Asked on Sep 11, 2013

Repairing Hollow Core Door

Joel Williams
by Joel Williams
Daughter kicked a hole in this wood-colored hollow core door. Would wood-putty work to end dad's tantrum? Any suggestions would be appreciated
Exhibit A, where a foot punched through this door
Hole is about the right size of a fourth-graders foot
  34 answers
  • I suggest you use some creative techniques ~ buy trim and a thin 1/4" plywood and make panel for the door. Or if it is in their room take the plywood and paint it with chalkboard paint or dry erase paint for a bulletin board. If on the outside of the room I would use the panel technique and put their name on the door in side the panel. Get liquid nails to apply or heavy duty glue with a caulking gun.
  • Becky P Becky P on Sep 11, 2013
    I have had to resort to wood grained contact paper.
  • On this one I would just buy another the time you fix it you will have spent more time/money than buying a new one for $30-$40 for a good one
  • Someone needs a very long time out... Change the door. The repair will stand out unless your really good at painting and finish work. A 30 inch door blank is only around $30 at very most and you will easily spend that much on the products to fix it alone.
  • Theresa D Theresa D on Sep 12, 2013
    Then you have to cut out for the hinges and for the doorknob..... Too much like work. I like Renee's idea MUCH better. Sounds more like FUN. :-)
  • Theresa you can buy them pre-cut for hinges and doorknobs
  • Woody Michael Woody Michael on Sep 12, 2013
    It's in her room, buy an over the top hanging door mirror and call it done.
  • Christy D. Christy D. on Sep 12, 2013
    @Joel Williams I don't know of a good way to repair them. We had the same issue. They are pretty reasonable at home improvement stores. I like the plywood and trim idea that was posted before but you could probably replace the door for about the same amount of money. We only paid $25 for ours.
  • Patricia Linn Patricia Linn on Sep 13, 2013
    had a friend once who just took the door down. Cured EVERYONE'S tantrum!
  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Sep 13, 2013
    Take the door off hinges for awhile would be a good idea. Could replace make her pay for it. Could get hanging shoe rack to hold jewerly on it to cover it up.Why bother if it is on her side let her look at it daily as a reminder is my motto.
    • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Sep 13, 2013
      @Wanda.ll Great idea Wanda. We used to take the door off the hinges when the kids slammed it - amazing how they miss their privacy. Regardless of age the daughter should be made to make some monetary restitution.
  • Martha Grice Martha Grice on Sep 13, 2013
    You didn't say how old your daughter was and whether it was an accident or not. I am assuming she is a tween or teen and it was not an accident. Step 1: buy a new door and "assist" while "she" replaces it from start to finish; step 2: make "her" pay for the new door; step 3: have a serious talk (when you are not "seeing red") about the consequences of her actions now and when she is older and in the "real world" if she should continue her destructive behavior; step 4: set up consequence for her if this should ever happen again; and step 5: tell her you love her and you always will and ask her to think about how she could have handled the situation differently (the last part is for you and probably the hardest {never throw this up in her face in the future, no matter what}). Fingers crossed for you and praying for your family.
  • Cheryl Warmuth-Smith Cheryl Warmuth-Smith on Sep 13, 2013
    I have the same problem and I like Reneen's idea. I'm going to try it!
  • Lois Lois on Sep 13, 2013
    we repaired almost the exact same type of damage by simply using poly fil and made it as smooth as possible before painting the door. this was done when we were repainting the room anyway so the door which had been left natural wood colour was just painted over. It is barely noticeable and even is on the back of the door. :)
  • Jill Jill on Sep 13, 2013
    I wouldn't replace it at this time unless you are renting. If that is the case, then just buy a new one. In the meantime, I would just leave it hanging there. No sense in you spending money to try and fix it or replace it if she/he does it again. Later down the line when this phase is over, glue a door mirror over it. But if it was my kid, boy the punishment would be severe. I am sure you have a lot of chores around the house that need to be done, besides grounding them for what seems like an eternity.
  • Rose Zajdler Rose Zajdler on Sep 14, 2013
    I agree with Wanda, remove the door for awhile, no privacy!, then make her pay to replace it later on.
