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Can a Hollow Core Door Be Repaired?

The most popular type of internal door in modern homes today is the hollow core door. Slightly confusingly, these doors are not hollow!

Your internal doors are used on regularly on day-to-day basis in the main thoroughfares of your home and suffer the inevitable daily effects of wear and tear, especially if you have children and pets.

First off though, just in case you are uncertain about what a hollow door is, we’ll explain.

What is a Hollow Core Door?

A hollow core door is a timber framed door filled with a cardboard honeycomb and finished with a layer of hardboard or plywood and a veneer on top. Door accessories such as handles need to be attached to the food frame. Hollow doors are inexpensive and a popular choice as an internal door. Hollow doors don’t offer the soundproofing, security or thermal insulation of solid doors as their construction is comparatively weak.

Can a Hollow Door Be Repaired?

As much as we love hollow interior doors for the variety of styles they are available in and their value for money, these doors are not known for their strength and durability.

Something as unthreatening as a doorstop can punch a hole in a hollow core door, or if you are moving furniture, an internal door will probably come off second best if there is an accident. Anxious pets may scratch at closed doors, leaving you with a headache in how to get your door looking back to its best.

So what should you do if you do get damage to your door? One option would be to replace the door as hollow doors are relatively inexpensive. The good news is that with a bit of imagination and some cheap materials, you can repair a hollow core door.

How to Fix a Hollow Core Door

We’re going to show you how to repair the most common forms of damage to an internal door.

Repairing a Crack or a Hole

Tools You’ll Need

  • A utility knife (generally a sharp knife with snap off blades)
  • Paper towels or similar
  • Expanding foam filler
  • A putty knife
  • Multi-purpose filler
  • Sandpaper

Repair the hole in your door with these six easy steps:

  1. Cut away loose and damaged veneer from around the hole using the utility knife until the hole has smooth edges
  2. Pack the hole with a few paper towels
  3. Fill the hole with expanding foam and leave to dry overnight
  4. Use the utility knife to carefully cut away excess foam leaving about a 3mm depth below the surface for the next step
  5. With the putty knife, smooth the multipurpose filler over the hole, taking time to get a good finish and let it dry
  6. Sand the excess filler down until you have a level surface finish

That will fill the hole in the internal door but you may want to apply a finish that matches the colour of original.

Fixing a Scratched Internal Door

If your dog or cat has been clawing at the surface of your door and left their mark you’ll want to get it back to looking back to its best.

A scratched internal fixed door can be repaired with sandpaper and wood filler. Here’s how!

You will need:

  • Fine sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  • A putty knife
  • A damp cloth

Four steps to repair a scratched door:

  1. Use the sandpaper to get rid of any splinters or flaky bits of paint
  2. Spread wood filler over the area with the putty knife until the scratches are smoothed over and leave to dry
  3. Sand the area that has been filled to remove any leftover filler
  4. Wipe the door with the damp cloth to get rid of any dust created by the sanding

Once again, you may want to paint or stain the affected area following the repair.

Can Hollow Core Doors be Painted?

If your internal doors are looking tired, or you are thinking of replacing them to fit in with a new design scheme or simply some home improvement, there is another option.

Hollow doors can be painted if carefully sanded down. As the doors have a thin top layer, this isn’t a process you can do more than once, unless you paint on top of paint.

Painting a Hollow Door

Things You’ll Need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint or stain
  • 2 ½ inch paint brush

How to Paint an Internal Door in Seven Easy Steps

  1. Sand the door down evenly
  2. Clean the sand dust from the door
  3. Remove door accessories such as door handles and hinges
  4. Paint the door evenly with your choice of finish
  5. Let the door dry completely
  6. Apply a second coat of paint or stain if necessary
  7. Let the door dry again, leaving it open and letting everyone know in the house it is wet

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