How to Repair a Stripped Screw Hole in Wood

by Debbie
3 Materials
1 Day
This tutorial is for anyone that has a stripped screw hole in wood. Be it a door, a table leg, or anything else that will no longer hold a screw.
This is an amazingly simple way to repair a hole and make the wood strong enough to hold a screw again!!

Recently while working on an up-cycled coffee table, I purchased 4 unfinished table legs. In order to mount these legs to the tabletop I was using, the legs needed to have hanger bolts in their top end, but the legs I purchased did not. Figures.

This post is in reference to where I "messed up" while installing the bolts in my leg... drilling a hole to large for my bolt.

The technique I used to repair the stripped hole was super easy and it provided a strong enough fill that my bolt fit as tight and as it had been drilled into the original wood!

This is how I did it.
Gather your supplies: item you need to repair, wood glue, toothpicks, saw or razor. I used the first saw I found in our shed...and it was seriously overkill!
Pour glue into hole filling about halfway.
Push toothpicks into the hole, one at a time, filling until about 70% it is tight but now overly filled. Push toothpicks to bottom and wipe away any excess glue.
Let dry overnight and the next day, saw off exposed toothpicks.
Here is the repair. A solid patch to now drill into again.
I re-drilled my hole and then screwed the bolt in. It fit as tight as if it had been screwed into the original wood.
Suggested materials:
  • Gorilla wood glue   (amazon)
  • Toothpicks
  • Saw
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • William William on Feb 20, 2018

    Super tip. I have used toothpicks to fill screw holes where weight or stress was not a factor. Otherwise i use a golf tee, wood dowel, or round off a piece of wood with a razor knife.

    • Debbie Debbie on Feb 20, 2018

      Great suggestion! I hadn’t thought about weight needing a filler with even more support.