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How to Fix Holes on a Hollow Core Door: Complete Guide

When talking about house peripherals, we use the doors and windows the most often. Accordingly, when the usage is high, the chance of damage/corrosion is high as well. 

The damage gets worse on a hollow door, as the damage creates visible holes in it. Fixing the hollow door may be an easy task, but people are confused about the process. 

So, how to fix holes on a hollow core door? 

Firstly, you have to cut out the debris and extra wooden parts sticking inside and outside. Secondly, you have to take wooden shims; cut/stick them according to the hole measurements. Thirdly, spray some foam spray inside the hollow part. Finally, apply some putty and paint the door.

This is all helpful information, but it does not end here.

Read the full article to know all the information! 

Types of Hollow Core Doors

When talking about doors, there are mainly two types. Hollow and solid doors. Yet, there are many differences between hollow and solid doors. In comparison, the hollow door is more prone to damage.

Before heading on to the process of fixing them, it is vital to know the types. There are multiple types of hollow core doors out there.

The type of hollow core door directly changes the process of fixing it. Identifying your door type would be the 1st task regarding the fixation process.

For your convenience, I have explained all the hollow core door types below. Give it a good read!

Bumpy Surface Hollow Core Doors

The hollow door which contains bumpy surfaces is a door that has wooden designs on them. The designs create an uneven surface. Additionally, they can be elevated as well.

As a result, the fixation process for these doors is pretty complex. They require a tremendous amount of time and patience. Taking the measurements of the holes can also be a challenging task if you’re a beginner. 

Flat Surface Hollow Core Doors

These are the most common types of hollow core doors out there. These doors contain a simple design on the front. The surface is flat.

It is way easier to fix a flat surface hollow door than a bumpy surface hollow door. Still, since they are much less detailed than the bumpy surface ones, they’re less aesthetic.  

I will now teach you how to fix any holes in these doors. The methods are explained in the next segment, read along!

Method of Fixing Hollow Core Door Holes

By this point, we know the door type. Now, after finding your door type, you can start fixing the door. I have discussed the procedure for fixing the holes in the next segment.

Here are the steps to cover up holes on flat surfaces of hollow and bumpy doors-

  • Firstly, you must clean up all the debris and broken parts inside the hole. Usually, when there’s a hole, there are also some thin wood surfaces along with it.

    You can cut out the thinner parts from inside the hole, using a utility knife. Clean around the hole.

    It should be a pretty easy task for a flat surface. For bumpy surfaces, it might be a bit tricky. Take your time and you can do it eventually.
  • Secondly, you can use wooden shims to block the hole. These wooden pieces can create a really good foundation for the hole. Also, by using shims you can fix doors that won’t latch easily.

    Take 2-3 shims, depending on the hole size. Then, mark out hole sizes on the shims, and leave 1-1.5 inches on the sides.

    The extra inches will be used to stick the shim from the inside. You can use a ruler and pencil to mark the measurements.
  • Thirdly, screw in some drywall screws in each of the shims you will attach. Screw in the middle of the shim. The screws will act as a handle when you stick the 1-1.5 inches with glue.

    Speaking of glue, you should use thick superglues. These superglues can activate in seconds, which you will require.

    Apply some glue on the two sides of the shim. Then by holding the screw, get the shim inside the hole.

    After that, keep the non-superglued side on the hole. Stick the two sides properly around the hole. For the flat surface holes, this process should be straightforward.

    Yet, for bumpy surfaces, you have to find parallel surfaces to stick the shims onto.

    If there are no surfaces to stick the trims, use the screws. Screw any broken part of the hollow section, and use it as a base for a shim.

    If you are looking for good quality thick superglues, here are some suggestions from my end-
Product 1
Product 2

By using any of these superglues, your shims will never come off unless broken.

You can use spray foam to fill up the gap inside the hole. However, it is not a recommended option. Since the door has holes, the probable cause is that the area is frequently touched. 

The problem with spray foam is that it is very squishy. The next time that area gets hit, it might create dents. Eventually, it can generate another hole and basically increase the overall hassle.

Put one finger inside the hole and press the shim firmly. This will allow the superglued area to be attached to the door.

  • Fourthly, take the screws off the shims. Then, use spray foam and spray through the drywall screw holes you made earlier.

    Keep spraying until you can see the foam coming out of the hole. This will indicate that the inside part is filled with spray foam.

    When the foam hardens afterward, it will actually push the shims outward. This pressure from the foam will help their shims stand stronger and solidify quickly.
  • Then, let the spray foam dry. It should take about 8 hours to fully cure. Trim the extra dry spray foam with a utility knife or a blade.

    Then, an all-purpose putty needs to be applied to the holes. First, mix some putty and a little bit of hardener. You can mix it by spooning it around with a spreader.

    After that, use the same spreader and cover all the gaps between the shims and holes. All-purpose putties usually dry out in 20 minutes, so you have to act quickly.
  • Finally, let the putty dry. Afterward, use sandpaper to level up the areas you have putty on. Try to match the textures underneath the putty. Again, the flat areas are the easiest to sand, whereas the bumpy areas are tricky.

    After sanding the area, use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the small particles. Then, you can consider painting the fixed holes.

    To paint, you can use the Graco airless paint sprayer; just remember to take the door outside.

    Alternatively, you can always paint it using a brush. That should be the simpler option. If you’re confused about picking the type of paint, don’t stress.

    Just buy trim paint and paint your door with a brush. You can apply multiple coats if you like. Match the accent and color of the door and you should be good to go.

This is the method of fixing the 2 types of hollow core doors. Obviously, you can try other methods as well. Yet, this method is by far one of the most reliable methods of fixing door holes!

Some Additional Tips

  • Note that doors aren’t always fully flat or bumpy. A door may contain partially flat and bumpy sides. In that case, you can apply both methods to get the optimum results.
  • For future reference, you can do some things to increase the protection of the doors. Installing the trim casing of doors is a brilliant way to start! 
  • In addition to that, you can paint the door to add some visuals. It will strengthen the surface of the hollow door, making it a bit more impenetrable.


Which side of a door should I plane?

Generally, you should plan a door on the textured side. Usually, a door has two sides; the wood grain side and the plain side. If your plane is on the plain side, it’ll naturally ruin the texture. But if your plane is on the wood grain side, it will be a lot better. Also, the wood grain side will also be smooth.

Do you put hinges on the door first?

Yes, you should put hinges on the door first. The hinge locations should be prioritized though. The top hinges should be attached first because those are easier to attach. Also, do not forget to attach all the hinges firmly onto the wood framing. You can use screws to attach the hinges to the frame. 

Which way should a door open into a room?

Ideally, the door should open inward. That means that you should have to push the door to open it. This way, you can actually improve the security perks of that door. When you place a door to be opened inward, the hinges are on the inside. As a result, no one can access the hinges from the outside. 


This is the final stretch of this article. You should now know how to fix holes in a hollow core door

If there are too many holes on the door, don’t bother patching them up. You can replace the hollow door with a new one; they are really inexpensive. 

All the best!