How To Install a Peephole in an Exterior Wood Door

You love your existing entry door. You aren’t looking for a replacement, but you are searching for some extra security. Peepholes are great tools that allow you to see the outdoors without exposing yourself.

Perhaps you don’t want to speak to a door-to-door salesperson, or you’re curious if your online package arrived on your doorstep. Peepholes are the solution you’re searching for.

Peepholes are perfect for homeowners who want an affordable option for seeing outside their homes. Peepholes are also amazing because you don’t need to be an expert to complete the project! Continue reading to learn how to install a peephole in an exterior wood door.

There are very few steps to follow. You’ll have the job completed in as little as two hours!

Step 1: Gather the Tools

You can’t begin the project without the necessary tools ready to go! You’ll need a tape measure, the peephole of your choice, a file or piece of fine sandpaper, silicone sealer, a drill, and two drill bits.

The first drill bit you’ll need is a 1/8-inch bit for the pilot hole. The larger drill bit size will vary depending on the viewer size you chose.

Step 2: Determine the Placement of the Peephole

One of the benefits of installing the peephole yourself is you get to choose its height. The average peephole ranges from 48 inches to 66 inches tall from the base of the door.

While it’s great news that you can customize the height of the peephole, be cautious that you don’t place it too far out of reach. It could become an undesirable trait for the next homeowner or inaccessible for other people living in the house.

Once you know the preferred height, use a tape measure to determine the center of the door. Take a pencil and mark the desired location.

Ensure the Peephole Is on a Flat Surface

A centered peephole is ideal. However, you should also make sure it’s located on a flat surface. Detailed wood doors have curved edges and panels that might interfere with placing the peephole on a piece of flat wood.

If this is the case, experiment with various locations for the peephole. You could place it off center or slightly lower or higher than expected. As long as the peephole is on a flat surface and accessible, you’re good to go!

Step 3: Start Drilling Holes Into the Door

Exterior doors utilize hardwoods, including incredibly strong teak exterior doors. Softwood, such as cedar and pine, aren’t as strong. These doors are more desirable for interior purposes.

Solid hardwood doors are thicker, more durable, and resistant to decay. When it’s time to start drilling into a wooden door, keep in mind that the material is quite tough. However, too much pressure will cause an awful reaction.

Start the drilling process by creating a pilot hole. Inserting a drill directly into wood puts immense pressure on the dense material. It may crack or split the wood. If this happens, you could need a brand-new door just from this simple project!

That’s why it’s crucial to start by drilling the pilot hole. Take the 1/8-inch drill bit and attach it to the drill. Place it up to the pencil mark on the door.

Ensure the drill is at a 90-degree angle and sits flush against the wood. Using the drill at an angle will create an uneven peephole.

Push the drill lightly into the door until the piece of wood pops out from the other side. You should be able to see a tiny portion of light through the pilot hole.

Switch out the drill bits and choose the larger size. Once again, make sure the drill is straight. Drill gently through the wood and stop halfway through.

Next, go outside and prepare to use the drill again. Place it evenly on the wood against the previously drilled spot. Finish the opening until you can see clearly into the house.

It’s possible to drill through the hardwood all at once. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, the wood is prone to cracking under too much pressure. The pilot hole method is much safer and protects the wood from cracking under ample force.

Smooth the Exposed Wood

The wood will appear rugged after you drill the hole. Use the filer or piece of sandpaper to make the wood feel smooth and look even. This step will allow the viewer to fit seamlessly into the hole.

Step 4: Insert the Peephole

Now that the area is prepared and ready, it’s time to insert the peephole itself.

Don’t be surprised when you open the packaging and see that the peephole comes with two pieces. The larger piece that resembles an eye faces the outside, and the small circular part will face indoors.

Stay outside and place the large piece on the exterior side of the door. Make sure it’s in the correct position before applying the silicone sealant lightly around the lip of the lens. You won’t need much sealant to get the piece to stick tightly.

The sealant will prevent moisture from entering the peephole whenever it rains or snows. You won’t have to worry about rotting wood or leaks with this precautionary step.

Once the outer piece is in place, move to the opposite side of the door. Insert the smaller piece of the peephole into the barrel. There should be a tightening tool included with the peephole set to tighten the piece into place. If not, a small flathead screwdriver will work too!

Understanding how to install a peephole in a wood door is wonderful knowledge to possess. Safety is always a priority in your household. You didn’t want your house to go without a peephole any longer.

When you hear the doorbell chime, you can walk quietly up to the door. You’ll peek through the peephole and examine the outdoors. The new addition will enhance your home’s protection.

How To Install a Peephole in an Exterior Wood Door