Can you drill or screw into glues or wood fillers?

It is pretty standard that a screw holding a wood joint sometimes loses its position and stops holding the wood together for many reasons. It may be due to sudden stress on the joint that can cause the wood fibre to tear-free. It can also happen due to the over-tightening of screws. 

No matter what the cause is, the next step you will probably be thinking of is filling the hole and redrilling it because the last spot will not hold that screw again.

So, if a screw is freely moving in a hole and not holding its position, you can either use a larger screw or fill the hole with some wooden sticks like matchsticks after applying wood glue to it. Then re-screw after its dries out.

Can you screw into wood glue? Yes, you can only screw into epoxy-based wood glues once they are dry. You may have to drill a hole first as epoxies are very dense and can crack if you directly screw in them.

Filling a hole and redrilling is not as easy as it seems. The wood may get cracked while redrilling to fix the screw. Another problem with the redrilling is air bubbles that can get trapped inside the resin. If you try to fix the screw in the presence of air bubbles, then the screw will not fit properly.

Why is it not a good idea to drill screw into Wood Glue?

To drill into a wood filler is not a good idea because it is just for cosmetics, and it can not hold screws to its soft nature.

The screw will not fit tightly, and it will lose its strength very soon.

Here are five different ways to fasten a stripped screw in the hole and keep it tight firmly. 

Can you screw into liquid nails
Wood Filler

Method 1: Use A Larger Screw

The first solution to fix a stripped screw is to use a screw slightly larger in diameter and longer than the previous one. 

The new screw should have a higher gauge. For example, if the size of the last screw is #4, use a #5 or #6 screw to fit in properly.

Use a screw with coarser and aggressive threads so that it fixes firmly in the hole. 

Use a larger screw but make sure that the new screw is not too large to break the wood. Don’t apply too much force while driving the screw in the hole. It can risk the strength of wood fibres near the screw.

Method 2: Using Matchsticks or Toothpick to Fix a Hole

You can not use a larger screw in every scenario, and sometimes, fixing the hole itself will be required. A great way of doing it is sticking in some toothpicks or matchsticks inside it with glue.

All you have to do is apply some glue to matchsticks with their heads removed and place them inside the hole.

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Let them dry for some time. Once dried, drive the screws inside the hole again.

Since matchsticks are relatively soft and won’t need to be redrilled, they will provide significant binding friction to hold in the screws when compressed to a small space.

Method 3: Filling The Hole With Same Wood And Redrilling It

The best foolproof solution to a stripped hole is to fill it with a dowel and redrill it.

Use some strips of similar wood and dip them into the glue. Then force the wooden strips in the hole with the help of a hammer. 

Can you screw into liquid nails

After the glue dries, drill a new hole in the wood and drive the screw in.

It is essential to use the same type of wood to fill the hole. If you use hardwood to fill the void into softwood, the hardwood will expand when you drive a screw in it, causing cracks.

Similarly, if the softwood is used to fill the hardwood, the wood will not hold the screw tightly. 

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Method 4: Use Epoxy to fill the hole

Epoxy resin is an excellent option to fill the hole. It has excellent resistance properties and can hold screws firmly in the hole. Epoxy is also easy to handle. 

Fill the hole with epoxy and let it dry completely. Different epoxies have different setting times. I recommend using something that has a setting time of fewer than 24 hours.

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When the epoxy dries, use a drill to make a new hole and drive the screw into it. You can use a standard twist drill bit to make holes in epoxy.

Wood filler you can drill into

Wood fillers made with epoxy are the best to drill or screw. Epoxy fillers are also easy to file, sand, paint or fill a hole. A few good options are;

1. System Three 1-Quart SculpWood Moldable Epoxy Putty, 90301
2. Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound, 2 Quart Kit, Part A & B
3. Abatron LiquidWood 2 Pint Kit – 2-Part Structural Epoxy Wood Hardener and Consolidant Resin.

Below are a few other types of glue that can work but won’t provide a firm grip on your screws.

Franklin Titebond Glue

Franklin titebond is waterproof wood glue. It is easy to use, and its most characteristic property is its resistance against water, solvent, and atmospheric changes. (Link to Amazon)

It provides strength to the wood and gives a hard texture to hold screws easily. 

Franklin titebond is the best option to fill holes in wood. It is non-toxic and easy to use; thus, it can be applied to cooking articles, like knives and cutting boards. 

Gorilla Wood Glue

Gorilla Wood Glue is an excellent glue because of its cross-linking bond formula. (Link to Amazon)

It is water-based glue, and it can be used for outside purposes due to its water resistance property. 

Gorilla glue takes only 20- 30 minutes as clamp time. It is ideal to use for projects which need quick drying. Gorilla glue will take 24 hours to attain a hard texture and dry properly. 

Another feature of this glue is its versatility that can be used for any type of wood. 

Can you screw into liquid nails

Elmer’s Carpenter Wood Glue

Elmer’s Carpenter Wood Glue is non-toxic, so it can easily be used without safety equipment like gloves or facemasks. (Link to Amazon)

It is designed to hold the screw firmly and is mainly used for hardwood due to its strength. Elmer’s glue is even more potent than the wood and hence provides excellent stability to the screw.

Elmer’s wood glue is easily paintable and does not produce any fumes. 

Filling Wall Hole For Screws

To fill a wall hole for the screw, you will have to use a joint compound like mud. Fill the hole with the help of a wall knife and letting it dry. Use sandpaper to level the hole with the wall. 

After the hole is filled, use a masonry drill bit to make a hole in the wall. Start drilling with a thinner drill bit and then make a proper hole. After drilling, drive the screw into the hole.

Recommended Drills

I have compiled a list of some great cordless tools you can select for your personal use. The variety is from both entry-level to full-blow professional cordless drills.

I will recommend getting an entry-level mid-range cordless drill to drill the screw into wood glue.

Related Questions

— Update: 20-03-2023 — found an additional article Can You Screw into Wood Filler? (Mar 2023) NEW Guide! from the website for the keyword can you screw into liquid nails.

Can you screw into liquid nails

Wood filler is used to repair chips, scratches, gouges, and many other surface imperfections of our loving woodworks and make them fresh as new again.

Wood filler has the ability to fill holes and cracks by hardening on the surface and maintaining the wood integrity.

There’re some occasions you’ll need to nail and screw the area after filling a hole or crack using wood filler. So, let’s talk, Can you screw into wood filler?

Yes, You can screw into wood filler when dry. But wood filler only supports small screws and large screws that carry heavy loads and stress destroy the dimensional strength of wood filler. Epoxy Wood fillers can hold a screw. But wood fillers cannot bear loads.

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But there’s more to know.

In this article, we’ll explore can you screw into wood filler and can wood filler hold a screw.

Furthermore, we’ll discuss how to screw into wood filler, and I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about can you screw into different types of wood fillers such as Ronseal, epoxy, and DAP plastic.

Let’s get started.

Can Wood Filler Hold a Screw?

Yes, wood filler can hold a screw. Once the wood filler is cured well you can screw it with a small pilot hole.

Wood filler cannot hold load or stress. It can only hold small screws that carry a very small amount of load or stress.

Heavy load or stress changes the dimensional strength of wood filler and destroys the wood filler.

Therefore, wood filler does not support well to hold large screws that carry stress and load.

When the wood filler is completely dried and cured you can drill a screw or nail to the preferred area without any issue because of the great flexibility of wood filler has.

Tip: If the hole was stripped out of a screw or it is in a hinge mortise, it’s not a good thing to fill the hole using wood filler.

because it’s like filling the wood using particleboard which is incompatible with wood and unable to hold a screw so well.

If you want to fill up stripped-out screw holes or the screw hole in hinge mortise, better to stick with bamboo skewers, toothpicks, or wooden match sticks.

Dip them in wood glue and jam until they fit in the hole. Set them deep into the wood by leaving the ending surface of the mortise and trimming off flush with the surface once the glue is completely set up.

After that, the surface is ready to hold any kind of large or small screw. Predrilling is recommended for good screwing and to prevent the wood from splitting.

Apart from that, it is totally fine to use wood filler to fill up small holes and cracks which doesn’t apply any load or stress.

Most of the wood fillers hold screws so well.

Among different types of wood fillers, Epoxy wood fillers outstand from others in terms of their screw holding ability.

Can You Drill Wood Filler?

Yes, you can drill wood filler once it’s fully dried and cured. Two-part epoxy wood filler and multipurpose wood fillers prevent occurring cracks during the drilling process.

When you’re drilling the wood filler to hold screw make sure to consider the depth of the hole. Because sometimes when you drill too deep, that’ll ruin the project.

So, before drilling the wood filler to hold the screw make sure to have a good idea about how deep should you drill to hold the screw tightly.

Follow the below table to get an idea about the perfect depth you should screw into wood filler to prevent cracking.

Drilling Depth of Wood FillerWood Type
¼’’Large pieces of firm hardwoods like Oak
½’’Medium-firm woods like Fir
5/8’’Medium-firm woods like Cherry
1’’Softwoods like Cedar

Types of Wood Filler you Can Screw Into

There’re many available options of wood fillers in shops, but you have to find out which type of wood fillers are best that can screw into without ruining the project.

Types of Wood FillerCan You Screw Into?
Two-part epoxy wood fillerYes
Simple wood fillerNo
Multipurpose wood fillerYes
Exterior wood fillerYes

As you can see two-part epoxy wood filler, multi-purpose wood filler, and exterior wood fillers are the best options you can screw into.

Among those options, I personally recommend a two-part epoxy wood filler because of its high dimensional strength and flexibility to hold the screw so well.

How To Apply Wood Filler to Hold a Screw?

When you’re applying wood filler to hold screws or nails need to follow the right technique for best results.

Drilling too deep makes the wood filler get cracks and damage the whole project.

First of all, there’re some requirements you need to have to make this succeed.


  • Two-part epoxy wood filler with hardener (16:1 ratio)
  • Putty knife
  • Scrapers
  • Sandpapers
  • Mixing bowl

So, let’s find out what are the steps you need to follow when applying wood filler to hold a screw.

1. Surface Preparation

Before the application of wood, filler removes loose paint, loose wood chunks, and stains around the wood area you wish to work.

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Light sanding is also recommended to get a nice and smooth surface and remove rough edges and corners.

After the sanding is done, take a clean cloth or rag and remove sawdust and debris in the area.

This will make the surface ready to take the wood filler effectively.

2. Prepare the Wood Filler

Then open the wood filler, take the necessary amount, and place it in a mixing bowl.

Then apply the hardener on top of the wood filler that is kept in the mixing bowl 16:1 ratio.

That means only a little amount of hardener is enough to mix with a large amount of wood filler that was taken to the mixing bowl.

After that mix them until the white hardener disappears.

When you feel wood filler and hardener are mixed well, you have 15 minutes according to the instructions to apply this material to the wood surface.

3. Apply the Wood Filler

Right after wood filler and hardener is mixed completely, take the putty knife, and start the application process to the area.

Press the wood filler into the cracked areas to fill the holes entirely.

Better to apply an excessive amount of wood filler to the holes because wood filler tends to shrink when they are drying.

So, little excess work as an allowance to fill up the entire surface.

Make sure to finish the application process within around 10 minutes because once it hit the 15-minute mark, the wood filler will start to dry and harden which will be so difficult to apply.

4. Allow Wood Filler to Dry and Cure

After the wood filler is applied correctly, let it dry and cure for 20 – 30 minutes to several hours.

If you live in a humid area, this can take even 3 – 4 hours. Patience is the key to getting the best results.

5. Finishing

When the wood filler is completely dried and cured, you can apply any paint or stain to make it covered and match according to the other areas of the wood.

This is helpful to make the area as fresh as new and hide the wood filler patches.

6. Screwing into Wood Filler

After finishing the wood filler application, drying, and finishing process wait for around 24 -48 hours to screw into wood filler.

Before screwing into wood filler make sure to take,

  • Perfect size of drill bit size according to the wood type.
  • Suitable drill
  • