How to Repair Split Wood Door

Changes in temperature and humidity make wooden doors expand and shrink, which eventually makes them crack. Cracks in wood are inevitable because as time goes on, the wood starts drying out, resulting in wood splits. Probably you’ve been wondering how to repair split wood door. Then I’ll say you’re at the right place!

Often buildup of finish coats stiffens the panel, making it a cause of cracks in wooden doors. To get your wood to its previous beautiful self, we’ve outlined various methods of repairing cracks in wood depending on the extent of the damage. Wood putty and wood fillers are used on mild cracks, while epoxy glue is used on moderate cracks, while epoxy glue and wood pieces are used on wide cracks.

Wood putty is used on painted doors, while fillers is used on doors that need repainting. The various methods are intensively explained. Let’s dive right in!

How to repair split wooden door

How to Repair Split Wood Door

Getting splits in your wooden door is inevitable because time often does tell on the wood, which makes it dry out, and the hinges on the wood eventually wear it out, making it crack. One thing about doors is that as long as there is little as a little split in the door, it’ll keep expanding and contracting due to the pressure exerted on the wood as you open and close the door.

There are various methods you can adopt when it comes to repairing your wooden door, some of which are 

  •  Use of wood putty
  • Use of wood filler
  • Use of epoxy glue and wood pieces
  • Adjust wood panel

These are the four methods we’ll be discussing, which broadly cover all the types of door cracks you might have and the suitable method of repair to adopt.

 1. Use of wood putty

 Wood putty is the best option for you if you don’t plan to sand or repaint your wood. Wood putty is adjustable and doesn’t dry quickly, making it a suitable one for painted doors.

Step one: Prep your wood

Before doing anything, you prep your wood by cleaning the surface of the wood down to get rid of the dust and wood particles. Applying wood putty without making sure the wood is really clean might not produce a good result because the putty won’t bond well with the wood surface.

Step two: Apply

Use a putty knife to apply the putty into the cracks. Apply evenly and make sure they don’t stick out. Once that’s done, leave it to dry.

 2. Use of wood filler

 Wood fillers are the best suitable for surfaces with broad cracks or missing short pieces of wood. One fantastic thing about wood fillers is that they’re affordable, and once they’re fixed and dried, you can sand and paint. It is necessary you sand and paints the wood so that it won’t look odd from the rest of the wood.

Step one: Clean your wood.

Wood fillers, after being applied, has to be sanded, reapplied, and then repainted, but if dust or wood particles should get in the way, it’ll make the filler bind weakly to the wood. Also, ensure you get a high-quality wood filler as this will give you effective results, and quality fillers dry fast.

Step two: Apply your filler.

Use a putty knife to apply the wood filler into the wood and ensure it fills the whole crack space by adding more filler where necessary.

Step three: Leave it to dry

Remove the excess filler and give it ample time to dry. To speed up the drying time, you can use a blow dryer.

Step four: sand 

After the surface is dry, you need to sand to give the door surface a smooth look. Use 100 grit sandpaper to gently sand the areas with filler until the surface is even.

Step five: Reapply filler.

After sanding, some spaces look vacant. You’re not reapplying it because of the vacant spaces alone. It also makes the filler stay longer. Reapply the filler once more and then leave to dry.

Step six: Sand 

Using the same 100 grit sandpaper, resand till the surface is even, and he cared not to dent the surface.

Step seven: Paint

Choose a similar paint used previously on the door and note the paint pattern used on the door to prevent having a whole different pattern on the door. Avoid using a paintbrush for this finish as it might give brush marks on the door, instead use a roller that’ll give you a finished look. After painting, leave it to dry.

 3. Use of epoxy glue and wood pieces

 Using epoxy glue is a suitable method of repair for wooden doors with moderate cracks. Wood glue and fillers won’t fix moderate-sized cracks. Epoxy glue has strong chemicals that’ll bond to the wood. Wood pieces are used to repair wide cracks in the wood.

