Tenants have broken out wood where an exterior door should receive the doorknob latch. There's nowhere to attach the strike plate.

What's the right way to fix this? The depth of this piece of wood appears to be 1.5 inches, so it's probably a 2x4 or 2x6.

Do I cut out a few inches of wood and replace with 2x4? Do I try to rebuild the section with wood putty, or Durham's Rock Hard, or something like that? I fear the screws for the strike plate wouldn't hold if I tried that.

This seems like a common enough repair, but I don't want to have to come back to this over and over due to improper technique.

exterior door frame showing damage

  • 1
    The latch plate about a foot up makes your circle look quite low. , I don’t see much damage mostly chipped paint. Yes busted latch plates are common but there is usually a frame , I am not seeing “normal”
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 1:33
  • It looks to me that the latch above is for the deadbolt and the door latch is missing at the circle. Also, I'm guessing that the tenants tried to cover up the broken area with some time of filler and that the area where the wood is showing is where the latch hits the patch
    – Ack
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


If the blue circle is accurate in your picture, there is not that much damage to keep an oversized strike from working. Home Centers carry these although they are not the best looking item, they will fix the problem easily.

Picture courtesy Home Depot

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You may even be able to use a "tee" strike, the strike is slightly larger than the standard, easy to find in any hardware store and the holes for the screws are farther apart than the standard so you will get into new wood with the screws

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Picture courtesy Lowes

If you feel you must repair the edge by adding dutchman as it is called, I would cut out a piece centered on the damaged area out at least 8" long. Make sure the cuts are flat and accurate to aid in matching the new piece you are adding. Make sure it is fully bedded in a good wood glue. There will be drips and runs, so have a bucket of water and rag or sponge handy. Set the dutchman in place by driving in a few smal brads in the angled ends, these will act as clamps util the glue dries. If there is a way to add clamps, better still.

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  • I added a little more info to more accurately answer your question.
    – Jack
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 14:49

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