The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Repairing a Damaged Door

In this guide we are going to look at how to repair a damaged door. In our example, the door is from a bedroom to an en suite bathroom. The handle had become loose over the past few months and eventually fell off. Unfortunately the door blew shut with the owner in the bathroom and they were unable to open it without the handle. There was nobody else in the house so they were left with no choice but to smash the door open. As you can see from the pictures, this made a real mess of the door with the lock edge being badly spilt.

Split in door

To repair damage like this is usually possible with a bit of patience. First, undo the handle retaining plates and remove the handles from both sides as well as the square spindle used to turn the latch. Now, remove the lock itself. Undo the two small retaining screws fixing it to the stile of the door. You may need to use a screwdriver under the leading edge to ease it out.

Lock being removed Lock removed from door

Gather together all the lock and handle components to ensure that none of the parts are missing. You will also need to examine the assembly so that you know how it all fits together.

The next job is to clean any debris from the damaged area. Use a couple of off cuts of wood to wedge the split area apart as much as you can without causing further damage. Use an old fitch or similar tool to clear away any loose debris. You may find that a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool will help with this process. Once it has been cleaned out, remove the wedges and push the spilt area back together. Make sure that the split can be completely closed. If it can’t, identify what’s stopping it. There may be excess splintered wood in the gap - use a wide bladed chisel to shave this away. Keep checking until you are able to completely close the split leaving the surfaces flush with one another.

Wedge the split area open again and apply good quality wood glue to the areas that need repair. Make sure that you spread this evenly and fully. This area can be awkward to get at – try using an off cut of card to spread the adhesive.

Securing the clamp and wood packing Two clamps securing door

You now need to close the split and secure it in place. Hold a length of timber against both faces of the door over the damaged area and use two G clamps to squeeze the split back together. Avoid getting any glue on the timber packing pieces otherwise they will be stuck too ! It can be awkward to hold the two pieces of wood and the clamp at the same time –get an assistant to help while you do this. Alternatively you can buy special clamps which can be tightened single handed. Tighten the clamps fully and use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess adhesive. Leave the repair for 24 hrs to set fully.

Once the adhesive has dried, remove the clamps and the packing timbers. Use a small plane to smooth any slight discrepancy at the edges of the split. Then, apply filler as necessary to fill any small gaps or cracks. Do this with a filling knife and, as filler generally shrinks a little as it dries, leave it very slightly proud.

Repaired door Door painted

Allow the filler to dry, then sand smooth before touching in the paintwork. Often it will be best to finish the whole door with at least one coat of paint. However, the door in our example is painted with white eggshell and, by teasing out the paint where we touched up around the repair, it was possible to blend the paint with the original.

Once the paint has dried, reassemble the lock and handle, and test that it works properly.

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