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How to Fill Screw Holes in Wood

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How to fill screw holes in wood the easy way using wood toothpicks and wood glue.

Have you ever tried to replace door hinges or a new door stopper in your home only to find out that the screw hole is too big or stripped out?

I know…me too!

Well, there’s a super simple and cheap way to fix it without using any kind of complicated tools or wood putty.

collage of process of fixing screw holes in wood trim

When we bought our house in 2013 it was a foreclosure.

We got it for a great price but it was stripped of almost everything, including the big things like the hot water heater and the bathroom vanity.

It also was missing a lot of the little things, like the door stoppers for all the doors.

The first time we opened a closet door too quickly and almost went through the wall, I knew that I needed to install door stoppers, pronto! Otherwise I’d be adding “fix holes in the walls” to my ever-growing list.

The holes were already in the wood trim so I picked up several door stoppers from Home Depot, figuring it would be an easy fix. Well, it wasn’t that easy.

The holes were too big for the new stoppers so, instead of drilling new holes and fixing the old, I filled the holes with glue and toothpicks so that the door stopper had something to “grab” onto.

Supplies to fix screw holes in wood

wood glue, toothpicks, door stop and scissors on wood floor

How do you fill existing screw holes?

First you want to put some wood glue on a scrap piece of cardboard.

Trim the toothpicks down with the nippers or scissors.

Coat bottom of toothpicks generously with the wood glue. Stick toothpicks in hole until snug.

Tap the toothpicks lightly with a hammer to ensure they are in as far as they can go.

toothpicks in screw hole in wood trim

Let glue dry 1-2 hours. After glue is dry, use nippers to cut end of the toothpicks off so they are flush with the wood surface.

using scissors to cut toothpicks in wood trim

Twist your door stop into the hole and…voila!!!

The screw of the door stopper grabs onto the wood of the toothpicks.

door stop in wood trim

Have you ever used toothpicks to fill screw holes?

Check out the projects where we’ve used this trick

How to Fill Screw Holes in Wood

using scissors to cut toothpicks in screw hole

How to easily fill screw holes in wood with wood toothpicks and wood glue. A great way to fix stripped out holes in wood.

Active Time 30 seconds
Drying Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 seconds
Difficulty Easy/beginner
Estimated Cost $5


  • wooden toothpicks
  • wood glue


  • scissors or nippers
  • hammer


  1. Put some wood glue on a scrap piece of cardboard
  2. Use scissors or nippers to trip tops off of wood toothpicks
  3. Coat bottom of toothpicks in wood glue
  4. Stick toothpicks in screw hole
  5. Use hammer to light tap toothpicks in hole
  6. Let wood glue dry an hour or two
  7. After glue us dry, use nippers to cut toothpicks flush with wood surface
  8. Drill new holes

Did you make this project?

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