How To Fill Screw Holes In Wood Before Painting?

Having nail holes, screw holes, or cracks in the wood surface is frustrating.  Because they won’t let you paint your wood properly.

So, how to fill screw holes in wood before painting?

There are three methods you can use to fill your screw holes. In the first method, you can use fillers to fill the screw hole. In the second one you can use wood plugs. Lastly, you can make your own DIY plug at home to fill the screw hole. By following any of the methods you can fill the screw holes.

We don’t think this will be enough for you. Thus, if you have some time, do read our piece.  Because we’ll surely make your screw holes disappear 

Let’s see what this article has to say.

3 Methods On How To fill Screw Holes In Wood-

How To Fill Screw Holes In Wood Before Painting

Now, these three ways are designed in a way that you can quickly grasp them. Thus, let’s not wait any longer and read these methods-

Methods 1: Fill The Screw Holes With Wood Fillers

The first method is the most commonly used for filling screw holes. Because it’s pretty easy. For this method, you have to follow the below-stated steps-

Step 1: Begin Using The Wood Fillers

First, use enough wood filler into the hole to slightly overfill it. Because fillers shrink as they dry. Now, after applying wood filler, simply turn your putty knife on its side. Then, using the edge of the blade, scrape off the extra wood fillers.

Smooth it down with the flat section of the blade until it’s level. The smoothed wood filler should ideally sit just above the wood’s surface.

See also  How to Straighten a Bowed 4x4 Post?

Step 2: Allow The Wood Filler To Dry Before Proceeding.

Now, allow at least 30-60 minutes for the wood filler to dry. While the filler is drying, avoid touching it. This could smear or create significant problems in the still-wet compound. 

Most wood fillers are designed to harden in about an hour. But drying times vary depending on the substance. 

Step 3: Sand The Filled Screw Holes

Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the filled hole and the surrounding wood. Also, use sandpaper on any rough edges. 

Sand down any rough edges surrounding the screw hole. Apply mild pressure to the sandpaper as you move it over the screw hole. 

Additionally, you can accomplish this task with a high-powered orbital sander or sanding block.

The sandpaper will aid in the removal of loose chunks, splinters, and other imperfections. A grit of 100 to 120 sandpaper will provide the ideal blend of abrasion and smoothness.

You can follow this method as it’s easy and less time-consuming.

See Also: How To Flatten Warped Wood Table Top.

Method 2: Wooden Plugs For Screw Holes

A wood plug is simply a slightly tapered circular peg that is inserted in a pre-drilled hole. The plug is glued in place. And the wood grain of the plug is oriented in the same direction. 

In this method, wood plugs are used to fill the screw holes. The method is shown below-

Step 1 of 2: Cutting The Wood Plugs

Cutting the plugs requires the use of a plug cutter suitable for the purpose. You can cut your plugs with a drill or a drill press. A drill press provides greater accuracy and control, although a drill will also work.

See also  Create Flawless Woodwork for Joining MDF at Right Angles

Step 2 of 2: Dill Into The Wood

Drill a ½ inch deep hole in the wood to be plugged. Drill straight into the wood and maintain the drill bit perpendicular to it.

Step 3 of 3: Install The Plugs

Now, apply some wood glue around the plug’s edge and insert it into the screw hole. Make sure your plug grain matches the wood grain of the material being plugged.

You can also use darker wood to highlight the plugs. That will create an interesting contrast look in their installation.

They are available in a variety of designs and colours. This is to mimic the appearance of various wood finishes, such as pine, oak, and maple. 

Method 3: Use Homemade Or DIY Plugs

Now, if you don’t want to spend money on plugs, make it on your own. This method is a homemade solution-

Step 1 of 2: Make The Plug By Yourself

Make your own DIY plugs with wooden dowels or plug cutters in this step. Look around for a scrap piece of wood with a finish similar to your surface. Then cut it with the plug cutter and give it the shape of a plug. 

Step 2 of 2: Install The DIY Plug

Then use a drill press to make a hole on the previous screw hole. Make the new hole similar to the size of the plug. Then hammer the DIY plug in the screw hole.

Alternatively, you can use a regular wooden dowel and cut it so that it is just long enough to go into the screw hole.

See also  Can You Mix Different Brands Of Hydraulic Fluid?

These are the methods you can follow before painting any wood. We broke down the whole process into methods and steps. So, hopefully, you liked it. 

One of our articlesWood Hardener Vs Polyurethane.


Question: Can I fill screw holes with caulk?

Answer: No, you can’t. Caulk is good for sealing around sinks, bathtubs, and other bathroom fittings. However, caulk is not suitable for filling screw holes or other holes in wood. Because it shrinks with time and creates a divot.

Question: Can you use wood filler on rotten wood?

Answer: Yes, to repair rotten or damaged wood, use a polyester filler. It is possible to mold and shape it to recreate the actual wood shape. It accepts paint easily and will not deteriorate.

Question: Can you put a screw in the wood filler?

Answer: Yes, you can do that. Because it is frequently made out of wood dust and drying binder. And also diluent thinner and pigments.


Hopefully, now you have a clear idea of how to fill screw holes in wood before painting. Whatever approach you choose, the outcomes will meet your expectations.

Anyway, if you need any further assistance, let us know by commenting.

Thank you for reading, and good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *