Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole with Toothpicks

I'm using this bigger kitchen project as an excuse to focus on some of the smaller details in the room too. First up, stripped screw holes in the wood -- I had some in both the cabinet box and a door, thanks to kiddos who liked to hang on cabinet doors when I wasn't watching.

If you've had them you know how annoying they are (stripped screw holes, not kids). If those screws fall out your doors won't close right and who wants to have a cabinet door hanging at a weird angle?

Luckily, it's a very quick and easy fix. Break some toothpicks in half and dip the pointy end of a couple into wood glue, then insert them into the stripped hole. Tap them in with a hammer, and then start adding more toothpick halves, always pointy end first, tapping them in gently with a hammer until you absolutely can't fit anymore in:

Let it dry, and then enter use a hammer and a sharp chisel to cut the exposed toothpicks ends off, or snap them off one by one and use a chisel just to break off any little bits that remain so the toothpicks are as close to flush with the surface as possible:

Now you've got screw holes that are packed solid with wood and wood glue!

Then it's as easy as screwing back into them...

And easy peasy, your problem is solved.

That was easy. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I lived with weird hangy cabinet doors for months and months.


  1. Would never in a million years have thought of this and I always have wooden toothpicks available. Great thinking!

  2. If your hole is too big, you can also use a golf ball tee.

  3. This is a great idea. All of the upper cabinets in my kitchen are this way, and since I'm a renter I don't want to do anything too expensive or time-consuming to fix it.

  4. Will this hold with drywall (sheet rock)?? I can't keep screws or nails in my walls and they look hideous with all the holes!!


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