How To Cover Deadbolt Hole In A Door

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If you need to patch a deadbolt hole in your door to install a keyless door lock or you're repurposing your door, you've come to the right place! We've asked our door experts how to cover these holes, and here's their advice.

You can cover the deadbolt hole on your door using the wood filler method or the Dutchman wood repair. You can also put a hole cover on it for a simpler solution to the problem.

Continue reading so we can discuss in detail the different ways for you to cover a deadbolt hole in your door. We'll also talk about door reinforcers to enhance your door's protection. Let's begin!

The spindle of the doorknob mechanism is visible from the side. How To Cover Deadbolt Hole In A Door

How do you cover an old deadbolt in a door?

When you're not using your deadbolt lock anymore or you need to transfer it to another door, it would leave an unsightly hole on the door panel. There would also be a hole at the edge of the door where the deadbolt used to sit.

It will surely take extra effort to patch up those holes. But if you're up to the task, here are the ways for you to cover them:

first half of a door knob assembly in the hole of a wood door

Using Wood Fillers

There are different wood fillers in the market. As the name implies, you can use them to fill the hole in your wooden door. Some are paintable or stainable to allow you to adjust the color of the filler according to the color of your door.

They also come in different sizes. Depending on the size of the hole, you can buy them in a stick, tube, 8 oz, or 16 oz tubs.

You can buy fillers made of epoxy resin or polyester. This is similar to those used in automotive repairs. Since the deadbolt bore in the exterior is rather larger, you need to apply this in layers or batches to allow the filler to dry completely all the way from the bottom to the top.

Paint or stain the wood filler to match your door. If it still won't complement your door, you might have to repaint the whole door.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Dutchman Wood Repair

This one will really test your DIY skills. Although this is more complicated, it will produce a better result, especially in terms of structural integrity and durability of the hole cover.

  1. You have to make a template according to the size of the deadbolt hole. But you won't make a round template. It will be a square that will cover the holes on the exterior side and edge of the door.
  2. Clamp the template securely on the side of the door. This will be your guide as you use the plunge router to cut off a square portion on the door. You can sand off the surface after you're done to smoothen it.
  3. Then you'll need to cut a piece of wood using the same template so that it'll fit in your square pit perfectly. The face grain of the wood should be exposed.
  4. Glue the Dutchman wood on the cavity. Hammer it gently to make sure that it sticks properly. Wipe off the excess glue.
  5. Use your hand plane to level the surface on the front and edge of the door. You can also pour glue along the edges of the wooden patch and fill it with sawdust to cover all of the small crevices in between.
  6. Stain the wood patch with the same color as your door or repaint the whole door. That's how you repair a door with a deadbolt hole that you no longer need.

How do you fix a deadbolt hole that is too big?

If your existing deadbolt hole is too big for your lock, you can have it fixed so that your deadbolt will fit in there. This is very important since you won't be able to install your new lock without adjusting the size of the hole.

You're going to need a wood filler, level, screwdriver, hammer, and an electric drill with a Phillips-head bit. If you have these tools, then good. If not, you can easily source them from your local hardware store.

Other materials that you would need are sandpaper, a paintbrush, and of course, your deadbolt lock.

Now that you've got your tools and materials ready, here are the steps to make the hole smaller.

  1. You don't need to remove the door from its frame. Just put a locking mechanism so that it'll stay in place while you're working on it.
  2. Use sandpaper to smoothen the hole. This can also be done if you have a wire brush on your drill.
  3. Prepare your wood filler. The consistency should be slightly runny so that you can spread it around the hole.
  4. Using a paintbrush, apply the wood filler along the hole. You can apply about a quarter of an inch of wood filler initially.
  5. Make sure that the thickness is uniform all throughout.
  6. Wait for the wood filler to dry.
  7. Smoothen the surface again using sandpaper.
  8. Check if the hole is now the same size as your deadbolt.
  9. If it's still big, you need to apply another layer of wood filler on it. Make it another quarter of an inch.
  10. Wait for it to dry again and smoothen the surface.
  11. Check again if your deadbolt will now fit in the hole.
  12. You can now install your deadbolt on the resized hole.

See, it's relatively easy, right? You can save up on labor costs when you make this your DIY project.

Decorative Deadbolt Hole Cover

Ok, here's the deal. If you don't want to go through the hassle of patching up the hole with wood and fillers, there's actually an easier alternative. We waited until you reach this point to tell you about this nifty trick. You can just install decorative hole covers! You can buy these from your local hardware store.

These door hardware come in different sizes and finishes to match your door. They will allow you to cover those unsightly holes in a matter of minutes. They come with the screws that you need so that you can install them right away.

Just make sure you measure the diameter of the hole of your deadbolt and the thickness of your door so you can get the right fit.

Click here to see this decorative deadbolt hole cover on Amazon.

What is a door reinforcer?

Who can blame homeowners should they want to strengthen their doors to make them more secure, right? That is what door reinforcers are for.

Door reinforcers are 3-sided metal plates that are placed around the latch and deadbolt areas. They are wrapped around the edges of the door to give it better protection against forced entry. These door-wrap plates can be attached to doors made of steel, wood, or fiberglass.

The latch is especially considered the most vulnerable area of a door. It is what intruders and burglars would attempt to destroy so they can get inside your home and who knows what they would do once they're able to break in?

There are different sizes of these door wraps. You need to get the measurement of your door's backset, its thickness, and the diameter of the hole for your door knob.

Door reinforcers are not hard to install. This makes strengthening your latches and bolts so much easier.

However, take note that putting a door reinforcer may require some adjustments on your door so that it'll still fit on the frame perfectly.

You can make the hinge mortises deeper to make way at the latch side of the door. Or you can also carve onto the edge of the door where the door reinforcer will be attached so that it's level on that side.

Click here to see this door reinforcer on Amazon.

carpenter pulling out deadbolt latch from assembly. How To Cover Deadbolt Hole In A Door

Final Thoughts

When patching up that old deadbolt hole, you can choose the hard way or the easy way. Go with whatever makes you happy, one that'll make your door functional and aesthetically pleasing.

For some related reading, you may visit the following links:

Deadbolt Not Lining Up – What To Do?

What Is The Standard Size Of A Deadbolt?

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