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I have a letterbox in my front door that is never used, so I would like to remove it and fill the hole, preferably so it doesn't look like there was ever one there.

Or insert something that fills the hole, like a steel plate or wood block.

Does a solution for this exact problem exist?

Letterbox in door

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't think that there'll be something you can buy off the shelf for this.

As it might be tricky to find a block of wood the right depth it could be easier to insert a piece of plywood on the each side of the hole so it fits snugly. Fill the gap around the edge, sand and paint. You may find it easier to make the hole a little larger to create a lip to give the plywood something to sit against. If you make it flush and arrange the grain of the plywood to go the same way as the wood of the door it won't be very noticeable. You can fill the void with some insulation.

If you have a block of wood roughly the right size then use that. Any gaps can be filled with wood glue mixed with sawdust to give a "woody" texture.

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The correct solution is to purchase a piece of wood ideally the same type as the door, cut it to size, coat the hole of the letter box with a thin veneer of exterior wood glue. Gently tap the block into the hole. Once the glue has set, if required plane or sand down the block to be flush with the rest of the door. After which prep the whole door and repaint. This way it will be almost to completely invisible when finished.

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Were it my problem to solve, I would simply add a brass kick plate on each side. Screw it to the door. You can buy these for not too much money at the home center in a large enough size that it will span the hole. Add some insulation in the hole first, at least if it gets cold outside during the winter.

As I said, that would be MY solution. My wife would disagree. She would insist on something that would simply disappear. Sigh. So my next choice would be to use a plate on each side that I could get paint to stick to. A quick search for "kick plate" on Amazon shows many different ones, not all of which are shiny brass. Some of those have a painted/paintable surface, so you could buy a pair of them, and then just repaint in a matching color. This will be almost invisible.

If that too is still unacceptable, then I might look into filling the hole in with a body filler, then maybe use repair techniques involving fiberglass mesh tape and epoxy resin to span that hole solidly. You would get a surface that can be sanded smooth, then repaint the entire door as if nothing was ever there. This will take some work though.

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Unless you replace the door, there will always be a scar or some tell-tale sign that a letterbox once existed. Trying to get a block of wood that fits and concealing it is going to be tricky and time consuming.

Rather than trying to fill in the gap, you may find it easier to leave it as an ornament consisting of two plates of wrought iron, sealed shut and separated by a thick layer of insulation.

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What height is the mail slot at? I've seen some that are really low, that you'd be able to cover over with a kick plate after filling in the hole with something more substantial.

Also, an image of the whole door area would be useful, as there might be other treatments (eg, wood paneling, some decorative stained glass, etc.) that could be blended in with the rest of the house so it wasn't obvious.

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