How to Repair a Mahogany Door

Written by mark morris
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How to Repair a Mahogany Door
Mahogany is a common wood for door construction. (Tuscan door image by Martin Sproul from

Solid doors add a rich texture and colour to any entrance. Mahogany is one of the most commonly used woods for doors. It is easy to work and has a highly consistent grain which make it ideal for wood working. A properly installed and sealed mahogany door can last for generations with little or no maintenance, but doors, by nature, do take a beating and making repairs can extend your door's life and save you money on replacement costs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Saw horses
  • Wood glue
  • Syringe
  • Damp rags
  • Bar clamps
  • Cardboard
  • Rubber mallet
  • Emery cloth
  • Stain
  • Art brush
  • Clear finish
  • Sandpaper
  • Sander
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife

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  1. 1

    Remove the door from its hinges before attempting any repairs. Tap a screwdriver up from the bottom of the hinge to drive the pin out through the top. Start with the bottom hinge and work your way up. Lift the door carefully and lay it flat on a pair of sturdy saw horses.

  2. 2

    Apply glue inside open joints with a syringe. Fill a glue syringe, available in most paint departments, with wood glue. Inject the glue into any joint that is visibly gapping or feels loose. Use a damp rag to wipe excess glue from the face of the door.

  3. 3

    Pull the door parts together using bar clamps. Place squares of cardboard along the door's edge to pad the clamps. Use at least three clamps, one at the top from side to side, one at the bottom and one in the centre. This will help prevent other joints from opening as you tighten others. Tap top and bottom rails into line using a rubber mallet with the clamps snug, then finish tightening until it cannot be tightened with your fingers.

  4. 4

    Allow the glue to set up overnight before removing the clamps.

  1. 1

    Sand areas where the finish is damaged but the wood is intact lightly with a piece of emery cloth. Sand only the affected area and 1/2-inch around it. Clean the dust from the door with a rag dampened with white spirit.

  2. 2

    Apply a light coat of stain in a matching colour to the damaged area with a small art brush if it is noticeably lighter than the surrounding area. If only the clear coat is damaged, do not apply stain. Allow the recommended drying time for the stain to set up.

  3. 3

    Brush on two coats of clear finish in the appropriate sheen. Most door finishes are semigloss---very shiny; satin finish is also common---glows but does not shine. Use a water based finish. It will adhere to anything and dries faster than solvent bases. Allow the label recommended drying time between coats.

  1. 1

    Sand areas with damage to the wood using 150 grit sand paper and a random orbit sander. Feather the edges into the surrounding finish to make the repair blend.

  2. 2

    Fill the damaged area with a solvent based wood filler in the appropriate colour. Solvent based fillers dry harder and take stain better. Allow it to set for 30 minutes, then sand smooth.

  3. 3

    Apply stain and finish as outlined for finish repair. Return the door to its hinges after the finish has had adequate drying time.

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