if left unfixed. An accidental punch or a sibling combat episode can result in the awful-looking door in the house (trust us, it looks horrible). But there is no need to worry as it all can be fixed at home without having professional help to come for your rescue.

Hollow core doors are quite inexpensive as they are made up of a light wooden frame covered with composite veneer. A damaged hollow-core door can be remedied at home by following some easy steps. Here, we will describe how to produce the wooden grain texture over the patch using insulating foam sealant to fill the vacuum behind the damaged area.


Hollow core doors usually have hard wood or pine timber frame with sturdy lock blocks on either side of the door. The center of the door is either filled with waste paper, cardboard or honeycomb. This is why these doors are so fragile that a single strike may cause the door to break down or it may give it an ugly hole that can make it look as bad as the blobfish (if you haven’t seen it then Google it and you’ll know what we mean). It can also happen while moving heavy furniture between the rooms or screwed-in hook can result in a jagged hole. It is imperative to fix the door as soon as possible because it can become a perfect sanctuary for insects and bugs in the house.

What You Need To Do

The good news is that you can easily repair a damaged hollow core door by following some simple steps. With a few standard tools and materials, you can make a smooth repair. There is no need for special skills, so follow the details and you are good to go.

All you have to do is cut the hole evenly, fill it with some hard product and apply a layer of some insulating foam and give it a smooth finishing and paint.

Tools and Materials

  1. Utility knife with retractable snap-off blade
  2. Drop cloth
  3. Newspaper (paper towel)
  4. Low expansion aerosol foam insulation
  5. Plastic putty knife
  6. Lightweight auto body filler
  7. Spackle
  8. 120grit sandpaper
  9. Touch up paint (according to the color of the door)
  10. Paintbrush

Getting Started

So, begin with filling up the hollow space behind the damaged area with insulating foam sealant to allow filler material to be applied (do it by using an epoxy filler to fill the damaged area). Create a silicone mold of the door’s finished surface texture. To replicate the texture over the filled and sanded surface, use the silicone texture molding and casting resin. Prepare the patches and paint the door. Without any further delay, let’s kick off with the work!

Step 1 – Cut Away Loose Splinters or Fragments

There are many loose splinters or fragments around the edges of the crack on the door, depending on how much the door is affected. Instead of trying to repair them, use a utility knife to cut off all bits of broken wood until you are left with a clear hole.

Step 2 – Fill Up The hole with Newspaper (or Paper Towel)

While the paper towels will not reinforce or fix the panel, they are an easy and affordable way to keep the insulation foam in place while it dries. Bunch up a few paper towels and cram them around the bottom or side of the hole that you want to repair.

Step 3 – Squeeze in The Expanding Foam Insulation Into The Hole

With a long nozzle on top, the expanding insulation foam comes in a spray tank. Aim in the hole or smash the nozzle in your door and start spraying. The foam must expand to fill the space inside the crack, with any excess spreading through the door's face outside the opening.

Step 4 – Leave the Insulation Foam to Dry Overnight

Once the insulation material has filled in the gap or crack, it must dry through it all the way before it can be cut or sanded.

Step 5 – Trim the Excess Foam with A Knife

Place a utility knife slightly above any insulation foam protruding so that it is flush with the door face. Run the knife down the door to cut off excess foam until the foam lies below the door face no more than 0.1 inches (2.5 mm).

Step 6 – Apply a Layer of Auto-body Fill Foam for A Stronger Repair

Combine two parts of auto-body filler and one part of a hardener catalyst together and place the mixture in your door through the crack. Fill any gaps by using the edge of a knife to rub and press the mixture over the crack.

Step 7 – Cover The Hole with Spackle for A Quicker Repair

You can also use Spackle instead if you don't have auto-body filler. Use a putty knife to scoop out a spackle and spread it in your door through the hole. Work in long, straight strokes to gently and uniformly smear the Spackle over the door.

Step 8 – Wait for 60 minutes for it To Dry

It takes around 1 hour for your repair compound to dry completely, whether you repaired the door with spackle or an auto-body filler compound.

Step 9 – Sand Down The Surface of The Door

Once the repaired part is dry, you can start sanding it by using a sheet of coarse grit sandpaper, between 100- and 120-grit. The sandpaper helps give a smooth look to the door.

Step 10 – Paint the Door

In the end, paint the door according to its shade to give it a smooth look.

The Bottom Line

Hollow doors are much cheaper and more common than solid wood doors, but they are much more fragile and vulnerable to damage as well. Although there might be holes in your doors or unsightly scratches, you can patch them up using the above mentioned detailed instructions. Give it a try and don’t lose hope if you are unable to hit bull’s eye on the first attempt.