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How To Properly Fix A Stripped Screw Hole

screwing-metal-screws-into-chipboard-furniture | How To Properly Fix A Stripped Screw Hole | Featured

Knowing how to fix a stripped screw hole is a handy lifehack most DIYers didn't even know was possible. There are many ways to get through it. Here's how you can do it yourself!

RELATED: DIY Leather Couch Repair | 6 Super Easy Steps in Fixing Cuts and Scratches

How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole | 5 Quick and Easy Methods You Can Follow

1. How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole Using a Larger Screw

screw-made-iron-brass-shape-round | metal screw hole too small

If your screw becomes too small for a stripped screw hole, use a bigger screw. Look for something that is wide enough to fit the hole but not too big that you'll have to drill a bigger cavity.

Do it yourself:

  1. Look for a bigger screw. Take the old screw out and replace it with one that is either longer or larger (or both) in diameter.
  2. Check the threads on the new screw. The threads should either be the same type as the stripped-out screw or even rougher. Rougher screws have fewer threads per inch or TPI. These ensure that your new screw will have a stronger grip on your stripped hole.
  3. Put the screw into the hole. With your new screw ready, drive it into the stripped hole. Avoid putting too much force as you drive it on as this might split the wood and cause even more problems than when you started.

Note: Keep in mind that when it comes to this method, the size of the screws makes all the difference. Try to make sure that the screw will not split the wood when you put it into the stripped hole.

2. How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole Using Matchsticks or Toothpicks

toothpick-wood-close-up | how to fix a stripped screw hole in wood with toothpicks

Toothpicks and matchsticks have uses for your home improvement projects as well. You can use them as wood filler so you can fit screws on loose holes.

Do it yourself:

  1. Place the matchsticks or toothpicks into the hole. Start by inserting matchsticks or toothpicks into your stripped screw hole. If you have wood glue, you may also opt to apply a few drops of it to give it a much stronger bite.
  2. Run the screw back into the hole. With the matchsticks or toothpicks now filling in the stripped screw hole, it should now be ripe for your old screw. Simply drive your screw back into the hole and watch it bite into that new wood.

Note: The matchsticks and toothpicks would make the hole smaller as it fills in the missing wood and gives your screw something to hold onto.

3. How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole Using Plastic Anchors

dowel-concrete-anchors-screw-plugs | loctite plastic thread repair

If there are no other options, plastic anchors are one of the best alternatives. They can house screws tightly. Although, some drilling is required.

Do it yourself:

  1. Drill the strip coils out. If the plastic anchors are larger than the stripped screw holes, you might need to drill so they can fit. Remember to choose a drill bit that has a similar size to your plastic anchor.
  2. Set the plastic anchors in. Often, screw repair kits hold those plastic anchors inside them. You can choose to either glue the anchors into your stripped holes or take a hammer and push them down.
  3. Put the hinge in place. Align the hinge and start putting the screws into the stripped screw holes. These plastic anchors will give the screw threads a good grip.

Note: Although the plastic anchors may work for lightweight applications, they might be more expensive than the majority of other fixes and might not always be the best option in most situations.

RELATED: How To Repair Leaky Single And Double Handle Faucet Cartridges

4. How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole Using Strips of Wood

wood-chip-texture-carpenter-nature | how to fix a screw hole that is too big

When using wood strips, it's best to use strips from the original wood to achieve consistency. Using strips from a different type of wood might cause more damage to the stripped hole. Additionally, it might not have a grip that's strong enough to hold your screw.

Do it yourself:

  1. Get strips from wood by cutting some small strips from the same type of lumber. Afterward, dip these strips into wood glue.
  2. Fill the hole by putting the strips of wood you cut out into the stripped screw hole until it is filled. If you chose to apply wood glue to your strips of wood, then leave it for a few hours and let it dry.
  3. Re-insert the screw. If there are excess strips of wood outside the hole, trim them off. Next, drill the hole using a small bit before driving the screw back into the hole.

5. How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole Using Auto Body Filler

repairing-car-body-by-puttying-close | loctite stripped thread repair

When all else fails, repair a stripped screw hole with body filler commonly used for automotive. Drill a bigger hole then fill it with a Bondo body filler before putting the screw back in.

Do it yourself:

  1. Make the hole larger. Start by creating more space by drilling the stripped screw hole using a 1/2-inch bit.
  2. Ready the auto body filler. You can buy a tub or pack of this mixture in auto supply stores or home improvement centers. Mix the filler and the hardener, which usually come as a package.
  3. Put the filler into the hole. Once the auto body filler and hardener are well-mixed, press down the mixture into the stripped screw hole.
  4. Get some lubricant. Spray some lubricant on your screw. This will act as a release agent when unscrewing afterward.
  5. Place the screw into the hole. Put the screw down into the stripped hole and put more filler around the edges. Leave it for about three or four minutes to harden.
  6. Clean the excess filler around the top of the bolt and remove the screw after. Wait for the filler to get fully cured before you start putting the screw back into the stripped hole.

If knowing how to fix a stripped screw hole isn't enough, you might want to drill a new one. Check out this tutorial on how to drill into concrete by GardenFork:

It's pretty common for your screws to lose their grip over time. Knowing how to fix a stripped screw hole is a valuable asset in any DIYer's arsenal. Now that you've learned how to do it yourself, you can start looking for those loose screws, take them out, and make those holes usable again.

Do you have other ideas on how to fix a stripped screw hole? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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