How to Fill Screw Holes in Wood?

Often woodworkers have the challenge to fill the holes of a screw or large nail or any crack. Because along with hiding the holes, it is also necessary to match its stain with the color of the wood. By the way, there are many real-life ways that you can also do to fill screw holes like an expert.

In this blog post, I will share some such filler that experts often do. However, some fillers are really great and accurate. You can choose your filler at your convenience.

What can be used to fill screw holes?

Use Wood Filler

The best and most effective material is wood filler. The wood filler consists of wood particles and fibers. Therefore it is hard to compare to the putty.

There are many benefits of using wood filler which we will know in this article.

Easily Available: Wood filler is easily available to you offline and online store. It comes in many brands, one can choose the better one. It will be better for your furniture. 

Color Option: Wood fillers come in many colors, So you can choose one that matches the color of your wood. A Minwax company that makes wood filler of more than 10 colors, which can be used for almost every species of wood.

If you do not know which wood filler will be right for your wood, then you can take help from a wooden store.

Set up well: A good wood filler gets set very well in the wood. Which maintains the strength of the wood. It is often seen in low-quality wood filler. After a few years cracks start happening.

Price: A Good Wood Filler Comes From $10 to $12. So that you can fill more than 100 medium to low size wood holes.


Sawdust that I personally like to use as a wood filler. Because it is free and easily available on your construction site. Sawdust (or wood shavings) is a waste product of woodworking operations such as sawing, sanding.

We are talking about the finest dust here, which will be like power. Make a paste by mixing the sawdust with the High strength glue. Which should not be too wet or hard. Its density should be such that it can be easily filled deep into the screw hole.

It would be great for you If you are using sawdust of the same wood, the furniture of which you want to fill the holes. This will give you the same color and stain.

Wood filler made from sawdust is to be used in the same way as other wood filler.

Read How to Make Wood Filler at Home?

Piece of Dowel

Another great method that I also like. A piece of dowel or carved piece of wood is a solid method of filling screw holes. A Carved piece of wood covered in wood glue can fill the screw deeper holes. Wooden Mallet Hammer can be used to fill the dowel piece properly.

You will get it ready-made in the market or you can easily make it from small waste pieces of wood. A 400 Dowel piece can cost you around $12 to $15. It comes in many sizes.

The best thing about “Piece of Dowel” is that it is fitted tightly into the holes and holes in wood, can be redrilled. How to fill a hole in wood?

How to Fill Screw Holes in Wood?

Fill Screw Holes

1. Clean the screw Hole 

There may be dust in the screw holes, So in this case the wood filler will not fix well. Therefore clean the holes with a small brush or air blowing tools. Also, Clean the surface around the holes with sandpaper or brush if required.

2. Patching Holes with Wood Filler

Use the tip of a putty knife to fill the wood filler into the screw hole. Fill the screw hole to the level of the wood surface. Press the filler with a putty knife, So that the filler is completely filled in the hole deeper.

Wood dries very quickly, Do not take more than 2 to 3 minutes to fill a hole. And do not leave the wood filler box open for a long time.

If you are using filler made by sawdust and glue, then make it in small quantities and make it again after it is finished.

Clean the filling area with a cloth or Steel Blade, removing any excess wood filler. Do this immediately or else it can be a bit difficult to remove after drying.

Your wood filler may not match with the wood, don’t worry about it. We will fix it later with a stain or paint.

Let dry well

It takes 2-6 hours for any wood filler to dry properly. By the way, the dry time depends on the size of the holes and also on the weather. It can take up to 8 to 10 hours on a larger or deeper area, although it can dry in less than 2 hours.  In summer, it dries up in about 2 to 3 hours, while it takes 6  to 12 hours for the winner’s season. 

If you have enough time, let the wood filler dry thoroughly. Or you can check every hour by pressing lightly.

Sanding and Clean the surface

You may need to clean several times using wood filler. After the wood filler has dried thoroughly, there may be a bump on the surface of the wood. Level the surface of the wood with high-grit sandpaper.

The sanding machine can also be used carefully. But do not sand too much, we just have to bring the patched spot to the level. A 150- to 220-grit sheet of sandpaper will do the best job for this purpose. 

Before going to the next step, check the surface by running the hand so that the entire surface is uniform. If the sandpaper is needed, do it again. 

Take your time to check all the surface area because once you take the next step to paint or stain, it will be very difficult to go back.

Paint or stain the patched area

Now it’s time to give the final touch. When everything looks fine, you can go on the final step of paint or stain in your preferred shade.  

Before applying paint or stain, clean the patch area with a wet cloth. So that the sanding dust does not remain.

Keep these things in mind while filling Screw Holes?

  • Take full care of safety Working with sawdust can be a cause of allergy for you. So use glass and mask before starting work.
  • Paint or stain only after the wood filler has dried completely. Otherwise, the color will not match.
  • To make DIY wood filler, check the expiry date of the glue.