How To Fix A Stripped Screw Hole In Wood: 7 Alternative Ways

Wood is an essential thing for our daily life, especially for those who work with wood. As wood is a sensitive thing, woodworkers face many types of problems such as breaking, rotting, sap, and many more. Breaking or stripping screw holes is one of the biggest problems among them.

But how to fix a stripped screw hole in wood? Perhaps, stripping screw holes is a common issue for woodworkers. But every worker should know how to handle and fix these situations. They need to learn how to fix those breakages, which ways are useful, or which product is needed. Let’s know about them. 

Ways on How To Fix A Stripped Screw Hole In Wood

Stripping or breaking screw holes is a headache for every woodworker. But every problem has its solution. There are so many ways to fix a broken hole without replacing the wood piece. The fixing methods are too simple and can be done in every situation. Let’s know the methods. 

Use a Slightly Larger Screw

Using a larger screw is the easiest way to fix broken screw holes. Sometimes holes can be stripped because of putting too much pressure. It tore off the wood fiber and made the hole bigger. Using a large screw can fill up those extra spaces. But it is important to choose the right size of the screw. Using too big screws can cause more breakage.

First, take a big screw that is suitable to fit that hole. Then remove the previous screw from the hole with a screwdriver or drill machine. Then again screw on that hole with a big screw. The stripped hole is already a little bit weak so make sure to screw gently.

Recommended: How To Screw Into Existing Holes: DIY Walkthrough

Use Toothpick

A toothpick is a lifesaver in this situation especially if you can’t manage a larger screw. This method is one kind of DIY hack and is too useful to choose as an alternative situation. A toothpick can’t work as a screw but it can strongly fill up the extra space caused by breakage. As we all have a set of toothpicks in our kitchen it doesn’t cause any cost. 

First, take some pieces of a toothpick. Fill the hole with those toothpicks. Fill as much as possible so that there will be no space. Then cut off its head from the wood surface. Sand on the surface with any sandpaper. Then screw on it again. 

Using Plastic Wall Plugs

A plastic wall plug is also called a Rawl plug as well. Plastic wall plugs are used to ensure a secure connection. It gives the screw an extra grip to hold the object more strongly. Plastic plugs are usually used for walls, hanging cabinets, or mirrors as well. But it is not made for making joints. But as it helps to give extra grip so it can be great for stripped holes.

First, take the right side of the plastic wall plug. Then put and secure this plug in the hole perfectly. After securing, screw on it gently. The screw will stick on the plug so the breakage won’t cause any problems later. 

Important Tips: How To Hide Screws In Plywood: 8 Effective Ways

Using Automotive Filler

Automotive filler is also known as mud, filler, or putty. It is naturally used in automobile products. Automotive filler works to repair and fill space and joints. It also works great on wood. Automotive filler can fill the creaked space of the hole and gives a grip to the screw. It gives a hard surface when it gets dry.

First, choose an automotive filler that is suitable for wood. Then remove the precious screw and fill the hole with this filler. Then wait almost 1-2 hours to fully dry out. Sand the surface with sandpaper to make it smoother. Then screw on that hole. 

Using Strips of Wood

Strips of wood are known as moldings or beading. These are just long pieces of wood used on many occasions such as filling gaps, making extra surfaces, and so on. The strips are thin and rectangular. The strips are strong enough to repair stripped holes as well.

First, take a little piece of the strip and cut it in a suitable shape. Fill in the whole and cut its head along the wood surface. Then sand with sandpaper to make sure the surfaces are in the same line. Then make a hole again with a drilling machine and screw on it. 

Using Wood Glue

Coating adhesives are best for repairing stripped screw holes. Wood glues are one of the best adhesives for wood. This glue is specially made for wood and wood-related work such as joint, repair, and fixing. Wood glues are as strong as filler. It gives a hard surface to fill the stripped areas. 

First, choose a strong glue for it. then pour glue on that hole. Make sure to put extra glue in the space of the hole because when it dries out it tends to disappear a little. Then wait until it dries out totally. Now make a hole again and screw on it. 

Using Wooden Dowel

Wooden dowels are little pieces of wood. It is used as an alternative to screws. The dowels are strong enough to make a joint. Dowels are also a useful way to fix stripped holes. It can fill the extra spaces and work as wood. Also, it gives the screw more grip to stay securely. 

First, take a dowel according to the size of the hole. Then insert the dowel into the hole and secure it. Now make a hole in the dowel with any drilling machine. Make the hole half of the dowel. Now screw on it with the machine. 

Read: What To Use Instead Of A Hot Glue Gun: 5 Amazing Alternatives 


How to fix a screw hole that is too big in wood?

Use a higher number of toothpicks if the screw hole is too big. There are lots of big toothpicks available in the market. Glue or fillers are also a great option in this situation. These mud or adhesives can fill any type of larger holes as well.

How long will it take to fix a stripped screw hole?

As we know, there are lots of methods to solve this problem. So there is no fixed time to say how long it will take to fix. For example, using a big screw or toothpick can be done in minutes. But using glue or automotive filler can take a few hours as it needs to dry. 

What will be the best option to fix a screw hole?

As every method is done differently, the matter will vary to person. Some ways can be useful to several people, and some ways can be difficult. But dowels are the best option to fix stripped screw holes. Because dowels give more secure connections than others.


We have mentioned every detail on how to fix a stripped screw hole in wood. We have given all the information about which way and which thing is helpful to fix. It is important to always remember about alternative options as well. 

As sometimes one method cannot work all the time and you might not know which option you will need after. It can prevent any unwanted situations as you are better prepared for these situations. Keep on creating new DIY woodworking projects and stunt everyone possible.

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Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.