May 21, 2021

Best Wood Filler for Screw Holes | Ask the Builder/Woodworker

No one likes to see gaping screw holes. This is why you may look for the best wood filler for screw holes. Wood filler is one of those products you never know you need until the moment you do. Then, when you need it, you better hope you have it because you will not be able to buy it at the store. So if you need wood filler for a home improvement project, what brand should you choose? There are dozens of them, but we have found that some work better than others.

DAP 00585 Latex 6oz

DAP 00585 Latex 6oz is the best paintable wood filler for screw holes. This is an intense and structurally acute solvent-based wood filler. It is an excellent option to consider if you wish to repair screw holes in the wall because it can provide three times more durable filing than the actual wood itself. It is, therefore, a stellar option to consider for in-home use, although it has been designed as a professional solvent. 

Given its price, it is more affordable and represents the upper-middle-class range of wood solvents. It is a durable solvent since it has been created with natural wood fibers. These actual wood fibers are essential to match the wall’s structural integrity that has been drilled on. 

Therefore, if the wood on the wall expands, the solvent will have to behave similarly to prevent cracks from forming across the wall. When you have finished laying the solvent into the screw hole, you may polish it as you please. With this option, you can sand the spot or even varnish or paint it. 


  • Contains actual wood fibers.
  • It can be varnished. 
  • 3X more potent than natural wood


  • It cannot be used with acrylic paint. 

Minwax 448510000 Color-Matched Filler Wood Putty

This is one of the upper-budget options you can consider if you need to deal with some annoying nail holes. You will be able to quickly fill out these holes with color and, in turn, clean up the area surrounding the hole quite quickly. 

A solvent-free option allows the consumer to clean it up with something as simple as soap or water. This is an excellent benefit because it will enable you to perform a clean and precise job. When you apply this, there will be no need for further sanding. This advantageous feature will save you time in the long run, especially if you are a professional. They have tried to make this as natural and raw as possible. Therefore the manufacturers have made it a solvent-free option. 


  • Solvent Free
  • No sanding is required upon application.
  • Filled with color.


  • Relatively expensive.

King’s Original Stripped Hole Repair Kit

This premium option is suitable for the consumer for fixing various types of solid and hollow doors, cabinets, and drawers. It is a versatile option presented to the market as a quick and robust solution to any screw holes around the house. 

The manufacturers have worked very hard to simplify the process around how to fill the gap. Therefore, you do not have to be a DIY expert to use this product entirely. You should be able to fill a hole in just four simple steps. 

All the required instruments are provided within the packaging, making it a buy-and-use product. Multiple repair depths are an excellent option for premium wood solvents because they allow you to do more with the product than other brands. With this option, you shall forget about the old hole and focus on the new pilot hole for the nails you want to screw in. The King’s Original Stripped Hole Repair Kit is a great wood filler for screw holes.


  • Multiple repair depths
  • Stronger than real wood
  • Simple application process


  • It cannot be painted.

J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood

This option has been designed to operate in harmony with the existing wood surrounding the nail hole. It is an easily mixable putty stick created with two parts that work to rebuild and repair the damaged wood. 

You can use this on any furniture product, doors, and cabinets. It is a perfect option for beginner DIY repairs and will not take too much time. You are looking at about 25 minutes maximum for the putty to begin setting in terms of time. 

It should be at maximum strength within one hour and ready for total usage. This is quite an impressive speed when it comes to DIY repairs. It has been manufactured so that it will not shrink or rot; therefore, you can rest easy that when the wood around it begins to mold, the hole will still maintain its complete integrity. 

The color is a light tan option, meaning you should first test it out on a smaller section of the item you are repairing before applying it to bigger holes. 


  • Fast setting time
  • Repairs and rebuilds wood.
  • It will not shrink or mold.


  • It cannot be stained. 

Elmer’s E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler

This is one of the options on the list that has taken the route of making a foam rather than a solvent. The benefits of having foam over a solvent are that it is easily paintable and sand-able. This will therefore mean that the wood you are working on will have a very smooth finish. 

Customers often prefer this because it leads to benefits that come in the form of the repair having less shrinking and very rarely cracking. You can maintain and clean this hole with just water easily. 

This one has been explicitly designed for holes and comes with a nozzle that can squeeze into tiny nail holes. It is a rapid drying option that will be done within 30 minutes of application. Consumers appreciate this because it allows them not to waste the product trying to fit or press it into the hole that needs to be filled. 


  • Paintable and sandable for a smooth finish
  • It does not shrink or crack; therefore more durable.
  • Easy water clean-up and quick drying


  • Not versatile.

A wood filler is a substance used to fill holes, seams, joints, cracks, and other defects in wood. Depending on the wood filler you are using, it may be used to fill gaps, seams, joints, damages, or other defects (or voids) in wood. Wood filler can come in many shapes and forms, including putty, spackle, and wood filler. Different types of wood filler are applied over bare wood to protect it or change its color.

Buyer’s Guide

Can I screw into wood filler?

Yes, you can screw into some types of wood filler, but not all. You need to check the product label to see if it is recommended for screwing. Generally, water-based wood putties are not as strong as solvent-based wood putties, so they are not suitable for screwing. Solvent-based wood fillers are usually made from epoxy, a solid and durable material ideal for screwing. Water-based wood putties are typically made from latex, which is not as strong.

Is my wood filler strong enough to screw into?

A simple test can determine if your wood filler is strong enough to screw into. First, make a small amount of the wood filler according to the instructions on the package. Then put a small amount of the filler on a piece of scrap wood. Try screwing into the putty with a screw. If the screw screws in easily, the putty is too soft and unsuitable for screwing. If the screw goes in with difficulty or not, the putty is strong enough to be used.

Can I sand wood filler?

Yes, you can sand wood filler, but it depends on the type of filler you use. Water-based wood putties can be sanded when dry, but solvent-based wood putties must be fully cured before they can be sanded. Check the product label to see if your wood filler needs to be cured before sanding.

Can you cover screws with wood filler?

Yes, you can cover screws with wood filler. This is an everyday use for wood filler. Place the putty over the screw when filling a hole and smooth it out. The putty will harden around the screw and provide a firm hold.

wood putty vs wood filler screw holes

Wood putty and wood filler are two different products that serve other purposes. Wood putty is used to fill small holes, cracks, and irregularities in the wood. It is usually made with a putty knife and dries hard. Wood filler is used to fill larger holes and defects in wood. It is applied with a spatula or trowel and dries to a hard, sandable consistency.

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