I locked myself out and didn't have proper tools to get in, so I drilled a hole directly above the door knob so that I could fit my hand in to unlock it. There is also damage to the outer edge where the latch is.

I don't have a router, or carpentry tools, nor the cash for a replacement.

How can I go about repairing this hole?

image description here

  • 5
    too bad that lazy cat couldn't let you in... Sorry, but if you don't have the tools to pop in a dutchman patch, your best best is a replacement door, which by the looks of it would run about $30-50 new or try a habitat restore to get one for $5. Oh, just noticed, you'll need to replace the knob too. Next time drill the lock cylinder, which can be replaced for ~$10. If you rent, fix it yourself, your landlord will charge a LOT more than parts to remedy this...
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 23:48
  • Till you get some money for tools or replacement, not much you can do to fix except to maybe glue missing piece back in(if in one piece) and maybe cover it with a small picture. Door knob and latch looks to need replacement also. Replacement door would probably be cheaper than buying tools to repair it.
    – crip659
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 23:49
  • 1
    A little late now, but on that type of inward-opening interior door, you can simply loosen the trim (called a door stop) and open it by sliding a credit card behind the stop, smashing into the plunger and jiggling until it retracts (it's not locked in place like a deadbolt).
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 23:53
  • you can get a brass wraparound "edge guard" that would cover up all the damage, but those are expensive and might not cut it with your landlord if your is the only door like that.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 23:59
  • @dandavis only if the latch is not a security type or the striker is installed wrong.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 7:11

4 Answers 4


To be honest, I would seriously consider replacing the door. Sometimes the "big" fix turns out to be the cheapest & easiest, particularly if the door is a typical indoor door and a standard size (or close enough that you can get a standard size door and trim it to fit).

However, one possibility that might work is a door reinforcer:

door reinforcer

But (a) it will look a little out of place on a bedroom door and (b) I am a bit concerned about whether the lock will work effectively (and not just fall apart, or even worse, jam) because it is barely hanging on right now.

  • 1
    Absolutley, replace to door, that looks like a cheap hollow door, the patterned ones like this one are real cheap second-had because they are useless as tabletops.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 7:16

Unfortunately,you found a drill. It looks like you used a hole saw so if you have a set, use the next larger size and cut a plug from a piece of wood the same thickness and file it down to fit in the hole. Use wood filler to fill in the rest. If you have a jig saw, trace the hole on a piece of wood and cut it out and glue it into the hole. Last resort would be to get a can of wood filler, putty, and over a week, fill in the entire hole and damaged area with the putty allowing it to dry between coats.


You will never be able to repair the door so it will look undamaged. Here are a couple of suggestions to repair the door so the repair isn't obvious:

If you used a hole saw and saved the door chunk that was drilled out find how it was oriented in the door. next lay the door on a flat surface. apply tape over the opening on the inside face of the door. Remove the door latch (lock) and knob (handle).

Screw a piece of wood over the tape so it completely covers the damaged section. Screw several course threaded screws to the inside edge of the damaged section. Leave about 1" of the screw head above the wood. These will be anchor points for the next step.

At this point you have some options on fill-type. 2 part epoxy is the strongest and more costly. Car filler (Bondo) is the next best filler to use. In either case place the remnants of the drilled door piece in place (if it's large and unbroken enough).

Pour in the epoxy or press in the putty. You'll need to sand the dried putty and drill for a new latch opening.


Not a "quality Repair", but you could put a thick "fun" sticker on one side, fill with expanding foam, sand it approximately flat and put a sticker on the other side.
If you sell the house, you will likely be asked to replace the door.

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