We recently adopted a pup and are still getting to understand his separation anxiety triggers.

Recently, he gouged the door frame pretty severely. I am hoping I can fix this myself, since this is a rental.

Does this look like something that can be repaired by woodfiller/epoxy/bondo. If so, what would you recommend? If not, am I better off looking at replacing the trim?

He did quite a number on it, but luckily the damage is almost entirely to the trim. I'm asking, because most other DIY resources related to this seem to be focused on much more minor damage.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Don't bother, or you,ll be replacing it over and over. Mar 3, 2020 at 18:20
  • 1
    You have a separate problem here about the chewing, which likely has been answered on pets.stackexchange.com already. In short, your dog needs chew toys.
    – Criggie
    Mar 4, 2020 at 0:52
  • 2
    I'm with the first comment above. Wait for the pup to get out of the door-casing-eating phase, then fix everything in one fell swoop. It will be cheaper that way.
    – Kaz
    Mar 4, 2020 at 5:36

7 Answers 7


I would just replace the trim. If you were good with an oscillating saw or sharp wood chisel you could cut the molding just above the damaged area at an angle. Remove everything from there down.

When you take out the lower piece try to keep a piece that is undamaged so you can take it with you when you go searching for replacement trim. Hard to tell from the picture just how standard that trim profile is and when you go to the store it will be very handy to have a reference.

Cut and fit the new trim to fit the angle and length to the bottom and then nail in place with small finishing nails. A small amount of spackle can be used to blend the joint if it is not a perfect fit.

  • Another benefit to replacing the trim is that if he happens to chew on it again (likely), he will be eating some wood and paint, and not epoxy or whatever else. However, it's probably wise to wait for him to grow up a bit before replacing.
    – cutrightjm
    Mar 4, 2020 at 14:02

I would go to the big box store and buy a small piece of trim and see if it matches. If it does then @Michael Karas has the right answer. If you cant match the trim then I would repair it with body filler.

If you're not experienced with body filler, use several thin layers so you don't have to do a lot of sanding. For sanding wrap sand paper around a block of wood and sand up and down. Make sure the block of wood is longer than the patched area.

You may find that the paint doesn't match. If it doesn't and it's close mask off and paint all the trim around the door, a slight color difference probably won't be noticeable.

  • There is some disagreement on whether body filler (ie. bondo) is good for this type of repair on wood. I personally have used it without a problem, but some folks will swear that is shrinks, cracks, or does any number of other undesirable things.
    – Z4-tier
    Mar 4, 2020 at 19:20

I disagree with replacing this. If you replace this you will need to replace both sides and that can be a domino on the rest of the house. Just eyeballing that trim, you aren't finding it at big box. That looks like 3" semi-rounded pine from late 60s - early 80s. Sure you could find something close and then shake your head every time you walk by it.

Buy some Durham's, mix it up and plaster it on the voids. You might actually be better off doing this in two steps. Put a flattened first layer. Let it harden for three days - takes 10 minutes. Then add a second layer to do the rounding. Depending on your artsy/craftsy abilities this could require very little sanding. If you are like me you will be sanding it for an hour to match. Throw a layer of primer and paint on it... It will be hardly noticeable and Durham's holds up like a rock - (I am just a very small customer).

enter image description here

  • I didn't know they still made that stuff. Good stuff. You can use that to make a casting of the profile of the existing trim to mold a section of replacement trim for a match.
    – gnicko
    Aug 21, 2020 at 0:49

How much time and money do you want to spend?

This video about fixing rotted window sills with epoxy should give you a good idea of something which you might be able to do. https://youtu.be/3l5q0xaQEf8

If you're crunched for time and money then you can buy some wood filler and a large taping knife such as this 14 inch one:

enter image description here

Sand down any high paint peaks, apply a glob of wood filler, then use the knife vertically to follow the contour from the wall to the door; make sure your knife is large enough to cover the entire affected area, don't cheap out by getting an undersized knife or else you won't be able to get the contour right. Once you're satisfied then let it dry, sand, and paint!

And of course replacing the trim is also an option but other answers have already mentioned this.


You can either get new trim, or if you're feeling adventurous, pick up some wood filler and use it to try to level it out. I would go for a 2-part epoxy filler like this:

enter image description here

If you have some regular 2-part epoxy sitting around, you could use that, but it might be a bit too thin. Either way, you'll need to sand, then prime and paint over it once it is fully cured.

But here's the thing: you go do all this work, and the dog is going to come back and eat it. I've been there. I'd suggest leaving it alone until the dog is more settled (also, make sure that the existing paint isn't lead based, since the dog is surely swallowing at least some of it).

There are ways to discourage this type of behavior, but that's a topic for a different StackExchange site.


I had about a dozen instances of this problem, caused by a lodging dog, on high-end fitted furniture finished with poyurethane varnish.

I just planed or sanded out the chewed areas to make them curve smoothly, and applied two coats of the original varnish, and that was it. You can still see all the dents. It's just part of the history of the house. And makes a good story.

If you really need to use filler, Dry Flex and Dry Fix from Repair Care in the UK are great products for a permanent fix.

  • 1
    I doubt the landlord will appreciate the history of all the dents. lol
    – JACK
    Mar 4, 2020 at 13:29
  • @JACK Maybe if they leave the paint and varnish the exposed surface then the landlord will think it's eclectic
    – MonkeyZeus
    Mar 4, 2020 at 16:19
  • @MonkeyZeus Could very well be. I've given up trying to figure out what people will or will not like ...lol
    – JACK
    Mar 4, 2020 at 16:27

You could use drywall mud, over patch it and then sand down to match. 'Hot mud' is stronger but is harder to sand so get it closer to the proper shape before letting it dry.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.