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How To Fix Common Door Damage

Take the worrying out of your door repairs with our quick fixes for some of the most common types of damage you may find on your internal doors.

Like everything in the home, wear and tear can build on your doors. One minute everything looks sparkling and brand new, and the next – is that a chip in the door? Is there a crack in that one? (Which one of you managed to elbow a hole through it this time?!) There isn’t much you can do to stop these accidents and signs of old wear happening beyond good care and attention, but you can help to fix up issues here and there as they appear.

Be aware that not all problems you find with your home can be solved with a quick fix. If you are in doubt about your ability to fix any aspect of your doors, look into the possibility of replacing them with brand new ones. 

Your Repairs Checklist

It’s a good idea to keep these items on hand for any repairs that need done on your doors. These are also great for a variety of other household jobs (especially if you have a lot of wooden furniture).

  • Sandpaper
    A highly important tool for smoothing out most rough edges and problems. Used for preparing a surface.
  • Wood Filler / Putty
    Ideal for those situations where a little sanding just doesn’t cut it. Use sandpaper after use for the perfect smooth finish.
  • Wood Paint and/or Varnish
    Keep a supply handy of the finish that you may find yourself using most. Having a little spare paint or varnish in the colours you need will save you a trip to your local DIY store.
  • Wood Glue
    For those situations that call for a secure grip, keep a supply of wood glue handy.
  • Woodworking Tools
    From hammers and screwdrivers to something as simple as a pencil, having a collection of woodworking tools on hand will make your work far easier should you run into any more serious problems.

Other tools and supplies should be purchased as necessary for the jobs you require them for. Depending on the severity of each job, you may require more, so be sure to know in advance how much time and stock you will need before tackling these issues head-on. Now that we have taken a peek at what you may need, what are the common issues we see arising with internal doors that you may need to deal with?

Scratches And Grazes

The most common of all issues with our doors (and furniture in general, not to mention the walls.) No matter how well we take care of our home, there will always be the odd occasion where we find ourselves faced with some rather deep scratches in the woodwork.

It can be as simple as a brush when walking by, an impatient pet’s claws, or an accidental bump with another piece of furniture. No matter how your doors have gotten into this mess, there are ways out of it that are simple and effective for helping you get your doors back to looking as good as new.

The easiest way to deal with grazes would simply be to replace the coating of paint or varnish that has been removed. This can often be achieved simply with a few coats of replacement paint on the area, though other times you may wish to take a piece of sandpaper and smooth out the surrounding area first, preventing any rough edges from continuing to show under the new layers.

If your doors are only primed, consider using a coating of varnish to give them an extra protective layer.

Chipped Wood

Sometimes a scratch can be a little bit deeper than we thought – but there is no need to run out and find a new door quite yet! Chips in wood can be a little unsightly, especially the larger ones that we can’t just leave and ignore.

Much like with scratches and grazes, you will need to apply a new layer of paint and/or varnish to cover up the damage, but with a chip there is the additional layer of requirement that comes with needing to fill up the damaged area correctly.

This is where wood filler comes in. Able to be used sparingly for most jobs, wood filler is ideal for use in covering up those chips that can’t be covered up with paint or varnish alone. Use a putty knife to smooth out the filler. Sandpaper can then be used to smooth out the rough edges and make the surface ready for painting. Simple!

Rotting Wood

If your doors have been in an area where they have been in moist conditions, you may have a problem with rotting wood. Most treated doors should be able to endure most conditions, though you will need to keep an eye out for this. Rotting wood can grow brittle and will spread if not treated correctly. The way to solve the problem of rot is either to replace your door, or – if the area is small enough that it can be corrected – to administer the proper care and treatment. 

If you find rot in your door, the best course of action is to check that it has not worked through the core, and that you can remove it if the rot is small. You will need a chisel to remove the rotten material (or any other available hard tool) and a supply of wood filler. The filler can be used to make up the space that has been cut away, and once left to dry this can be smoothed out to be level with the rest of the surface.

Take a little paint and varnish to cover up the area and it should hopefully be as good as new. You won’t have the same woodgrain finish which is the unfortunate thing, but you will have the colour saved if you are using paint. If the area would be too out of place to remove or is too big for filler, you may want to look into replacing the entire door.

Splits and Cracks

A common, but more complicated, damage that can occur with a door is the wood splitting. These are fairly easy to spot, and can feel like more of a nuisance. They should be dealt with as soon as possible to ensure that the problem does not worsen into a larger structural issue with the door.

In some cases, a split or crack may be able to be simply filled with your choice of wood filler, taking up the new space and reducing the chance of further splintering in the wood. If the area appears more fragile, you may also wish to use a wood hardening treatment on the area. These are available in a number of stores and can be applied to any area that has been weakened by rot or other factors.

If the crack in the door is much more significant, running through to the core and beginning to travel further through the door’s length, it may be in your best interest to seek a replacement.

Repairing Holes In A Door

Sometimes, there’s just no way to predict what is going to happen to your doors. An accident may happen, and you end up with a space in your door where there wasn’t one before. (You really wanted a window panel, but not like this…) Hollow core doors can be prone to this due to their structure when faced with an impact when compared to the solid alternatives. Where the damage has been significant enough to break through one side to the other, a replacement is the safest bet. It would in most cases be too difficult to get the door to look natural again, and the structural damage – though able to be filled back in if done correctly – may be too significant to be worth the repairs. For a secure door, choose a brand new option.

For smaller holes in any doors, you can vary your tactics for dealing with them. Wood filler is still able to be used for smaller jobs, whereas larger ones may be best repaired with foam. Spray the insulating foam into the space, allow it to expand, and leave to dry as per instructions. The foam will help to fill the structure enough for you to then remove the excess, sand down the area, and use your choice of filler to solidify the surface. Paint over the area, and your job is done!

Seek Out A Professional

If you feel unable to carry out your own repairs, seek out the service of a local professional who would be happy to take a look at the damage and assess what the best course of action would be.

At Shawfield Doors we have a fantastic range of internal doors for sale that would be perfect for any replacements. From some even better low prices to doors that you just can’t say no to, browse our full range today.

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