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My son sometimes has a temper, and has been known to hit his door when sent to his room. He has actually done so enough to punch a bit of a hole in it. I'm trying to figure out what might be doable to fix the door. Here is a photo of it:

enter image description here

As can be seen, there is a crack on the left that is visible and slightly dented in, and the center/right hole is actually pressed in pretty good. The punched hole is approximately 6 inches in diameter.

I'm going to make my son pay for the repairs from his allowance, and as that is limited, I am hoping for a fairly quick/inexpensive solution.

Any ideas as to what can be done?

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You could help him fix it himself. The quality of the repair will be worse and the time requirement much higher, but he's much more likely to understand how much work he created with his temper. If it works in your house, you may even take the door down and explain that he can't have a door on his room till he helps you fix it. –  tylerl Jun 30 '12 at 3:16
    
@tylerl: I would love to just take the door down, but he would actually like that... It would make it easier for him to sneak out when he's in trouble... –  PearsonArtPhoto Jun 30 '12 at 3:40
    
The entire door slab can be replaced for around $40-$50. Probably fastest and cheapest alternative... –  Bob Jul 3 '12 at 19:37
    
Repairing the door is not really cost-effective given the cheap price of doors. I would have me pay to replace the door and damage something of his (but that's a post for parenting.stackexchange.com) –  Matthew Dec 20 '12 at 18:58
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Another option is to laboriously fill in the dent with spackle, layer by layer, and then carve in a matching 'grain' with a paperclip or other such tool in the topmost layer. Then repaint, and it'll look fine.

This would take time and patience (each 1/2" layer needs to dry for a while), and be an excellent learning experience for SOMEONE.

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Most hollow core doors have solid wood frame that forms the top,bottom and sides of the door. Remove the molding on the field of the door so you have flat surface. Remove the doorknob. Cut A piece of luan or other smooth grained thin plywood the same size as the door. Cover the door in carpenters glue and apply the plywood. Drive a few nails around the perimeter to keep it in place until the glue can dry. With a hole saw drill out the doorknob hole using the old hole as a guide. Prime and paint to match the other side. reinstall the doorknob.

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This would work, however, as the door has a design to the back of it, and there are other doors with the same design, it might make it look rather odd... –  PearsonArtPhoto Jul 1 '12 at 13:57
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If the hole completely exposes the inside of the door, you can first fill the opening will the following steps:

  • Carve out the edges of the hole with a utility knife so they bevel into the door and don't show when the patch is applied.
  • Place some paper into the bottom of the hole to keep the expanding foam from falling to the bottom.
  • Fill the opening with expanding foam. Use the minimal expanding type to avoid pushing out the door.
  • Cut away any excess foam once it's dried.
  • Cover the foam with an auto body filler to get you a rigid base.
  • Cut back the auto body filler when it's soft and sand when it's dried.
  • Cover the auto body filler with spackle, smooth with a wide flat blade that spans each side of the hole to give you a smooth result.
  • Give it a final sanding and paint.

Here's a video of the process

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Link-only answers are discouraged since links go bad over time. –  Steven Dec 20 '12 at 4:25
    
Also, while it is probably true that action needs to be taken to prevent this behaviour we are a) not here to to that and b) the damage has been done and needs repairing. –  ChrisF Dec 20 '12 at 8:27
    
I realize it's a drastic edit, but as others mention, links need to support you answer, not be the only part of the answer. The other comments didn't answer the question, so I removed those as well. –  BMitch Dec 20 '12 at 18:50
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