I have a door with cracks running along the grain on one of the panels:

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Its a solid wood door, not a composite material nor hollow. These go all the way through although they are not as obvious on the other side for some reason.

Since the door is a dark color these stand out, especially at certain angles of view.

Otherwise however the door is solid & strong, and I'd prefer not to replace it.

Unless there is some way to remove the panel (which I thought would require disassembling almost the whole door) I can't see how to glue it back in one piece?

I don't mind if some part of the repair requires refinishing, since that already seems to be necessary. However if there is a way to effectively hide the cracks in a permanent way that could be the best approach.

  • Do you have the original finish or something close? That might determine if you can "spot" fix or if you need to fully refinish. How perfect does it need to look? (Is this for a paying client, or for a basement door that hides your boiler?)
    – Aaron
    May 12 at 16:20
  • @Aaron I do not, unfortunately. However since it is somewhat dark I feel pretty confident that I could match the color close enough, and then most likely apply some type of clearcoat over the entire thing. The cracks run with the grain which It think also would help. This assumes of course that it would be a mechanically sound repair to begin with & whatever filler material is compatible with the coloring stain (or even paint...) May 12 at 16:46

You are correct. To get that panel out, you'll have to pull the top rail off the door, then the panel will slip out. You can then glue it up and glue the rail back in place. However, it's not that easy, as that top rail will be well and thoroughly glued in place.

  • You may want to try staining the edges of the cracks a dark color so that the bare wood showing through doesn't stand out.

  • You could put some wood filler in the cracks, if there are pieces missing, then stain that.

  • If the cracks have made the panel loose enough that it rattles, you'd probably be able to carefully pull the panel apart at the cracks, and force some wood filler in. Then squeeze the panel back together. You do not want to leave the gaps wide enough that the panel cannot move or you'll end up with more cracks due to seasonal expansion. The filler won't hold quite as well as glue, but, since you won't be able to properly clamp the panel, you'll have some glue or filler showing, and you'll be able to stain the filler to match, but wouldn't be able to stain the glue.

If you do want to attempt to remove the top rail, I'd suggest asking a question about how to do that Woodworking. There are loads of experienced wood workers there and you're likely to get an answer about how to properly loosen/soften the glue to get it apart. That would be the better solution, but it won't be easy.

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