I have solid wood internal fire doors around my house.

One of the doors sticks when trying to close it, and in an attempt to open it while it was jammed shut, a piece close to the latch chipped/splintered. Luckily it didn't completely come off so I was able to push it back into place, but if anyone attempts to close the door again, it will completely splinter off.

What's the best way of fixing this causing the least amount of damage in the process? Ideally it would not involve re-painting since it was sprayed by a professional and getting them back for a small job like this would be difficult.

Would some sort of wood glue work here? How would I get it into the crack without completely removing the chipped piece, if this is even possible?

Photo of internal solid wood door showing a piece cracked and splintered close to the door latch

  • 2
    The best way is to adjust the door so it does not stick/jam. Doors should be level, plumb, and square in the frame with about ~1/8 inch space between the door and frame.
    – crip659
    Aug 14, 2023 at 14:56
  • I agree with @crip659 you need to fix the problem first, otherwise your repair will get undone. Aug 14, 2023 at 20:12
  • To make a second question on how to fix the door from binding, full pictures of the door and frame showing the door about to close. We might see where adjustment or more measurements are needed, to help.
    – crip659
    Aug 14, 2023 at 20:27
  • @crip659 There are two places - one was the strike plate which was slightly proud of the frame and caused this issue. I've fixed that now. The second is lower down the door so it probably needs sanding but I'll need to do that once I can get the paint finish repaired. Aug 16, 2023 at 14:15
  • Is the space between the door and frame even from top to bottom? The door frame might be off a bit also. Sanding/shaving the door is okay, but might also just need to adjust the door frame.
    – crip659
    Aug 16, 2023 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


You might be able to pry the chipped piece up just a little, then use either a hypodermic needle with a fairly large needle bore to inject wood glue into the crack, or put wood glue on a thin knife blade and slide the glue in.

Use non-waterproof glue, so cleanup can be easier later.

Then place a piece of wax paper or the backing paper off a sheet of stickers over the chipped piece. Place a flat piece of wood over the wax paper, then clamp the wood to the door. Let dry for the glue's stated curing time. (An hour for normal wood glue is probably sufficient.

Remove the clamp and wax paper. Use a damp rag to rub off excess glue that came out of the crack.

Adjust the door & hardware so the piece doesn't stick again.

  • 1
    I've heard a stream of compressed air works to blow wet glue deeper into a crack. But I don't have one to try, and a PFFT via the mouth is not really sufficient.
    – Criggie
    Aug 15, 2023 at 9:25
  • 1
    Interesting thought, @Criggie! I'm trying to remember if I ever tried that in my cabinet-making days. I have a vague recollection of blowing the glue in once.... I wonder if mouth-blowing through a straw would be good enough? Aug 15, 2023 at 11:43
  • 2
    Could just use CA glue and clamp for a few minutes. A thin CA should wick into the crack. Of course, the "glue" solution assumes that whatever caused the skin to flake like that has been resolved.
    – Huesmann
    Aug 15, 2023 at 12:53
  • @Huesmann Interesting, I'd never heard of CA glue before but it seems like just the thing to go deep into the crack without me having to pry it open first... Aug 16, 2023 at 14:13
  • 1
    @RubenArakelyan you may have heard its more common appellation: superglue. :)
    – Huesmann
    Aug 17, 2023 at 12:00

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