How To Use Auto Body Filler To Repair Damage On Your Wood Garage Door

The condition of your home's garage and garage door contributes a big part of your home's overall appearance. As you take care of your lawn, landscaping, and home's exterior, it is important to make repairs to your garage's wooden door. Here are some tips to help you make repairs to rotting and damaged wood on your garage door using auto body filler.

Clean Up the Damaged Edges

Old wood on a garage door can become weathered and begin to deteriorate after years of exposure to moisture, weather, and harsh ultraviolet light from the sun. The bottom of your garage door is usually most susceptible to this type of damage from rot and harsh weather conditions.

First, use a Sawzall or other similar tool to remove the rough and unraveled edges of the damaged wood. Be sure to remove any wood that has become rotted and drying out from decay, as it is not a sound foundation to built your repair upon. Clean up the edges of the damage and make them as uniform as possible, which will make applying the patch repair much easier. If you are repairing a smaller hole, smooth the edges of the hole with a metal file or coarse-grit sand paper to remove any splinters or loose pieces of dry wood. 

Sand to Prepare the Surface

Once all edges of the damage section have been cleaned up, you can sand the surrounding surface around the damage area. It is necessary to remove the paint from the surrounding garage door, so the filler and patch will adhere directly onto the wood. Applying auto body filler onto a painted surface can result in the patch peeling from its surface.

If you are going to repaint your entire door, now is a good time to prepare the entire surface for new paint. Sand off any peeling and flaking paint to make the surface consistent and smooth.

Apply the Wood Patch and Filler

To repair a large void in your wood garage door, cut a section of plywood the same size as the hole and attach it into the void using nails or screws. Use auto body filler to fill any voids around the patch with a putty knife to make the area level with the surrounding door's surface. Fill in any holes with the auto body filler, leveling in the same manner.

Allow the filler to dry according to the package directions. Sand the surface with a sanding block to remove any imperfections in the filler.

Now your door is ready to paint and complete the repair.

Some garage doors may be damaged beyond your ability to repair them, so visit a site like to learn about professional repairs or replacement.