How to Fill a Hole in Wood: Best Way for You

 In the process of repairing wooden furniture, you can accidentally create scratches or holes. This is inevitable, it’s completely natural. Those holes don’t cause too much serious damage. But it will lose its perfect beauty. 

What you should do is fill the holes. How to fill a hole in wood? In this article, we will share with you the easiest way to do it!

How to fill a hole in wood?

You can fill holes in wood surfaces with these 3 easy steps:

  1. Prepare the wood holes
  2. Prepare wood filler
  3. Fill the hole with wood filler
  4. Remove excess and smooth

The percussion filler is the best performing product so far. It will help you to cover other defects perfectly. There are many different wood fillers you can use. I will share this with you in the following sections.

To understand the steps of filling wood holes, let’s go to learn the detailed steps.

How to Fill a Hole in Wood

1. Prepare the wood holes

You find it strange why we have to prepare wooden holes. In fact, to create a better bond between the wood and the wood filler, we need to perform some operations.

First you should clean the wood holes. Make sure there is no dirt or dust inside. This will ensure the best bond between the wood and the wood filler.

Next is humidity control. When the wood is soaked in water, there will be a phenomenon of heel shrinkage or warping, cracking of the wood. To prevent this from happening, you must keep the moisture content in the wood below 20%. The high water content will also make it difficult to fill the hole.

Remove rotten wood, if any. There are some scratches or holes with no rotting wood. But there are cases where there will be. Rotten wood is not good wood, it is damaged material and needs to be discarded.

Try to remove them completely. If rotting wood remains inside it can spread the decay. Even if you have repaired it perfectly, it will still be damaged again.

Degreasing on wooden surfaces. Grease and grease on wood surfaces can cause the wood filler to fail. You should completely remove grease by careful cleaning. If you can’t wipe them all, scrub and dry the wood surface.

Make sure that the wood hole is dry and clean, free of substances that may affect adhesion.

2. Prepare wood filler

Wood filler is an important material to be able to fill the hole perfectly. There are many different wood fillers you can choose from. 

Before using wood fillers you must knead them thoroughly. This can help the wood surface to be uniform after filling the hole.

The whole process from kneading the wood filler to the end should only take 2 to 3 minutes. Since wood filler dries very quickly, it may dry out before you fill the hole.

3. Fill the hole with wood filler

After preparing the hole and the wood filler, we will proceed to fill the hole. Any hole or scratch will be slightly indented. So we need to carefully put wood filler into the hole to fill it. Press the wood filler firmly inwards so that the holes do not become hollow.

Compacting the wood fillers will ensure they don’t shrink or stretch. The reason is that the air remaining inside can expand, creating cracks or gas pressure.

The excess wood filler should be left out, it should rise slightly above the surface of the wood. Then use the tool to spread it evenly until the stain disappears. After the surface is flat, let them dry for a certain time. Depending on the type of wood filler, they will have different drying times.

4. Remove excess and smooth

It is not after the wood filler dries that we have a perfect wood surface. The above operations only help us to fill the hole. Wood surface still has some defects.

When the mixture has completely hardened, use sandpaper to sand the surface. Gently sand the dry wood filler to remove excess. Use fine sandpaper to make the surface more harmonious. It is suitable for pre-painted wooden furniture.

After sanding is complete, clean the wood surface with a clean cloth.

With just 4 simple steps, you can fill the hole in the wood. For more ways to fill wood, follow the following section.

How to fill screw holes in wood?

Screw holes in wood often appear while you work with furniture. It is possible that some screws will be misplaced. To solve these screw holes in the wood we will use a mixture of glue and wood chips.

This mixture is not suitable for large wood holes or large scratches. But it is a great choice for a screw hole. It has very strong adhesion and adhesion, the texture after drying is also very solid. You only need to use carpentry glue and wood chips or small wood chips.

The steps to do it are also very simple:

  • The first is still to clean the wood hole surface and control the humidity. Do not let too much moisture, it will affect the adhesion of the product. Note that you should not let the wooden hole get wet. It will not adhere to a mixture of glue and wood chips.
  • Next is to prepare a mixture of glue and wood chips. You just need to squeeze out a sufficient amount of glue. Then add wood chips to mix well, you must make sure the glue and wood chips are mixed well. The unevenness of the mixture can reduce adhesion.

You can make mixed glue at a ratio of 1: 1. Not all wood glues are the same. It may have changed. You should pay attention to it.

