9 Easy Ways To Fix A Screwhole That Is Too Big

Are you looking for easy ways to fix a screw hole that is too big? We have been there many times ourselves so we are going over 9 simple ways to fix screw holes that are too large.

Have you ever had something to heavy that you were hanging up on the wall and it tore out and made a bigger hole? Or maybe you just have a spot on the wall that over time has enlarged?

We have some quick easy fixes for you that you may not have thought of. Several of them can be done with stuff right around your house without having to spend a dime

We also have some other inexpensive ways which can be obtained easily online or at your local hardware store.

Fix Hole With Matchstick Shim

You know what a shim is, don’t you? Of course, you do. But for the benefit of those who came in late, a shim is a thin piece of material that’s used to fill small gaps and spaces between objects, which makes it perfect for filling the larger than the necessary hole that you’ve just drilled in your wall. 

For oversized screw holes, the best material to use as a shim is a used matchstick or two, and if you don’t have a couple of matchsticks to hand, a toothpick will do.

However, if you’re intending to hang, or mount something, large and weighty using the screw that you’re about to insert into your wall, it’s probably a good idea to forget about this fix.

It won’t hold anything heavy and if you do try to hang anything heavier than a small picture frame, you’ll end up back at square one with an even larger hole in your wall.

The first thing you’ll need to do is fill the hole in your wall with wood glue and then jam the matchsticks or toothpicks into the hole, then go and make yourself a cup of coffee and let the glue dry, and your new wall plug settle into its new home.

Once the glue has dried and your new plug is set in place if it isn’t flush with the wall, you’re going to need to cut it down and make sure that it is. 

The best way to cut your new plug to size is with an Exacto knife. As soon as your wall plug has been cut and is flush with the wall, you can start screwing and attach whatever you want to your wall content in the knowledge that you just snatched victory from the jaws of home improvement misery.

The Path of the Dowel

If you need the hole that you’ve just made a little too big to support something a little heavier than a small picture frame, you can always try fixing the hole in your wall with a wooden dowel. 

Ideally, the diameter of the hole in your wall should be a little smaller than the size of the dowel that you’re intending to use, so you might need to widen it a little with a drill.

If you do, be careful and take your time – you don’t want the hole to end up becoming too big for your dowel. Take a deep breath, and remember. less haste means less waste and less waste means not having to find an even bigger dowel to fill the hole.  

As soon as the hole is the right size for your dowel (and by right size, we mean that the diameter of the hole is a little smaller than the diameter of the dowel), fill the hole with wood glue and then gently tap the dowel into the hole in your wall.

Let the glue dry for a few minutes, and when you’re satisfied that the dowel is locked and set in place, you’ll be ready to use your new screw-hole providing the dowel is flush with the wall.

If it isn’t, you’re going to need to cut it down to size using an Exacto knife, but as soon as it is flush, you’ll be ready to mount or attach anything you want, or need to, to the wall. 

Go Bigger 

The easiest way to counter the unexpected impact of a larger than you need screw hole is to simply use a bigger anchor and bigger screws.

Carefully measure the diameter of your new screw hole and see if you have anchors and screws that will fit your new hole.

If you do, just use them instead, but you don’t you might need to widen the hole again to ensure that you can use your larger anchors and screws. 

Again, if you need to widen the hole, do it slowly and cautiously. Take your time and get it right on the first attempt. When it is ready, all you’ll need to do is use your bigger screw and your original mistake will be a thing of the past that’ll soon be forgotten. 

A Rawl Deal 

If you’ve spent more than a couple of hours working on a home improvement project, you’ll know what a rawl plug is. But just in case you don’t, a rawl plug is a plastic insert that’s designed to support and anchor a screw in a wall.

The good news is that they come in a number of different sizes, so, regardless of how large the size of your oversized screw-hole is, you’ll be able to find a rawl plug to fit it.

As soon as you’ve found your rawl plug, fill the hole in the wall with glue (even though it isn’t strictly necessary to use the glue, it’ll guarantee that your rawl plug won’t move, and that extra sense of security is worth the five extra minutes that it’ll take to wait for the glue to dry), and tap your rawl plug into the hole using a hammer.

As soon as the glue is dry, you’ll be ready to start screwing. 

Tieing The Hole Closed

Truthfully, we’re not fans of this method, but if cable ties are the only thing you have to hand, you can use them to effectively plug the hole in your wall.

It’s a poor substitute for rawl plugs (which we’d always advise that you have a set of before you start screwing holes in your wall), but it can, and will work. 

All you need to do is measure the size of the hole in your wall and cut a cable tie into strips that are the right size to plug the hole. Fill the hole with glue, and push the strips of cable tie into it.

Wait for the glue to dry, trim the cable ties until they’re flush with your wall if you need to, and your newly sized and improved screw hole will be ready. 

Using Steel Wool

While it’s another way to quickly and effectively fill an over-sized hole, if your screw hole is going to be holding any sort of weight, you shouldn’t under any circumstances use steel wool to fill the hole.

But if you’re not intending to hang, or mount anything heavy from the screw hole, then tightly pack the steel wool into the screw hole, and when we say tightly, we mean force as much of the steel wool into the hole as you possibly can, and when the hole is filled, you can use your new screw hole. 

Another Day, Another Shim

One of our favorite ways to fix an oversized screw hole is with a purpose-designed pinewood shim.

It’s easy and all you need to do is shape a small piece of pinewood into a rough wooden stake, push it into the hole and measure it at the point where it becomes flush with the wall. 

Cut your shim to the point where it will be flush with the wall, fill the hole with wood glue, and then gently tap your pinewood shim into the hole. As soon as the glue is dry, you’ll be able to start screwing again. 

Anyone For Golf? 

Assuming that you play a few holes every now and again, and have a golf tee or two in your house, you can always use one to fix the hole in your hole. Push the tee into the hole until it becomes flush with your wall, and mark it at that point.

Cut the tee where you marked it, fill the hole with glue and push your new wall plug into the hole. As soon as the glue is dry, you’ll be ready to use your new screw hole. 

Wood Putty, Filler

Ok you might now have any wood putty around the house but it is available at most local hardware stores or big box retailers.

Simply fill the over sized hole with the wood putty or wood filler and while it is still pliable screw in your new anchor. Make sure it is perfectly straight because once the putty is dry there will be no adjusting.

Wait until it is totally dry and hard before you hang anything. Thats it, a very simple but affective way of filling a screw hole that is too big.

In Closing

Some of the methods we went over will work better than others depending on your application and size of the hole. After reading through all of them pick which one you feel will work the best for your situation.

Dean Luoma

As a long-time homeowner, Dean has been working on his own home projects for over 30 years. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Minnesota, helping clients with the buying and selling of their homes.

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