Chances are you someday will have to make a patch to paneling, siding, a door or cabinetry. When that need arises, you will need to know a few things that will make light work of the task. There are four basic steps:
-Cutting the patch
-Cutting out the damaged area
-Installing backing for the patch
-Installing the patch itself
Cutting the patch:
Locating and cutting the patch is probably the hardest part of this project. Matching wood grain can be tricky. Perfection might be achieved in some instances but wood isn't wallpaper, and the grain in the area of the damage might be difficult to duplicate. In any event, get as close as you can. Cut the patch slightly larger than the damaged area. The cut doesn't have to be straight, but the edges must not be chipped.
Cutting out the damaged area:
Use the patch as a template and mark a line around the damaged surface. When you have completed making a cutout of the damaged area the line should be visible. Remember, the line was made using your patch. That automatically makes the hole too big if the line is cut out. Leave the line. A very accurate cut can be made with an electric multi-tool, the kind used for building models and working on crafts. Take your time with this part of the project. If a neat hole is cut to the exact size required, the finished product will be magnificent, even if there is a difference in the texture of the patch.
With the patch and hole ready to go, the next step is to provide something for the patch to be mounted to. Here, small pieces of wood can be glued around the opening of the hole that will accept the patch. For wood patches, yellow aliphatic carpenter's glue is best. Pretty much any size piece of wood can be used. Glue the backing pieces onto the existing surface so that half the wood is behind the panel and half is under the patch. Spring clamps provide more than enough pressure to hold everything in place.
Installing the patch :
Once the backing is solidly in place, the patch can be installed. Careful here. Dirt and debris on the back of the patch or the front of the backing might prevent the patch surface from making flush alignment with the surface to be repaired.
Finally, use a colored putty to disguise the joint around the patch.