  • Next is the wood filling. Insert the glue mixture and wood chips into the screw hole position. You should compress the mixture to the bottom of the hole to prevent air from remaining inside. Apply the ways that I showed you above for the best wood filling!

Note that you should do the whole filling process in about 2 to 3 minutes. Including the process of mixing wood. Do not prolong the time, the glue may harden and make the process more difficult.

  • After the mixture is completely solidified, use sandpaper to gently rub it to smooth. You will again have a perfect wooden surface.

How to fill large holes in wood?

You may accidentally cause large holes in wood. Often you will be very scared because large holes are really difficult problems to solve. You can use the following two ways to fill large holes in wood:

  • Wood glue and dowels
  • Epoxy resin

Wood glue and dowels

The wooden dowels are cylindrical and can be purchased at any furniture store. You can also make them yourself. These wooden pegs come in many different sizes. You can choose the right size.

Especially the holes that drills leave in the wood. The important thing you need to do is choose the right size of the wooden dowel for the hole.

Large holes are often difficult to fill but they are simple in this case. If you can’t find the right wooden dowel size. Use a drill to drill holes in the wood to match the size of the wood pins.

The first job is still to clean the hole in the wood. If you must drill them, clean them thoroughly. Prepare the wooden dowels and the appropriate wood glue.

Next pour some wood glue on the surface of the hole to form the basis for better adhesion. Apply wood glue to the entire surface of the wooden dowels then screw them into the hole. 

You must hammer the wooden dowel firmly into the bottom of the hole. No space should be left inside. The air inside can expand as the temperature changes and damage the furniture.

Once closed and wait for the glue to dry completely. If the wooden dowel is still out, use a saw to remove the excess. Otherwise, smooth the wood surface with sandpaper. But I still recommend leaving the excess wood dowels out. The excess you can cut off, but if it is missing, it will be very complicated.

Epoxy resin

Epoxy resin is a great choice for large and wide holes in wood surfaces. However, due to its dense texture, it is not suitable for deep holes. Epoxy resin will perfectly treat large and shallow holes.

The method of implementation is similar to the way to use wood filler that we have shared above. You can refer back to them. The implementation is quite simple and fast.

How to fill nail holes in wood?

Nail holes are usually very small and deep. If you nail the wrong place then filling the hole will worry you. But you don’t need to worry. The toothpicks or matches will fill the nail holes in the wood perfectly.

It’s correct. You didn’t read it wrong. It is toothpicks and matches that can help you fill the hole.

Toothpicks and matches are both small in appearance, making them perfect for small and deep nail holes. The way to do it is also very simple.

After cleaning the hole in the wood, cover the toothpick or match with wood glue. Depending on the different hole sizes, you can choose one of the two. If the nail hole is quite large, you can use glue to attach many toothpicks together. It will form a block that seals the hole.

Next, insert the glue-coated toothpick in the nail hole. Make sure it fits and you’ve filled the hole to the bottom. All that remains is to wait for it to dry and remove the excess.

How to fill screw holes in wood before painting?

Painted wood surfaces require a smooth finish for a perfect finish. Those screw holes will make you nervous. Fill screw holes in wood with a mixture of glue and sawdust is the best choice for you.

Sawdust is like wood pulp, when you mix it with glue it will form a perfect mixture. It’s like wood in liquid form. Nothing is more wonderful than when the sawdust mixture dries, it resembles a piece of natural wood.

Any hole will be perfect when sawdust and glue fill them. You can fill the hole with sawdust in the same way you would use wood filler.

After the mixture is completely dry, rub them with fine sandpaper. You will have the perfect wood finish for the paint you want.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is sanding necessary?

You will not have to sand if the wood surface is not important in terms of aesthetics. For furniture pieces you should still sand. They will have a better appearance. Especially if you want to paint over them.

2. Can I use wood filler for outdoor wood pieces?

You should not use wood filler to fill outdoor wood pieces. It cannot survive well in extreme conditions. Epoxy resin will be a better choice for you.

3. What wood filler should I use for scratches?

A mixture of sawdust and glue is your best bet. They are omnipotent and can handle any surface defects of wood. They are simple to make and find ingredients.


If you think filling holes in wood is hard work, you’re wrong. It’s actually simpler than you think. If your furniture has small holes or cracks. Don’t panic! Read our tips on how to fill a hole in wood for easier repairs. This article has everything you need to fill holes in wood!

Reference source: The Woodpecker How I fill holes in wood

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