How to Fix Cracks in Door Panels - An Easy RepairHow to Fix Cracks in Door Panels without Taking the Door Apart

Wooden doors will develop cracks over time, especially if the panels aren’t free to expand and contract. Most of the time, years of paint or caulking the seams around the panels will cause the wood to stick and not allow the panel to expand and contract with the weather. The result is a big vertical crack along the wood grain. Today I’m going to show you how to repair the crack without taking the door apart!

You may remember right before I purchased the Saving Etta house, I discovered a discarded door by the dumpster behind our local grocery store. It had a big crack in the panel and was very dirty. But, otherwise, it appeared to be structurally sound. Pretty Handsome Guy and I salvaged the door on a late night rescue mission, and had a good laugh about it afterwards.

The door sat in the garage until the addition was framed and rough openings were created at the Saving Etta house. With the windows set to arrive, I knew I had to take a day out of my busy schedule to repair the cracked door and prepare it for installation.

Dirty Front Door found in the Trash

First the door got a good cleaning with soapy water.

Cleaning Front Door with sponge and soapy water Looking better already!

Cleaned front doo

Now it was time to fix the door. Let’s learn how to repair a cracked door panel without taking the door apart.

Materials:

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Instructions:

Lay the door on a flat surface like a workbench or saw horses.

burgundy side of dumpster found door

Using the Dremel with a cut off wheel, clean up the crack and open it to the width of your wood spline.

Open door panel crack with dremel cutting wheel

Sand smooth any jagged edges along the crack and any dings on the rest of the door.

Sanding door smooth

Test fit the spline into the crack. Make any adjustments to the crack as needed or cut a narrower spline on a table saw.

Insert wood spline into door crack

The spline should fit snuggly in the crack.

Test fit wood spline in door crack

Remove the spline and apply a liberal amount of wood glue into the crack.

Add lots of wood glue to door crack

Insert the spline and clamp the door until the glue hardens.

Clamp door repair overnight.

Chisel off the excess spline (you don’t need to get it perfect, but you’ll want to remove as much of the spline that protrudes beyond the door panel.)

Chisel off excess wood spline

Sand the repaired crack until the spline is even with the rest of the door panel.

Sand fixed door crack smooth

There will probably still be some minor cracks or voids, but these can be repaired with putty. Mix up a small amount of Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty (just add water!) Apply along the repaired crack and fill in any small holes or dings on the door. Let the putty cure.

Use Durham wood hardener to smooth imperfections

Flip the door over and repeat the process of removing the excess spline material and adding the wood putty.

Add Durham Wood Hardener on back side of door repair

After the putty has dried, sand until smooth. Start with a 120 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 220 grit.

Sand cracked door panel repair smooth

Clean the door of any sanding dust. Tape off the window edges (if applicable). Prime the door on both sides (allowing one side to dry before priming the other side.)

Prime repaired door with KILZ 2 primer

Paint your door any color you like!

Paint repaired door with Magnolia Home Magnolia Green paint

Want to Stain Your Door Instead?

If you prefer the natural wood look on your door, be sure to choose a spline that matches your door’s wood species and skip the wood putty step.

Installing the Door:

Back at the house, my framers had some fun with the house wrap at the front door.

After I added an exterior door frame kit to my repaired door, the framers hung it in the rough opening.

Because I didn’t paint the exterior of the door yet, you can barely see the repair above. But, after a fresh coat of paint, I challenge you to spot the repaired crack!

Do you like the color I painted the door? You might remember my decision making process when selecting the exterior color scheme. Ultimately I chose Magnolia Green and Locally Sown in the Magnolia Paint line.

Magnolia Green Door with Locally Sown Magnolia Home Paint on Siding

And just in case you thought I was only good at saving doors, apparently now I’m also a house saver! The Saving Etta house received her plaque denoting her name as it’s registered in the list of National Historic Properties.

Saving Etta: 1900 Home Saved from Demolition and restored into a beautiful Triple A construction modern farmhouse.

Hopefully she’ll last another one hundred plus years!

A funny story about the green door: Originally I was going to hang the door with the handle on the opposite side, but made a last minute change. The interior of the door was supposed to get painted gray to match the rest of the doors in the house (minus the salvaged 1900 doors shown above. They were left raw to show off the original wood grain and square peg construction.)

Many of you loved the green color and voted on Instagram to keep the front door green on both sides. Which is why Etta has a green front door inside and out!

Saving Etta: 1900 Home Saved from Demolition and restored into a beautiful Triple A construction modern farmhouse.

What do you think? Do you like the double-sided green door? Do you have a cracked door panel in need of repair? I know you can fix it.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 3 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  Have you ever tightened a screw 1,485 times before you finally admit that the hole is stripped? Procrastinate fixing that stripped hole no more!

Grab some wood glue and tooth picks and we’ll fix that hole in a jiffy.

Day 3. Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole

Remove the screw. Squeeze some wood glue into the hole. Add a little more on the end of a toothpick.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Shove as many toothpicks as you can into the stripped hole.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

After the wood glue has dried, snap or cut the toothpicks off with a hand saw.

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Drive your screw into your newly fixed hole!
PHGFancySign

Also check out other participants in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge.
31 Day Writing Challenge

For the entire month of October I’ll be bringing you tips and fixes you can do to protect your home, save money and save time. Stick around to learn more tips tomorrow. Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


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Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series:


Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

I painted my interior front doors Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Highlighter. It’s my way to start my day off on the right foot. When I get up in the morning and head downstairs, I see my front doors and immediately Good Day Sunshine starts to play in my head!

Let me tell you how this happened. Remember when I was in the middle of the DIY project from HELL?! I tried to paint our front doors on the outside and the paint was peeling off. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I wanted to run down the street screaming. Instead, what did I do? I decided to create a cheerful view when I go downstairs every morning. I put stripping the outside of the doors on hold for a day or two and focused my efforts inside.

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

The solid wood doors are original to our house and had cracks in them.

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

Instead of replacing the doors, I fixed them by scraping the edges until they were smooth and devoid of bumps. Read more

How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.

It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!

Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts: Read more

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite places to thrift shop is the Habitat ReStore. I mean, where else can you find cool $2 cabinet doors?

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

This fine cast off door is just screaming to be upcycled into a beautiful tray. Especially when the same thrifting adventure yielded VERY COOL door hardware! Simply combine the two and you have yourself a unique serving tray to give as a gift (or keep for yourself.)

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Cabinet door
  • Door handle or cabinet handle
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Rubber bumpers

Optional: Rub n’ Buff Gold Leaf

The steps are super simple. Read more