For moderate cracks

Step one: Use an epoxy sealer

The first thing to do is fill the split spaces with an epoxy sealer, which will help the epoxy glue bond to the wood surface.

After the sealer is in the wood, press in a drop of epoxy glue inside the split space; you might be wondering why a drop? A single drop will spread and fill the entire expanse of the wood.

Step two: allow drying.

Leave it to dry

Step three: Apply the sealer.

After the wood is dry, apply a final coat of epoxy sealer over the surface of the wood and leave it to dry.

Step four: Sand

Use 220 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the wood till it’s even, and then paint.

For broad cracks

Wood fillers won’t fix wide cracks, and often, fixing wood pieces is the only way of repairing the damage.

Step one: Clean the wood.

The crack spaces need to be cleared and cleaned using a Dremel tool. Cleaning the wood will create enough space for the wood pieces to fit in. 

Step two: get the wood pieces ready.

Check if the wood fits perfectly fine in the crack spaces, and if it doesn’t, cut it to the actual size of the split space till it fits accurately in the wood.

Step three: Apply glue

Fill the crack with wood glue and then edge it in the wood piece. Make the wood fit tightly inside the crack using a rubber mallet.

Step four: Scrape off excess wood

Use a chisel to scrape off the excess wood that might thrust out of the cracks space. Ensure the wood surface is even. Leave the door to dry. After it’s dry, then you can sand and then paint.

 4. Adjust wood panel

 We often have cracks in our doors due to the wood panels finding it hard to contract and expand with weather changes. Also, the buildup of coats makes the panel stiff, which eventually causes cracks. The following steps will guide you on how to adjust the wood panels.

Step one: Remove the buildup of surface coats.

Get fine steel wool and mineral spirits to gently and effectively remove the buildup of surface coats then loosen the moldings, but to be on a safer side. You can use a pen to number the sites of the molding pieces.

Step two: Remove the panels

Although removing the panels would get it spoilt, the primary attention is to make the panel move freely across the wood. Often it’s the coating that holds the panels in place. You can then strip the wood of its finish to get the panels.

Step three: Attach wood to the panels

Get wooden blocks and attach them to the sides of the panel using a hot glue gun. Check the crack and if you notice any dirt, clean it out using a thin piece of sandpaper. Then inject wood glue into the crack. After the adhesive is applied, place clamps over the wooden blocks to keep the crack closed. Leave the clamps for at least 24hours.

Step four: Clean 

Clean off excess glue from the wood surface before it dries. After the wood is then dry, take off the wood blocks with a chisel.

Step five: Paint

You can add your touch of paint on the wooden door but be careful not to apply too much paint around the edges of the panel. Something very light is most suitable for the edges.


  •  Always make sure you prep your wood before you start working.
  • Protect your floors, furniture with clothes or masking tape to prevent dirt or grime from getting on it.
  • Clean the door by clearing specks of dust as this will help the glue bond well to the wood.
  • Wood putty is most suitable for painted doors, while the wood filler is best for doors that still need to be repainted and sanded.
  • After applying any of the methods above, make sure you give the wood enough time to dry.

Materials and tools needed

  •  Putty knife
  • Clamps
  • Woodblocks
  • Wood pieces
  • Sandpaper ( 100 and 220 grit)
  • Fine steel wool
  • Mineral spirits
  • Wood glue
  • Epoxy sealer/ epoxy glue
  • Wood filler/ wood putty
  • Dremel tool
  • Chisel
  • Blow dryer
  • Paint roller

Conclusion – How to repair split wood door

Having cracks in doors is not what everyone wants. No one wants a cold breeze or sunlight seeping through their door when a warm cozy environment is what we bargained for. Temperature changes make the wooden door expand and contract, which also takes a toll on the wooden panel that eventually causes the wood crack.

There are various methods of repairing wood depending on the type of crack. But regardless, it is essential that irrespective of the method you want to adopt, you should always prep your wood before working on it. This will always ensure an effective result. 

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