Door repairs–Panel Doors

Replacing a panel. Splits, breaks, dents or other damage may occur in a panelled door. A broken or badly split panel is best replaced.

Panels are usually set in rebates or grooves and often finished with moulding at the edges and at muntins. Prise away the moulding where this exists by sliding a chisel beneath it. If the moulding will be difficult to replace, remove the pieces very carefully for re-use.

Unless the door is dismantled, the new panel cannot be slid back into the rebates. These should be filled with narrow strips of timber glued into place. A piece of panelling corresponding in thick ness to that to be removed must be cut to fit exactly.

To remove the old panelling:

1. Cut it away with a keyhole or similar sharp saw, so that the pieces can be eased out.

2. Glue and fix a set of mouldings, mitreing the corners, on one side of the door.

3. Glue your replacement panel in place.

4. Fix mouldings to surround the new panel on the other side of the door. Patching. Where the outer edges of door stiles or rails are dented or splintered, the area should be cut out with a sharp blade and patched with a wedge-shaped piece of wood, glued and pinned into place. The wedge should be narrower on the inside part, so that it cannot be dislodged from the door once fitted.

5. Cut the wedge slightly oversize on the outer face so that it can be planed smooth with the rest of the door. Make sure that pins are well punched down

Flush-panelling. A very badly damaged door that, nevertheless, is retrievable may be flush-panelled. This used to be a popular method of “modernising” doors.

To flush-panel a door:

1. Cut a sheet of hardboard to size.

2. Glue and pin this on to the door. Use copper hardboard pins for fixing; these have shaped heads which bury themselves in the board, so that you do not have to fill holes.

As the hardboard will make the door thicker, you may have to reposition the hinges and rehang the door. You will also have to reposition the door stops.

To disguise the edges of the new hardboard facing, you can pin a rebated moulding, called a cover head, around the panel edges.


1. Plane fin (6 mm) off the door edges all round.

2. Pin and glue strips of 6 mm timber to the door edges.

3. Fix hardboard on the face of the door so that the strips edge the hardboard.

Leave a Comment