How to repair holes in timber door frames?

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Old 11-17-19, 02:37 PM
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How to repair holes in timber door frames?

G'day all, for context, here in Australia we had this stupid "fashion" in the 80's and early 90's which involved "hiding" light switches in timber architraves.

Anyway, I recently have my sparky (electrician for Murican's) replace a stack of these with proper in-wall switches and automated them with Aeotec Z-wave nano's at the same time.

Now I need to patch the holes in my timber frames and im wondering what the best solution is that will blend in.

Here's what the holes look like:

 
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Old 11-17-19, 02:44 PM
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If you dont mind painting the trim, I would probably fill the hole with spray foam... Then once it's hard dig out just a little bit of it and fill it with Bondo. Bondo is an auto body putty. You might need 2 coats of putty then sand it down flat and paint it.

Otherwise just replace the piece of casing.

Hard to believe they allow wiring in the rough opening around a door.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 03:00 PM
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I was hoping to avoid painting the timber as the wife and I like the varnished timber look. I have heard you can get colored wood filler that when mixed can match the timber color. I just thought I'd see if there are other options I hadn't heard about.

The wiring for the architrave switches was run down the inside of the frame from above the door - and I agree, it's an incredibly stupid idea but still legal in Australia. We still don't use wiring boxes behind switches either and it isn't even an option (the switch mechs that are Aus certified don't support them).

Our wiring standards are different, too. eg We no longer use solid core wiring - stranded is now the standard.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 03:31 PM
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There are a (very) few SUPER talented faux painters who might be able to faux paint the patch to match (hide) the putty. But no... There is no way any wood putty will stain up and match. For one thing it will lack the woodgrain that makes it look natural. You would have better luck with a furniture marker or brown /black magic markers than you would with wood stain. Wood putties just do not absorb stain like wood.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 03:36 PM
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I would partially fill it with water putty or foam or almost anything, then use a colored wood filler. With a very light touch of a brush while the colored filler is still soft you can give a "wood" grain look. It won't be perfect but it will blend in.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 03:38 PM
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XSleeper, I think you are correct. One option I was thinking about was to just replace those pieces of the timber frame with new ones - getting the same timber might be a challenge as I think it might be Jarrah.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 02:21 AM
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IMO replacing the casing is your best bet. Ideally you'd use the same species of wood but if that isn't feasible you can color [stain] most any wood to match, getting similar grain might be the tricky part.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 05:14 AM
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Use a plug cutter or cut and glue a dowel of the right size and wood species. Be sure to align the dowel grain with the existing wood.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 07:09 AM
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I doubt that you will be able to get it to look like new again so I would look around for something to cover it up.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 12:37 PM
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I think im just going to get my regular tradie to replace the timbers with holes in them and then restain them. I think this will produce the nicest result.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 01:33 PM
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If you can stain and apply at least one coat of poly/varnish before they are nailed up it will save you time.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 02:11 PM
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Instead of trying to hide it why not put something there that looks decorative and deliberate?

A wooden "button" (round, square, diamond, etc.) of same or contrasting wood with maybe a matching one on the opposite frame for visual balance. A shiny gemstone. A fake doorbell button/pull.

A shiny brass plaque: blank or with an inspirational message ("Outen the light when you leave, please."; "Have a nice day!"; "Peace"; "Lounge", etc.)

Just a thought.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 02:31 PM
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Interesting idea but i'd rather not have anything there at all.

And the lights are all automated - if the kids leave them on my Vera Plus will turn them off after an hour or if we all leave the house.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 08:56 AM
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I think im just going to get my regular tradie to replace the timbers with holes in them and then restain them. I think this will produce the nicest result.
You might be able to reuse existing matching timbers from another doorway that is in a less noticeable place (closet, pantry, utility room, etc.) and either put the ones with holes or new pieces there where a color mismatch would be less obvious.
 
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