How To Fix A Hole In An Oak Door

One of the reasons that you might have chosen an oak door is the solid composition of oak, which makes it long-lasting, not to mention its classic and exquisite feel. Unfortunately, accidents can cause the door to crack, or worse, get a hole. A hole in an oak wood door will surely ruin your day. But fret not because we have the right solution and steps for you to fix it. 

Homeowners and independent DIYers are in luck because fixing a hole in an oak door does not necessarily mean you have to hire a carpenter. You can take on the task yourself, especially when you are trying to fix a small hole. Follow the steps below:

  • Remove the door from the jamb
  • Get rid of debris inside the hole
  • Insert a dowel into the hole and coat with carpenter's glue
  • Cut the dowel protrusion and apply wood filler 
  • Prime and paint the patch on the oak door

Keep reading as we elaborate on each step and recommend the tools, equipment, and products that you should use to get the best result.

Contemporary door handle on a closed solid wood interior door, light switch nearby. How To Fix A Hole In An Oak Door

How do you fill a hole in a wooden door?

Fixing a hole on your wooden door particularly an oak wood door can be a bit tricky. But with the right approach and equipment, you can fill it with minimal to no trouble at all.  

Before proceeding with the actual work, though, make sure to have the following materials beforehand:

  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Hacksaw blade
  • Wood filler 
  • Hammer
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Wooden dowel
  • Putty knife

When all the necessary tools are in your hand, proceed to fix the hole on your oak door. Just stick to the steps below:

1. Remove The Door From The Jamb

Unscrew the oak door from the hinges using a screwdriver. Start uninstalling the topmost screws and ask someone to support the door to avoid damaging your door jamb. 

Fixing the door in place might sound a bit less taxing for you, but doing so will actually be more difficult. You have to lay the door horizontally to have a better view and easier maneuvering when filling the hole in the door. 

2. Get Rid Of Debris In The Hole

Using a utility knife and hacksaw blade interchangeably, smooth the sides of the hole by cutting the loose slat and remaining debris from the impact that damaged the oak door. 

Check the ragged edges around the hole for weak spots that you can dent and pluck away until you are left with stable and solid edges.

3. Insert A Dowel Into The Hole And Coat With Carpenter's Glue

Look for a dowel with a similar diameter as the hole in your door, especially if the hole is circular. Using the hacksaw blade, cut the dowel to the thickness of the door, with some added length for you to work around in the latter part of the restoration process. 

Spread a good amount of carpenter's glue around the dowel, then gently hammer the dowel into the hole until it is flush in the hole. Wait until the glue dries. You can also use a blower to dry the glue faster. 

Now, if you're trying to fill an irregularly shaped hole, you only need a wood filler instead of a dowel. A good wood filler we can recommend is Gork's wood filler. 

Check out Gork's GoodFilla water-based wood filler on Amazon.

Fill the hole with wood filler, then cover it using a c-clamp and a piece of wood to dry naturally. Once it dries, skip step 4 and directly proceed to the last step. 

4. Apply Wood Filler To The Dowel

Once the coat of glue around the dowel dries, level the dowel to the rest of the door surface using the hacksaw blade. 

Then, spread a considerable amount of wood filler around the dowel. Be sure to fill the gaps between the dowel and the edges on the hole of the door. 

Let the filler dry, then sand the treated area with a power sander to guarantee that it flattens to the level of the door surface. 

Check out this Black Decker power sander on Amazon.

5. Prime And Paint The Patch On The Oak Door

Apply a primer on and around the patch before painting. You can also choose to prime and paint the whole door to avoid dealing with uneven color between the patch and the rest of the door later on. It is important to prime first, as this will allow the paint to better adhere to any surface. 

Wait for 3 hours for the primer to completely dry. We advise against painting over the patch with wet primer since this will prevent the paint from blending well. 

Apply the first coat of paint evenly using a flat paintbrush. But if you choose to only paint the patch, ensure the paint you're using has the same hue as the overall color of your door. You don't want your elegant oak door to look patchy. 

You need to wait for another 3 hours for the paint to completely dry. Should you choose to reapply a second coat of paint, do so after the first layer of paint has dried. 

And that's how you fill a hole and restore the appearance of a damaged oak door.

Can I Use Wood Filler To Fix A Hole In An Oak Door?

Yes, you can certainly use a wood filler to fix a hole in an oak door. Wood filler is the ideal material you can use to fill holes and cracks on wooden doors.  

Types Of Wood Fillers

There are different wood fillers to use depending on the nature of the wood treatment.


This is a solvent-based filler with various wood tones, making it a perfect patching solution for cosmetic damage on different types of wood. Although this filler does not guarantee long-term integrity, it still remains a consumer favorite since it is pre-mixed. 

Epoxy-Based Wood Filler

This is a chemical epoxy-based wood filler that comes clear or colored. It is used when you want to bring back the integrity of the damaged part of the door since it produces a better surface strength than the wood itself, making it difficult to sand off.  

Exterior Wood Filler

As the name implies, this is a filler for woods being used outside, as it adapts well to the weather. However, it still has to combine with acrylic latex for better weather-proofing. 

Wood Putty

This is an oil-based wood filler that never really hardens. It is primarily ideal for external usage on already treated wood. 

Wooden Bondo

This is a relatively new wood filler. Compared to wood putty, wooden Bondo is water-based and offers resilience and integrity. And if you're looking for a filler you can stain, then this is the right one for you. 

Preparation of wood before impregnation with varnish.

Do You Need To Mix A Filler With A Hardener?

Usually, a wood filler is enough to repair the hole in a wooden door such as an oak door since it already contains a hardening compound. But you might need a hardener to strengthen the integrity of the hole patch based on these two factors:

  • The condition of the door
  • The size of the hole

hardener is a component that reinforces the resilience of any filler for better performance, such as the Minwax high-performance wood hardener. 

Check out Minwax Wood hardener on Amazon.

How Big Of A Hole Can Wood Filler Fill?

Wood fillers can be used for both cracks and holes of different sizes, from small- to large-sized ones. However, note that wood fillers work best for holes that do not pass through the other side of the wood door. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Hole In An Oak Door?

Fixing a hole in an oak door only takes a few bucks if you choose to do it yourself. You will only spend money on the hardener, filler, primer, and paint. But your expenses can range between $200 to $300 if you hire a professional to repair the hole for you. 

On A Final Note

You need not worry if your oak wood door has a hole in it. You can effortlessly patch the hole by inserting a dowel, troweling a wood filler, and painting over it anew.

The best part? You can do it all by yourself. So take on the challenge and bring back the original look of your oak door by following the steps outlined in this post.

Before you go, you might want to look into our previous posts on oak doors:

How To Oil Or Wax An Oak Door

How Long Does It Take To Hang An Oak Door?

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