Filling old hinge positions

If you decide to rehang a door, perhaps on the other side of the frame (lining), it becomes necessary to fill the old hinge positions so that the frame can be redecorated and a neat finish achieved. You can use a wood filler to slowly build up and fill the hole, but a better finish is generally achieved if you first try to patch the hole with wood, followed by a small amount of filler to deal with any small imperfections.

hinge recess 1. Firstly, cut a length of batten as long as the hinge recess.
splitting piece of wood 2. Use a hammer and chisel to split the wood to the approximate depth needed – slightly deeper, rather than not deep enough, is best.
applying adhesive 3. When chiselled to size, apply a generous amount of wood adhesive to one side of the trimmed offcut.
positioning offcut 4. Press the offcut into the old hinge position. Remove excess adhesive with a cloth and allow to dry overnight.
planing frame 5. Plane off the new block flush with the frame. Use a little filler for any small holes and allow this to dry before sanding, priming and painting.

Filling tips

  • This technique may be adapted for any situation where a small repair patch is required in a wood surface.
  • For larger blocks it may be worth securing the shaped offcut in place by knocking in a couple of nails – in which case it is best to drill pilot holes in the offcut before hammering in the nails, otherwise you are very likely to split the wood.


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