How To Cheaply Repair a Hole in Drywall or a Wooden Door

There Is A Great big Hole In My Door

A few weeks ago I was moving a wardrobe from my sons bedroom into my bedroom and it slipped out of my hands and banged against my sons bedroom door leaving a small hole in the door.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem as I would get out some filler and repair the hole in seconds. Sadly I had no filler in the house at the time when it happened and my local DIY store had closed for the day.

Putting it off to the next day until I could get some filler turned out to be my biggest mistake because quite simply I forgot all about the hole until yesterday.

Forgetting to fix a small hole in a door when you have children is a fatal mistake as I found out yesterday when I eventually remembered. They pick and pick and pick at the small hole and the small hole grows bigger and bigger and bigger until it becomes a great big gaping chasm.

I thought that I would have to replace the door then I remembered a trick that I learned years ago when I was helping a friend with his decorating.

Hole in My Door

You would not believe that tis was once a small easy to fix hole. My own fault though I left it too long and the kids just kept picking bits off it.
You would not believe that tis was once a small easy to fix hole. My own fault though I left it too long and the kids just kept picking bits off it. | Source

How to Fix a Big Hole in a Hollow Door

The tip that I learned from my friend all of those years ago costs no money whatsoever but it is not suitable for external doors for security reasons and weathering.

In Hollow doors fixing a small hole is simple just put filler on smooth it out and leave it to dry but when it is a big hole filler on its own would quite simply fall through to the bottom of the inside of the door and it would be cheaper just to run out and buy a new door by the time that you realised just how much filler that you were wasting.

To fix a gaping hole in a door is actually quite simple all that you need is some old newspapers, some wallpaper paste and of course some paint to paint over your repair.

You will also need some sandpaper, a wall paper scraper and a paint brush.

Filling the Hole in the Door

Me filling the hole with crumpled newspaper soaked in wallpaper paste.
Me filling the hole with crumpled newspaper soaked in wallpaper paste. | Source
Keep going with the pasted newspaper until the hole is filled. when the paper dries it hardens.
Keep going with the pasted newspaper until the hole is filled. when the paper dries it hardens. | Source
A flat piece of newspaper soaked in paste to give the door a smooth finish. When dry the door is ready for painting.
A flat piece of newspaper soaked in paste to give the door a smooth finish. When dry the door is ready for painting. | Source

Plugging a Hole in a Door

Filling in the hole in the door is a lot easier than you might think.

  • First of all you mix up your paste but use only half the amount of water that it says to use on the packet.
  • Then you scrunch up the pages of a newspaper into a ball and submerge them into the paste.
  • Whilst the balls of newspaper are still wet with the paste, you put them into the hole until the hole is completely filled.
  • Have a cup of tea and wait for about an hour.
  • After an hour the newspaper should still be wet, you now take your wallpaper scraper and start to smooth out the news paper balls so that you have a flat surface that is flush with the door.
  • Wait overnight, warn your children on fear of death, not to touch the door or even go near it.
  • The newspaper should now be dry, use your sandpaper to buff out any small lumps and bumps.
  • Take a double page of a news paper and paste it like you would if you were pasting wall paper but paste both sides of the newspaper page.
  • Place it over the ex hole on the door like wallpaper ensuring there are no air bubbles or wrinkles.
  • Leave for a few hours to dry.
  • When it has dried all that is left to do is give your door a coat of paint.
  • Alternativley you can wallpaper over the door instead of painting which will conceal any of the damage.

Top Tip

If you know that you wont be able to afford a more permanent repair for a long time wait until the papier mache has dried then apply a coat of clear varnish for a stronger and harder finish.

Fixing A Big Hole In Drywall

The same method above can be used when patching up a large hole in drywall, it works because the newspaper dipped in paste turns into papier mache which stiffens and hardens the newspaper. The paste also has the added effect of sticking the paper to the inside back surface of the door or wall.

Papier mache is a great tempoary repair when you don't have much money to spend on a more expensive permanent repair.

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Comments 4 comments

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 4 years ago from NJ, USA

It's amazing how many of these DIY articles apply to me - I have a strange habit of hitting walls when I get angry at my daughters (better than hitting them eh!) - back in England all my walls were brick - ov er in the US they weren't! I have at least two holes to fix! Great article - very easy to read and understand!


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

My dad and I do a lot of DIY projects and I never heard of using paper mache. Huh, definitely something very interesting and good to try when low on cash. Voted up and sharing!


SkeetyD profile image

SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

What a simple solution to an Oops! problem. Newspaper is so versatile but you never think about it as a type of universal paper mache. Thank you for the tips, I'm sure they will come in handy for me some day.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee

Wonderful! I have contemplated a similar task for over a year. Thanks so much. Voted up, useful, interesting and shared...

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