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Could someone tell me how I can fix this crack in our door please? The door is hollow and painted gloss white. We are moving out soon so want to try to do something about it. Preferably without having to paint it as we don't know the paint colour exactly.

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Here is a close up photo:

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  • That should be the landlord's problem, not yours -- you didn't cause it. – keshlam Dec 2 '16 at 15:47
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    @keshlam where did she say they didn't cause it? I suspect it's tenant damage that they will get charged for. Being hollow core it's an interior door. I doubt the tenant will be able to adequately remediate the damage to not be charged. – Tyson Dec 2 '16 at 16:40
  • @tyson: The type of failure shown in the photo really does not look like careless/malicious damage. I read it as material failure due to manufacturing flaw and normal wear. No guarantee given only a photo, but that's my starting point. – keshlam Dec 3 '16 at 16:42
  • @keshlam someday I'll write a book (comedy) about what tenants try to explain away as normal wear and tear. – Tyson Dec 3 '16 at 18:24
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I would seek to avoid affecting the embossed grain, which will only make the appearance worse. Gently press the upper side of the split to see if you can get it to level out. If necessary, use a razor knife to trim away the interfering fiber material, allowing the surface to come back into alignment.

Then I'd rub the crack with wood glue to bond it together. Let that dry, then apply a wood filler in the remaining void. Before the filler dries, rub it out with a cloth so that the only remaining material is in the crack itself. Remove all material from the painted surface.

Finally, touch up the paint as minimally as possible. Use a small art brush and only paint the damaged line. Wipe any paint off the undamaged surface.

As a rental property owner I'd be satisfied with such a repair done well. It's expected that minor damage will occur in a residence, and this is about all that can be done short of replacing (or re-skinning) the door.

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I agree with Keshlam's advice. The only thing I would add is you may have to create a slight "v" where the crack is and then put wood glue into that v, followed by wood filler to bring it to the correct height. After filling, use a sharp tool like an awl or a screwdriver to create some grooves to match the woodgrain.

Finally about paint. You may have to take the door to a paint store and have the paint matched. You can then try to paint just the affected area and see how it blends in. The fix is quite doable, I have patched much worse.

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