How To Repair Water Damaged Entry Door Skin: 9 Easy Steps

One of the steps in knowing how to repair water damaged entry door skin is removing the lock, the handle, and the pins on the door. The next steps are written below.

Apart from the instructions on repairing a water-damaged entry door skin, we also included the costs of repairing water-damaged doors, including the door skin in this topic. Lastly, we also tackled the question of repairing or replacing, so be sure to check this whole article out to not miss anything substantial!

how to repair water damaged entry door skin


Steps In Repairing Water Damaged Entry Door Skin

There are various reasons why your entry door skin has incurred water damage. It may be due to its leak-prone areas lacking maintenance or the weather. Either way, here are the steps in repairing your water-damaged entry door skin.


Step #1. Dry the door

Like in most cases, if you wish to repair your entry door skin, you have to dry it first. You can use a dehumidifier, or you can air it out to let it dry.

While drying your door, it would be best if you assess the water damage. Inspect your door for swollen spots. Also, check if the water affected your door frame.


Step #2. Remove the handle, lock, and hinges

First, remove the handle and the lock of your door. Then, remove the hinge pins. After this, lay your door on a flat surface.


Step #3. Degloss

Remove the former gloss of the door with a mixture of one gallon of warm water and ½ cup of trisodium phosphate. Use a sponge to wash down the existing paint or finish.

Afterward, leave the door to dry. After letting it dry, sand it with 120-grit sandpaper and a pad sander.


Step #4. Remove damaged door skin

After drying and sanding, remove the damaged veneer using a utility knife. Then, use a wood filler to fill in the spaces where you removed the damaged door skin.

Spread the wood filler with a putty knife. Leave the filler to dry, then sand it flat.


Step #5. Putting new door skin

After filling in the door’s spaces, measure the veneer you need for the door and cut it accordingly. Make sure to cut the door skin at least one inch longer and wider.

Place it on top of the door while being mindful of the wood grains. Make sure the wood grain is perpendicular to the long edge of the door. After that, use a pencil and mark the door’s upper corners on the door skin.


Step #6. Prepare the veneer

After marking the veneer, detach it from the door and lay it across a pair of sawhorses. Wear a mask and ensure that the marks on the door skin are visible.

Then, spread a layer of contact cement on the door skin and the door’s surface using a paint roller. Then, leave the cement to dry.


Step #7. Place the veneer

After drying the cement, turn the door skin over and align the marks on the corners of the door. Then, place it on top of the door.

After placing it, press it down. Start from the center, then work toward the ends of the door skin.


Step #8. Score the veneer

Use a utility knife to score the door skin from the door’s edge. Then, cut through the veneer. Do the same on the three sides of the door.


Step #9. Sand the veneer

After trimming the veneer, use 150-grit sandpaper to smoothen the veneer’s edges. Sand the surface as well. Lastly, apply a finish on the door skin.


Costs of repairing water damaged door 

The cost of repairing a water-damaged door ranges from $100 up to $400. Repairing the door is not costly. However, identifying the problem and fixing it may be expensive.

Be sure to identify the cause of the water damage to know if it is included in your insurance coverage. Accidents are usually covered, but it is better to check the policies of your insurance company to be sure. Also, contact your lawyer to strengthen your insurance claim.


Should you repair or replace your water-damaged door?

Most of the time, minor leaks around the door do not require door replacement. Minor leaks only require resealing of the door.

To know whether you should repair or replace, inspect the leak-prone areas of your door to gauge the water damage. The four leak-prone areas of your door are its upper corners, along the jambs, bottom corners, and the bottom part of your door. Moreover, see if the door is swollen and look for visible signs of damage on the door.

Check the bottom corners of the door frame for evidence of rot. If it is soft, then it is a good idea to replace the door and door frame. If the visible damages are extensive, then replacement is a no-brainer.



Knowing how to repair water damaged entry door skin is just one of the ways of door repair. We hope this article about fixing a water damaged entry door skin informed you about water damage on doors.

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