How to Repair a Crack in an Oak Exterior Door

Written by gail delaney
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Wood likes to breathe and it is constantly expanding or shrinking. A crack in your oak door usually happens when the wood cannot move freely within the panel or frame. A door panel needs the room to move because of the changing seasons or between high and low humidity. Until you repair the crack, you may lose heat during the winter or your cool air during the summer. There is a solution for your problem, and it does not involve buying a new oak door. All you need is just a little time and some wood patch.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 80, 150, 220-grit sandpaper
  • Vacuum
  • Wet cloth
  • Wood patch
  • Putty knife
  • Polyurethane glue
  • Stain or paint

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  1. 1

    Remove the paint or varnish on the door. You can do this with chemical removers, a heat gun or by sanding the surface with 80-grit sandpaper. You do not have to do the entire door, but if you think you might have trouble matching the paint or stain, it is a good idea to strip the entire door.

  2. 2

    Vacuum or brush the wood surface making sure it is clear of dust. If you sanded the surface, sand again with 150-grit sandpaper. Vacuum the surface or use an air compressor to blow the sawdust away. Repeat the sanding again with 220-grit sandpaper. Remove the sawdust again.

  3. 3

    Dampen the cracked area with a wet cloth.

  4. 4

    Pick up a small amount of wood patch on your putty knife. Try to find wood patch that matches your oak door. Press this into the crack, dent or hole you want to repair. Don't worry about getting it flush with the door, because the wood putty should be a little higher than the surface of the door.

  5. 5

    Leave this to cure for 24 hours. Sand the wood patch area until the putty is level with the rest of the wood on the door. Check the place where the crack was. Apply more putty if needed. You may repeat this procedure of using wood putty as many times as necessary until the crack is fixed.

  6. 6

    Stain or paint the wood door to your preference. If you stain, apply stain to this area and wipe off immediately. Allow it to dry overnight.

  7. 7

    Lightly sand the door with 220-grit sandpaper. Vacuum and then wipe off the sawdust with a tack cloth. Apply another coat of stain, wiping the excess off immediately. Now your door is ready to varnish or apply polyurethane.

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