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Repair cat door hole...

Hi, everyone. So I have a three panel interior door (not hollow core) at the top of the basement stairs that has a hole cut into the bottom panel. I assume that it was for a cat to access the basement at some point.

I want to fix this without having to buy a new door. Any ideas? I'd say the way to go would be to pull out the panel and replace it but it doesn't look like that's possible as the bevel that surrounds each of the panels isn't a piece of molding. It's cut into the rails and stiles that surround the panel.....

The panel is about a 1/4" thick. Is there a way I can repair this working from the back? Another thin panel or piece of wood on top of it then something that fills out the hole, glued to that panel and finished with joint compound/sanding?

Appreciate any thoughts or advice. Thanks!

Re: Repair cat door hole...

If you remove the cat door - you'll have a big hole.

Covering it up with a panel looks tacky, no matter how you finish it. If it's fine for you, go ahead and do it.

I'd replace the door.

A. Spruce
Re: Repair cat door hole...

If you want to try to save a few bucks and repair it yourself, then take the door off the hinge and lay it flat, face down.

1 - Use a utility knife or other suitable cutting tool at your disposal and cut the "trim" profile around the panel. The part I'm referring to is the recessed portion of the rail and style (wide portions of the door around the panel ) that extend over the panel.

2 - Remove the panel and cut a new panel from similar thickness and type of material.

3 - Insert the new panel and then install small quarter round to hold it in place. If you have a router and can more closely match the original profile yourself, then go that route (it's usually an ogee shape ).

This isn't going to be a perfect fix, but from the front side, it should look fairly good.

Re: Repair cat door hole...

Presuming this is a painted finish and that you have a suitable panel available. Use a 'multi-master' tool and carefully cut away the 'molding' where it meets the flat part of the door stiles and rails. Swap panels and replace the molding you cut away. No it won't fit perfectly with the wood the saw turned into sawdust missing, but with careful caulking and paint you'll hardly notice it. Make this cut on the non-public side of the door.

Doors usually have rabbeted rails and stiles so the only way to remove a panel correctly is to disassemble at least one part from the rest, then slide the panel out. It is do-able but not worth it except when the door is an unmatchable or historical piece. Even using the short-cut I explained is a lot of effort compared to hanging a new door in place of the old one. It's your time and your dime so figure out what matters the most to you then act accordingly.


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