How to Fill Nail Holes

Two Methods:

You can give your woodwork a cleaner, more finished appearance by filling in nail holes as you are working. Before you get started, you need to decide if you are going to use a powder-based wood putty or premixed putty in tubes or cans. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Learn how to fill nail holes.

Method 1

  1. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 1
    1
    Mix dry powder filler with water according to the putty manufacturer's instructions.
    • This form of putty should be mixed to a stiff consistency.
  2. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 2
    2
    Pack each nail hole full of putty with a plastic dish scraper and add extra putty so you create a slight putty mound.
    • As the putty dries, it shrinks. Adding extra putty allows for this shrinkage, making sure the nail hole has been completely filled.
  3. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 3
    3
    Sand the mound of putty after it has dried so you bring the mound level with the wall surface.

Method 2

  1. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 4
    1
    Stain an unpainted sample of the raw wood with which you will be working.
  2. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 5
    2
    Add a clear coat after the stained wood sample has dried.
    • It is only necessary to add a clear coat to your wood sample if you plan to add it to the wood item in which you're filling in nail holes.
  3. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 6
    3
    Take your stained and coated wood sample to the paint store and match the lightest and darkest tones on the sample with tubes of light and dark wood putty.
  4. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 7
    4
    Scoop out a bit of light putty and a little bit of dark putty and knead them together.
    • Leave some streakiness in the putty you mix together to get a good match to your wood.
  5. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 8
    5
    Fill in nail holes on light-toned areas of wood with a scoop of light putty and the mixed shades of putty using a plastic dish scraper.
  6. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 9
    6
    Use dark putty and the mixed shades of putty to fill in nail holes on dark-toned areas of wood.
    • Overfill the nail holes slightly.
  7. Image titled Fill Nail Holes Step 10
    7
    Sand the putty flush with the wood after it has dried.

Tips

  • Putty made from powder dries faster than tube or canned putty.
  • A powder putty is more economical due to of its longevity. Tubes or cans of wood putty evaporate and solidify, even when tightly capped.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry powder filler
  • Water
  • Plastic dish scraper
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Clear coat
  • Dark putty
  • Light putty

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs | Interior Walls Ceilings and Floors