How to Fill a Hole in Wood and Redrill- 8 Ways to Complete Your Task 

When dealing with old wood, you’ll likely have to perform some fixes, such as how to fill a hole in wood and redrill. Here are eight of the most frequent ways to fill large holes in wood, whether you’re working on a more complex woodworking project like fixing rotten wood on furniture or need to cover up some old screw holes.

We will go over the procedures for repairing the hole and redrilling it in each approach so that the repair is invisible to the naked eye.

If you follow these instructions, your hole will be as good as new in no time.

Can you Redrill wood filler?

Once wood filler has set and hardened, you may redrill it. Multipurpose wood fillers and two-part epoxy wood fillers help seal any holes in the wood before drilling.

Remember the hole depth while drilling the wood filler to retain the screw. Simply because there are situations when going too deep with a drill may destroy your work.

 Re-drill on wood filler
Re-drill on wood filler

Know how deep you need to redrill into the wood filler to secure the screw before you start.

To prevent cracking, screw to the appropriate depth into the wood filler, as shown in the following table.

What exactly is wood filler?

“wood filler” refers to any chemical used to repair damaged wood by sealing cracks, holes, or other imperfections. You can find it in both water-based and oil-based formulations at any hardware or home improvement retailer. A different name for wood filler is wood putty.

filling large wood hole using wood putty
filling large wood hole using wood putty

A wood filler based on water is easy to work with, dries quickly, and cleans up quickly, making it ideal for repairing most holes in wood. Also, as it dries, you may sand it down to make the mended area blend in with the rest of the wood.

An oil-based wood filler is your best bet if the wood is subject to a lot of moisture. This can happen to wood if it is kept in a damp area, such as a bathroom or a storage shed.

How to Fill a Hole in Wood and Redrill

Wood Filler

Wood putty is a substance explicitly designed for filling up damaged wood. It can be purchased pre-made or as a powder that has to be reconstituted with water. Patching cracks with natural wood is an option when using real wood planks is still necessary due to the near-identical color.

Most people opt to purchase a premade wood filler putty rather than manufacture their own from drywall compound and fine sanding dust. Wood putty is one of the most popular wood fillers, yet it is far from the only option. Wood putty is the most acceptable option for filling small holes like screw holes in a highly exposed area.

Eliminating any trash from the opening is the first step. Next, a chisel or other tool can make the hole shallower so that the putty can fill it.

Next, make wood putty by combining the ingredients as directed. The powder should be mixed with water until it forms a thick paste.

Finally, fill the hole with the putty using a putty knife and some gentle pressure applied in a sawing motion.

Once you’ve patched the hole, you may smooth the putty using a putty knife. Remove any extra putty with a knife and throw it away. It takes roughly 24 hours for the putty to dry entirely.

After it dries, you may sand it down using fine grit paper or an electric sander. The appropriate amount of stain or other finishing agents should be applied.

Two Part Epoxy Products

Holes in wood can be filled with epoxy in a few different methods. How best to accomplish this task is context and hole dependent. Epoxy is effective because it penetrates deeply into the wood and fills the pores and fibers like a dye or varnish. Two-part epoxy resin kits are widely available from hardware and home improvement retailers.. Then, using the epoxy hardener with the equipment, one only needs to combine the resin and hardener to create a durable, waterproof filler.

A Putty knife or a ball of epoxy will do the trick if the hole is tiny enough. For larger cracks, you might use a paste prepared from sawdust or wood shavings to fill up the damage. Putty knives can be used to smooth the paste over the hole. After the epoxy has been set, you may sand it down to make it blend in with the rest of the surface. Afterward, you may cover up the patch by painting or varnishing the area around it.

Either sawdust or sand can be added to epoxy to make a paste. This is effective for deep or massive holes in wood.

Epoxy needs more skill to apply, but it may effectively repair severely rotting or severely damaged wood. A skilled worker and enough epoxy can make almost anything work.

Applying Wood Glue using Toothpicks

When two pieces of wood are glued together, the glue dries quickly and forms a strong connection. In addition to being an excellent paint, it may be used to fill in cracks and holes in wood. Glue and toothpicks are an excellent alternative if the hole in the wood is very wide or deep. You need to be familiar with using wood glue to plug a hole.

Try to get the hole as clean as possible. Initial steps should involve clearing out the opening. Doing so requires clearing the path of any obstacles, such as stray planks of wood or other garbage. The bulk of the junk may be removed with a screwdriver or similar tool, and the rest can be cleaned out with your fingers.

Wood glue should be dripped into the hole until it is almost at the top of the hole. Toothpicks will then be used to “fill” the void.

Let the adhesive cure. The glue needs at least an hour to dry and maybe up to 24 hours.

