Asked on Feb 23, 2014

I want to fill in the door knob hole in a solid wood door!

Shirley R
by Shirley R

What can I use to fill in the door knob hole in a solid wood door? I want to sand it afterwards as though the hole did not exist! Thanks Shirley

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  16 answers
  • Although this can be a bit tricky to do, its not all that hard. You first need a block of wood that is the same as the surface of the door, Unless your painting it. It needs to be at least as thick as the door also. Your going to drill out using a hole saw drill bit a plug of wood out of the block of wood. This hole saw should be the next size larger then the hole that is currently drilled in the door. Once you have successfully drilled out the block and removed the plug from the bit, you will notice a small 1/4 inch hole in the center. Take a long 1/4 inch bolt that should just fit in that hole and using washers and a nut fasten it to the plug. Leaving about a inch sticking out on one end that can be put back into the drill. If you have a drill press this part is easy, if not using a hand drill will still work. Put the plug In the drill after first trying to fit the plug in the hole. It should not fit just yet. Once in the drill turn the drill on and using sand paper place it against the moving plug. This will remove an even amount of wood off of the plug all the way around. Keep testing the plug to it just fits in tightly. Once done, spread some good quality wood glue on the plug and inside the hole and push it in so its evenly sticking out on both sides. Pay attention to the grain on the plug so it matches up with the door. Do this before pushing it in. As once its in, its not coming out or turning. After the glue dries, using a belt sander or vibration sander remove any excessive plug material that is sticking out of the center of the door. With the small hole in the center, you can purchase a round dowel that will also fit in the small hole like the plug did and cut it off and sand it smooth.
  • Z Z on Feb 24, 2014
    My first thought was to make a round plug using a hole saw as Bob said, but because you won't be able to easily match it's size, I put my thinking cap on. After a bit I wondered if it wouldn't be better to cut the hole you want to fill into a square, then make a square plug. It should be easier to get that to fit. Ofcourse this depends on what tools you have. What do you think @Bob? Example shown below....
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    • Z Z on Feb 24, 2014
      Thank you @Bob. It would be difficult to get the cutout in the door square, meaning the cut not the shape unless you used a straight router bit for all except the corners. You'd have to chip them out. One way or the other you'd have to do some tweaking. Too bad they don't make door plugs or a hole saw just the right size to make your own. With so many using old doors to make other things out of anymore there would be a market for either one. I searched to see if someone made a wooden dowel the right size that could be cut down. The closest I could find was 2" diameter at the link below. Right between the old standard size of 1.875" and the new standard size of 2.125". For someone that doesn't have a hole saw the right size, it would be the less expensive way to go. Either way you'll have to do some finish work. Maybe wrap the dowel with veneer to make it larger or sanding to make it smaller.,5974
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 24, 2014
    Why not fit a plug into the that fits really that is slightly less thick than the door. then wood putty it in an working the putty onto the inside and outside of the door slightly...then sand smooth and paint? Wouldn't the putty hold the plug in place? It is not a matter of security because most doors themselves are not too sound against entry anyway.
  • There are other methods of repair and various amounts of difficulty in these repairs as well. Depending upon the type of door were talking about and exactly the reason why the door needs to be fixed?
    • Z Z on Feb 24, 2014
      I wondered that too @Bob. If it's cosmetic because it's being made into something else? Are they changing where the knob will be located? Maybe even just filling in where a dead bolt used to be that they no longer want. So many reasons.
  • Hi Becky! My husband I have done this using an expoxy product. It was relatively easy to do. This is probably not the best tutorial, but it will get you started if you want to do a google search to learn more about the process. Unfortunately, we did this project before I started blogging, so I don't have my own tutorial for you. Good luck!
  • If the door was to simply going to be used for a decorative use and it was going to be painted. Simply use auto body epoxy filler and fill the hole with it and paint after sanding. Quick and easy.
  • Sharon T Sharon T on Feb 25, 2014
    I would use a dowel the same size as the hole and use wood glue to keep it in place. You may have to find one and sand it to fit. At least that is what I am planning to do on a lovely door I found.
  • Christine Christine on Feb 25, 2014
    I've also seen this done on blogs with painter's tape blocking the hole, then laying it flat on something so the tape won't move. Fill the hole with either epoxy, that builder's putty (that escapes me right now) or something that won't shrink. Scrape it almost flat, but just not quite. You'll have to let it dry for a LONG time, I'd think, or it'll be soft in the middle. I've used caps and on a couple, just pocket door pulls that fit into the hole. I aged them and no one has ever noticed them.
  • Bridget Leblanc Bridget Leblanc on Jan 29, 2016
    Abatron wood restore is epoxy based and can be sanded stained or painted. It dries hard as the wood.
  • AudraB AudraB on Sep 19, 2017

    I recently had to do this for a couple of our doors. I just used a dried tree branch that was the same diameter I needed, cut it to the correct depth with a handsaw, and whittled the edges, so it fit snugly in the hole.

  • Michele Michele on Sep 19, 2017

    you can use wood putty

  • Patty Winchell- Yettaw Patty Winchell- Yettaw on Nov 15, 2017

    I too am having this problem. Trying to find something that’s not ugly or super expensive. I came up with a set of round wood appliqués I bought from Micheals craft store on clearance for $0.49! Just make sure it is bigger than the hole and glue in place. Stain or paint!

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    • Lucille Meyers Lucille Meyers on Jun 25, 2018

      I need a small round decorative ceramic or anything to cover a hole made by mistake on a wood grain door below the knob. It much be

      slightly over an inch to cover the hole. Any suggestions? Would Lowe’s or a craft store such as Michael’s have something I could use.

  • Tommy Dwyer Tommy Dwyer on Feb 01, 2019

    “Little outside the box” ...I used my old solid door that swung open to a pocket door. The door slides in flush so had to remove the door knob . Lucky for me I had an old wood baseball bat . Slid it in till snug , marked it , cut it , tapped it in place nice and snug , a little putty and paint and it came out great, and I still have a size 30 bat for future projects !

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 01, 2019

    piece of wood from scrap pile cut to size glue in with carpenters wood glue,piece of dowel rod or old curtain rod,baseball bat(as Tommy suggested/good idea)

  • Nora chavez Nora chavez on Jun 20, 2019

    I'm thinking of doing that. But since I have to drill new holes on the opposite of the door for opening purposes, I plan to use the round piece I drilled out on the right side to fill the original hole on the left side. Then for the lock piece I'll just fill it with other pieces of wood. I don't have to worry about how it looks since it will be on the inside of the door facing the framing.

  • Nora Nora on Sep 14, 2019

    I have a door, circa 1910, has old Corrine Mortisse locking system with no keys , any ideas on filling in the gynormous door locking system hole to put a regular door knob in it's stead? This is an exterior door. Could an exterior wood putty fill in the area after I remove the Mortisse locks an then drill a new hole for new door knob? The replacement for this door lock system is over $800.00 so I could buy a new door, but the front door is so perfect in every way except I cant use it!!!

    • Brian Stigall Brian Stigall on Mar 24, 2022

      I was confronted with this as a 16 yo working on my grandfathers old house.

      I took a 2x6x1 board and ripped it long wise so that I was left with a 2 foot board. I used an orbital sender to decrease the thickness because that was the only available tool I had. I tapped the board all the way into the hole and the cut the excess board off flush with door edge.

      The key holes were filled in with putty then finished.