How to plug screw holes in furniture

Updated April 17, 2017

Screw holes in furniture can be unsightly and deter from the beauty of the piece. Screw holes can be easily plugged in several different ways. If you make your own furniture or your furniture has lost one of its screw plugs, try one of these methods for making a plug.

One easy way to plug a screw hole in your furniture is with the use of a tapered plug cutter. A tapered plug cutter is essentially like a drill bit. It will cut a round plug in wood that is tapered at the bottom to help it fit in the hole. Plug cutters can be used with a hand-held drill or with a drill press. Simply cut a plug out of plywood or any bit of scrap wood you have on hand. Sand the plug lightly and glue in place using wood glue, then tapping into place with a hammer. If the plug is a different colour than the furniture you can stain it using a small paintbrush.

Wood putty is another option for filling screw hole in furniture. Fill the hole with regular wood putty, making sure the hole is filled completely with no pockets of air. Wipe the wood putty flush with the furniture and remove any excess putty from around the hole before it dries. Stain the wood putty to match the furniture once it is dry.

Screw hole plugs can also be purchased pre-made and come in a variety of materials, colours and sizes. If you are plugging a screw hole in furniture that is made out of something besides wood, this is a great option. You can paint the screw hole plugs to match your furniture.

A screw hole can also be plugged with a piece called a button. A button is attached the same way as a wooden screw hole plug, by putting a bit of glue on it and tapping it into place with a hammer. The difference between a button and other screw hole plugs is that the button does not hide the screw hole, but it makes it decorative.

Things You'll Need

  • Plug cutter
  • Plywood
  • Wood putty
  • Pre-made screw hole plugs
  • Stain
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Hand-held drill
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About the Author

Christine Sostarich is a freelance writer and poet based in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. She has served as managing editor, publisher, and poetry editor for numerous literary journals online and in print such as The Cortland Review, Moondance, and Maelstrom. Her work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2000.