This is just a basic North American door, hollow core. It got damaged and I'd like to fix it so I don't get dinged on the rental deposit.

What I was planning to do was:

  • measure door
  • take a color sample of the paint
  • go to Home Depot and get a new door and matching paint.
  • paint it and put it back up with the old door's hardware.

I figure that's easier and less problematic than somehow trying to fix the door damage.

Any suggestions or things to took out for? I am not moving out in the near future, so the paint should have time to get a bit of patina and in any case, they'll probably want to repaint the whole apartment anyway, it's been that long.

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  • I'd try some Bondo first.
    – Gary Bak
    Oct 4, 2018 at 16:40
  • @Gary Bak Since it is a rental the op may loose his security deposit I have seen folks try to patch doors and making it match is close to impossible (a contractor buddy tried and ended up reskinning the door) on a house he was flipping.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 4, 2018 at 18:49
  • new doors are only about $20-$30, might be worth it to save your deposit if you don't have a lot of tools...
    – dandavis
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


You can replace the door or purchase a new skin and glue it on. A buddy of mine has quite a few rentals and when doors are damaged like yours he pulls the pins and knob , lays the door on a pair of saw horses runs a bead of adhesive around the Premier then a x in the center and drops the skin on and clamps until the adhesive is dry. Then he uses a router with a bearing tip to trim the edge and cut the door knob hole. This actually makes the door stronger and usually the skin is thin enough where trim adjustment is not needed but some times the trim adjustment is needed. It sounds like a lot of work but it can be done in about an hour and is much cheaper than a new door and takes less time than setting new hinges and installing the door knob.

  • Plus one. I'd consider contact adhesive (like you'd use for a countertop). Quick, thin, sturdy.
    – isherwood
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:57

I think patching the damage would be much easier (and cheaper) than hanging a new door.


  • Cover the damage with Bondo or hot mud, smoothing it with a drywall taping knife.
  • Sand it lightly once dry
  • Paint it with your color-matched paint

New door slab:

  • Remove existing door and hardware
  • Paint the entire new door slab
  • Attach old hinges to new door slab, which can be tricky to get lined up right
  • Hang the new door
  • Install the old knob hardware
  • Start cursing when the new knob location doesn't line up right with the existing strike plate (optional)

My current bathroom door was fixed this way, and I can't tell where the damage was.

If it turns out that it simply won't match, you could then buy a new slab and paint it with the paint you've already purchased :) So, you'd only be out the cost of the Bondo...

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