  • Therese Ryan-Haas Therese Ryan-Haas on Sep 14, 2013
    I just replaced mine with the door to the basement. We never closed the basement door anyway.
  • Kathy Kathy on Sep 19, 2013
    I fixed mine by trimming the edges of the hole so make it look smoother. Then cut a piece that will fit thru the hole and put a large nail thru it with the head of nail being on the back of the piece. This way you can hold onto it as you put it thru the hole and then pull back tightly (forgot to tell you to put glue aroung the edges) against the hole and hold until it appears that it is going to hold. After letting dry for several hours, start putting layers of wood putty on and letting dry between layers. When done, give it a sanding and then paint the door. Worked for me because I painted all of my brown doors white.
  • DeeAnn S. DeeAnn S. on Sep 24, 2013
    We replaced our hollow doors with solid oak doors and have had no problems since.
  • Pat Dollar Pat Dollar on Sep 25, 2013
    A hollow core door can be purchased for less than $30. I have seen them at Home Depot for only $20 in the past. Any materials you would purchase to repair (if it were even possible) would cost more than a new door.
  • Kathy T Kathy T on Sep 25, 2013
    Leaving the door off for a week sure cured my son in a hurry!!! (Note: hide the hinge pins!) The culprit can live with his/her mistake until the money has been earned to cover the cost of a new door. If replacing it isn't an option, it can easily be covered by installing a full-length mirror or mirror tiles - or by using cork squares to create a large bulletin board.
  • Just a BTW...She asked how to fix it....not how to discipline her child
  • Anna Anna on Oct 04, 2013
    Professionals use Bondo -- the kind for repairing cars, NOT the kind they sell for wood.
  • Nita Nita on Jan 25, 2015
    When we moved into this house we had every bedroom door with holes, so I put heavy textured wallpaper over the doors till we had time to replace them.
  • Dee Dee on May 20, 2015
    Ah, kids. I have been living with a door like that for 15 years. However, looking at this post has given me an inspiration. A while back I saw a post where someone decoupaged a poster onto the drawers of a dresser. I think I am going to try this on my bathroom door (the problem was two teenaged girls, one in for too long and the other impatiently waiting outside). Either a neat old map type thing that would 'match' my decor or something like that. And to all who commented about the consequences . . . there were, but in the long run that door was small potatoes. Don't make a big deal out of it, teach your kids to make lemonade out of the lemons in life. We all screw up and do things that we don't mean, or that we regret.
  • Lisa B. Lisa B. on Aug 13, 2015
    There are lots of if videos on repairing hollow doors on YouTube. Check them out.
  • LILLIAN LILLIAN on Aug 17, 2015
    I would drill a hole on the opposite side and push a long round of wood through Then while pressure is applied use wood glue and keep pressure so wood pieces connect. Let dry then use wood epoxy let dry, sand and then stain the whole door in color that you want. Hope that helps
  • Snapoutofit Snapoutofit on Oct 24, 2016
    buy a new door. take it out of the daughter's allowance.
  • DP DP on Oct 25, 2016
    I had a hole in a couple of my doors and I used wood putty then painted them. I went the extra mile with the paint, one I did a mural and another I made to look like a barn door so any imperfections that were still there after the wood putty were camouflaged, I also had another door that had a hole and used wood putty and it came out smooth enough that I was able to just paint it but I am thinking of doing something more to it now to make it more to my liking.
  • Kimala Hitter Coleman Kimala Hitter Coleman on Oct 21, 2020

    I would use one of those peal off paint safe picture hangers to pull pull the broken bits back together after I put a bit of wood glue on them.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 05, 2021

    Daughter needs to help with this repair, IMO.

    I put 2” wide painters’ tape and burnished the edges, before putting a large thin skim coat of drywall mud over it.

    Then sanded when dry and repainted the whole door.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jan 31, 2021

    I would put wood filler and tape it and then paint it a bit.It doesn't seem that hole is big

  • Shi31845889 Shi31845889 on Jan 18, 2022

    I have applied a layer of drywall mud, once dry, sanded off and painted. Worked like a charm.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 25, 2023

    Fix a panel over it and re-finish.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 19, 2023

    Here's some help from other Hometalkers: