Background: house built in late 90s located in NE USA. The door is for a bathroom upstairs.


Question 1) So our dog accidentally locked herself in our bathroom upstairs (she broke through a gate while we were out for an hour). She is fine but she chewed on the door frame. What are the tools I would need to repair and best way to go about it.

Question 2) Since I am trying to fix this, I figured I might as well try and fix the door, as there is also damage to the actual door from the door stopper which has created a hole. Once fixed, any way to prevent this.

Bonus Question: Not a deal breaker but the door is a bit unleveled and requires almost slamming it to close fully to lock and also tries to swing shut (how the dog got trapped). Any advice on how to fix that?

  • For the bonus, probably longer screws. Most of the damage seems to be to the paint, so sanding smooth and repainting should be enough. If deeper gouges some wood filler to smooth out. The door stopper will probably need a metal plate.
    – crip659
    Jul 29, 2023 at 21:54

2 Answers 2


Bonus first: doors swing shut (or vice versa) because the hinges aren't plumb. Figure out which way the door needs to move, then shift the hinges. (Unscrew the hinge; glue toothpicks or golf tees into the old holes; predrill holes where you want them; reset the hinge. Do the middle last.) As shutting goes, it's not clear if the strike plate is misaligned or if the edge of the door is rubbing the jamb. From the looks of the reveal down the strike side, you've experienced settling across the door jamb. You could cut the head of the door for an even reveal and move the whole thing up, but that's a non-trivial amount of work.

To fix the damage, you could use spackle, but that would take a few coats to build up. Bondo 2 part filler would be stronger, except it's a bear to sand by hand. Setting compound would be a good in-between (less shrinkage, easier to sand, not as sturdy as bondo.) Get a putty knife and some sandpaper (80, 120 grit). Prime and paint.

To fix the hole, you need to invent some kind of backer that will stop your filler from filling up the whole hollow door. Bondo or setting compound, just gooped in will be sufficient, though you'll need a few iterations. Top tip: put masking tape all around the hole, so whatever filler you use isn't filling up the woodgrain. Mock some woodgrain by scratching it with a metal brush or the point of a screw. Prime and paint.

  • 1
    I was thinking wood filler, but the same on everything else. +1 Jul 30, 2023 at 1:28
  • Funny, wood filler tends to fall off my radar because I've used so many poor products. One that I like is Dap brand "Plastic wood". So yes, add wood filler to the list. Jul 31, 2023 at 0:05

You've gotten some answers on the frame. If you can find the same molding profile, another option may be to simply cut out the damaged portion and replace.

As to the damage from the door stops, those are the worst kind of door stop. Due to the placement, they take far too much force, and you can see what they do to a hollow core door skin. I would remove them and replace with the spring type:

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You can place those on the bottom or top, depending where it would strike the opposite wall. You may need to do some testing before installing.

As to the damaged door skin, you can simply fill with some wood filler and paint.

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