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Try This DIY Wooden Door Repair Trick to Fix a Dent

Try This DIY Wooden Door Repair Trick to Fix a Dent

It’s a fact of life: no matter how careful you are, accidents just sometimes happen. Maybe you were moving in a new piece of furniture and undershot the size of the doorframe. Maybe a game of roughhouse got a little too rough. Regardless of the series of events, you’re now staring down a dent in your once-beautiful wooden door.

Don’t panic. If your door is made of a soft wood — like pine, for example — this simple DIY wooden door repair trick using heat and water could get rid of that dent in just a few easy steps. 

  1. Remove the door from the hinges. Find a clean, safe space to place your door flat on the ground. In order to avoid scratches, you may want to place a drop cloth or blanket on the ground first.
  2. Pour water into the dent. You want to use enough water to fill the dent completely and wet the area around it. Wait for a few minutes so the water can thoroughly soak into the wood.
  3. Place a thin piece of cloth over the dent. An old t-shirt or dust rag works great for this step. You want something thick enough to protect the wood, but thin enough to not block the heat.
  4. Take a hot clothes iron and run it over the cloth-covered dent. Move in slow, circular motions, continuing to heat the wood until the cloth is dry.
  5. Repeat the last three steps as needed. Depending on the severity of your dent, you may need to rewet and reheat the wood multiple times.
  6. Once the wood is completely dry, smooth with sandpaper. This will help blend any discolorations from the water.
  7. Repaint or re-stain the area. This final step will hopefully make your door look like new again.


The combination of water softening the wood and heat swelling the compressed wood in the dent can work to fix small nicks and minor dents without the need for wood fillers or professional help. However, if your dent is severe or the wood as splintered or split around the dent, you may need more significant intervention to fix the damage. 

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