How to Fill Holes in Wood Furniture

We all have that one old piece of wooden furniture that we use so much we can’t even think about getting rid of it. It has seen better days, and yet, we can’t give up on it. Maybe it’s a chair, a table, or even a bookshelf.

How to Fill Holes in Wood Furniture

Regardless of what the furniture is, one thing is certain – over time, it has started to develop small holes. This can be unsightly and frustrating, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to replace the piece. In this blog, we will delve into how to fill holes in wood furniture and bring your furniture back to life.

Can You Fill Holes in Wood Furniture?

Wood furniture adds charm to any space, be it a cozy cottage or a modern apartment. However, it is natural for wooden furniture to develop cracks, scratches, and holes with time. Filling holes in wood furniture is a simple and cost-effective way to restore its beauty and functionality.

Although it can seem daunting to tackle the task, with a few simple steps and some basic tools, you can fix those unsightly holes and extend the life of your beloved furniture. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a novice, follow these steps, and you can fill those holes like a pro.

Why Should You Fill Holes in Wood Furniture?

Wood furniture is a timeless investment piece that can be passed down from generation to generation. However, as with any frequently used item, it can experience wear and tear over time. One common issue that wood furniture may face is the development of holes or cracks.

Though it may be tempting to let these imperfections slide, filling the holes in your wood furniture is essential for maintaining its structural integrity.

Not only does it prevent further damage, but it also enhances the aesthetics of your beloved piece. With a little bit of effort, you can restore your wood furniture to its original beauty and prolong its lifespan for years to come.

How to Fill Holes in Wood Furniture – Say Goodbye to the Holes

Cleaning the Area With a Cloth

1. Identify the Holes and Clean the Area

Before filling in the holes, it’s important to identify all of them and determine their size. Once you have a clear idea, you’ll be better equipped to use the right product to fill them in. Begin by cleaning the area with a cloth and a mild detergent, removing any debris or dust that might have accumulated. You don’t want any dirt or dust interfering with the filling process.

2. Select the Filling Material

Once the area is prepped and ready to go, your next step is choosing a wood filler that suits your needs. Depending on the size of the holes and the type of wood, you might either use a solvent-based filler or water-based.

For small holes, you can use a premixed wood filler easily available at a hardware store. For larger holes, you might opt for two-part epoxy fillers or putty sticks that can be molded to the right shape.

3. Apply the Filler

Now that you have selected the right filler, it’s time to apply it to the furniture. Depending on the type of filler, you might need to use a putty knife or a wooden spatula to fill in the gaps.

The process might be a bit messy, so make sure to wear gloves and protect the surrounding area. Apply the filler in small amounts, filling the hole and leaving a smooth surface. If needed, add extra layers of filler for a better fill.

4. Sand and Stain

Once the filler has dried, sand it with fine-grained sandpaper, creating a smooth surface. Make sure that your sanding is even and doesn’t leave behind any bumps or unevenness.

Selected the Right Filler

Since you’re working with wood, the final step is to protect the surface with your chosen protective coat or wood stain. Apply the coating carefully and evenly, avoiding drip marks and bubbles. Once it dries, you’re ready to put your furniture back into action!

5. Use Wood Putty for Smaller Holes

If you’re dealing with small holes that don’t require extensive filling, you can use wood putty instead of a filler. It’s usually available in different colors to match the wood surface and is easy to apply using a putty knife. You can even mix the color of the putty to get a more even match. Once applied, you can use sandpaper to give it a smooth finish.

6. Fill Nail Holes With Toothpicks

Another trick for filling in small holes is to use toothpicks. All you need are wooden toothpicks and an adhesive like wood glue or epoxy resin. Dip the toothpick in one of these adhesives and insert it into the hole. A flathead screwdriver presses the toothpick into place, ensuring it is filled. Once dry, you can sand it down to get a smooth finish.

7. Consider Softening Sharp Edges

Finally, some furniture might have sharp edges on the holes that need to be softened. You can use sandpaper or a file to make it more rounded. This is especially important if you have small children, as sharp edges can pose a safety hazard. Keep in mind that you might need to apply a coat of protective coating once you’re done smoothing out the surface.

You Can Use Sandpaper

That’s it! You’ve now learned all the steps on how to fill holes in wood furniture. Following these tips will help you get your furniture back in shape and looking like new again. So don’t wait any longer; start filling those holes today! Always remember to use protective equipment when working with wood and woodfillers – safety first!

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Fill Holes in Wood Furniture

1. Type of Wood

The first consideration when filling holes in wood furniture is the type of wood that the furniture is made out of. Different types of wood require different types of fillers and tools for proper repair.

For example, hardwoods such as oak or walnut are more difficult to repair than softer woods such as pine or poplar. It is important to identify the type of wood before beginning any repair work.

2. Size and Depth of Hole

The size and depth of the hole will also determine what type of filler should be used for the repair job. Smaller holes can usually be filled with a putty knife and wood putty, while larger holes may require a combination of sawdust and glue or a two-part epoxy filler.

The hole depth should also be considered when selecting a filler material, as deeper holes may require more material than shallower ones.

3. Color Matching

When repairing a hole in wood furniture, it is important to ensure that the color of the new filler matches that of the existing wood as closely as possible. This can be done by mixing sawdust from similar pieces with glue or epoxy to create a custom color match.

If an exact color match cannot be achieved, then it may be necessary to stain or paint over the repaired area once it has dried completely.

4. Sanding

Once a filler has been applied to fill in a hole in wood furniture, it must be sanded down until it is flush with the surrounding surface area. This step is important for ensuring no gaps remain between the new filler and existing wood, which could lead to further damage if not addressed properly.

A fine grit sandpaper should be used for this step to avoid damaging any existing finishes on the piece of furniture being repaired.

5. Finishing

Finally, once all repairs have been completed, it is important to finish off any exposed areas with either paint or varnish, depending on what was originally used on the piece being worked on.

This will help protect against further damage from moisture and dirt while also helping maintain an even color throughout all parts of your furniture piece. Additionally, if the piece is to be used outdoors, it may also be necessary to apply a coat of outdoor sealer for extra protection.

Benefits of Fill Holes in Wood Furniture

Apply a Coat of Outdoor Sealer

Wooden furniture can add a beautiful and timeless touch to any home, but holes and gaps can appear over time. These imperfections not only take away from the aesthetic appeal of the piece but can also be a hazard for users. Filling in holes in wood furniture is a simple way to restore the piece’s beauty and integrity.

Beyond the obvious benefits of a smooth surface, filling holes can also prevent dirt and debris from accumulating in those gaps and making cleaning difficult.

Additionally, filling in holes can prevent water damage from seeping into the wood and causing further damage. Overall, filling in holes in wood furniture can extend the piece’s life and help maintain its charm for years to come.


Fixing holes in wooden furniture can seem daunting, but with a bit of know-how and patience, it’s easy to achieve great results. Identifying, cleaning, and selecting the right filler can transform your furniture and extend its lifespan.

When done correctly, you can barely tell there ever was a hole, and your furniture will look as good as new. Not to mention – the satisfaction you’ll feel from fixing something old and preserving it for years to come is unbeatable. Thanks for reading our post about how to fill holes in wood furniture.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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