A dog chewed up our solid wood, painted french doors. The tricky part is he got the trim between the glass panes and along the edge where the doors meet. If we want to repair ourselves can someone tell me how much time this could take? What materials I need and how much it will cost? If in your opinion this is a repair for a professional, what type of craftsperson should I look for (carpentry?), and how much would you estimate the cost to be? Thank you for your time.

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update: 6/21/19 1:42 PM CT

Thank you so much for the quick replies! In addition to the methods and tools to use, does anyone have an estimate on the time it would take to fix this door and how much it would cost? The dog's owner gave us a $100 gift card to Lowes, without asking how much the damage cost. It's not really the money I'm concerned about. I just don't know if I have the talent to fix this, and I certainly don't have the time. I'm not sure what to do.

  • 1
    Ouch. You said a dog instead of our dog. If at all possible, you should probably try to get the dog's owner to pay for the damage... French doors can be expensive to replace and I doubt you have many options other than trying to sand to hide the damage which won't give you perfect results.
    – conman
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 16:52
  • this comment is not related to the damage, but may be related to future damage ... if the dog is yours, get a lot of chew toys for the dog ... my dogs have about 30 chew toys and stuffed toys and they have never chewed any furniture or shoes ... sometimes my living room looks like a toy box exploded ... lol
    – jsotola
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


Another option is to first, lightly sand away all debris which is unsalvageable. Next use a quality wood filler (paintable) to fill dents, valleys & nicks. Use fine grain sandpaper to (patiently) sand over the fully cured filler to a smooth finish.

The final decision: To match the existing paint (hopefully you have some) or to repaint? Your decision. Of course, you’ll want to match the frame paint.

If you decide to touch-up, seek help on color matching from a professional at a big box store or a paint store. Prime the raw wood & filler. Paint over the dried primer using a feathering technique to ensure a nice, seamless blend.

Good luck.


I think the best bet here is to just sand the areas smooth as best as you can, then repaint. It would be very difficult to try to replace the damaged components, and costly to hire a carpenter to do it.

  • Start carefully sanding the damaged areas with coarse sandpaper, then transition to successively finer grit paper until the areas are relatively smooth.
  • fine sand the whole door
  • prime and paint the whole door

It will never look exactly the same, but you will be surprised at how much the damage is hidden. You will likely be the only person who notices...


In addition to Jimmy's answer, you can patch wood with with automotive body filler. Just sand to bare wood, add the filler mixing it following the directions on the can, and once dry, sand to the correct profile. Once you are happy, paint the door. If you do this, don't let the dog eat it again. I don't know if it is toxic to animals.

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    There are wood filler products that are much more appropriate than automotive body filler. You want something with similar thermal/moisture expansion properties to the wood so that it doesn't crack. Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 18:29

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