Remove the adhesive by sanding. After the glue has set, you may sand the area down to a flush finish using fine-grit sandpaper.

Wax Candle

Sometimes you just have to make due with what you have on hand.. When wood is unavailable, a candle can be used as a makeshift wood filler.

Start by trimming the candle’s wick to a quarter of an inch.. We’ve found that this helps with pinpoint accuracy. The wax will melt and drip all over your craft if the wick is too long.

Bring the candle to a boil by moving the wick between your thumb and fingers until it melts. Getting the end to appear melting won’t take much heat at all.

Let the wax cool after being carefully dripped into the opening. Layers may be necessary; wait for each one to dry before adding additional wax.

Finish up by buffing it and then bringing out the sandpaper. To complete the process, apply your chosen stain.

Wooden Dowels and Wooden Plugs

Plugging big holes in wood with a wood dowel (or a wood plug) is a common and modern practice. Wood plugs are little wooden pieces used to patch up damaged timber. Hardware stores stock these, and their flat bottoms make it easy to push the wood plug flush with the wood’s surface. As a result, their use as a wood filler is second to none.

The first step in fixing a hole in the wood with a plug is locating the damaged area. Wood plugs come in various sizes, and the one you’ll need depends on the diameter of the hole. Once you have your hole located, carve a square or rectangle around your hole using your chisel or knife once you have your hole.

A slight underestimation is acceptable for the plug’s depth relative to the hole’s size. If the plug’s depth is incorrect, you can trim it with a chisel or knife.

With the hammer, firmly put the wooden stopper into the hole. For proper installation, the plug must sit flush with the wood’s finish. Put a hole in the middle of the plug using a drill if you use a screw. When properly installed, the screw will sit flat with the wood’s surface. Wood glue can be used before inserting the plug to ensure it stays in place.

To conceal the wood plugs, you should apply a coat of paint or stain over them once you’ve completed your project.


Sawdust and wood glue is an alternate material choices. Add glue to sawdust and stir until you get a thick paste. Smear it into the fissure and let it dry.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

It’s also possible to use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. First, create a thick paste by combining the baking soda and vinegar. Then, squeeze some into the crack and wait for it to dry.

Elmer’s Glue Stick

Last but not least, you may use an Elmer’s Glue Stick. Fill the hole with glue and distribute it around until dry.

Valuable Tips to Redrill the Wood

While the aforementioned items are among the most excellent wood fillers for preventing the need for further drilling, their use is limited to purely ornamental purposes. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to re-drill a hole in the filled region and still be able to screw in the filled section without it cracking:

  • Wooden implements, such as matchsticks or toothpicks, should be placed in the container before it is filled. The next step is to apply wood filler. The filling is made stronger by using this procedure.
  • To repair a stripped screw hole, drill a giant hole in the spot where the screw was removed. In this manner, the hole’s dimensions will be more consistent, making it simpler to fill. The hole can then be plugged into a wooden dowel or another suitable object. Add some wood filler to bolster the look.
  • When drilling into a plugged hole again, employ a screw with a larger diameter than the previously used and subsequently stripped.
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Tips for Making a Fresh Hole in Refinished Wood

After fixing the damaged area of your wood, you will need to drill a new hole. You can use a drill bit just a little smaller to select a spot that is too big. The hole shouldn’t compromise the region you just patched, so if you can, shift it somewhere else in the wood. If this is not an option, then you should have used matchsticks or toothpicks to strengthen the hole when you were fixing it.

This new hole has to be redrilled. So, again, take it easy and drill at a modest tempo. Your goal should be to drill a hole that is neat and free of sharp edges.

The damage to your wood has been fixed so that you may use it normally again.

So there you go! There are three simple approaches to repairing wood quickly. Whether you need a temporary cure or a long-term solution, these techniques are effective. So relax the next time you see a crack in your wood! If you use one of these approaches, it will be completed in no time.


What to use to fill holes in wood to redrill?

A Putty knife or an epoxy ball will do the trick if the hole is tiny enough. Larger holes can be patched with a paste made from sawdust or wood shavings. Applying this paste to the opening and smoothing it out with a putty knife is the next step.

Are wood fillers strong?

Wood fillers are manufactured with real wood fibres; sawdust or other wood waste is often mixed with a binder (either water or petroleum based) and dried until firm. Sadly, they do not strengthen the wood’s structure even if they harden as the wood dries out..


Expertise in wood filling and redrilling is a constant area of growth for woodworkers. They can use this page as a guide to identifying the best items and most straightforward methods. The appearance of your wooden project might be improved by using any of the goods mentioned above. If money is tight, the alternative approach of using sawdust as filler can be pursued. The outcomes of each of these strategies are the same.

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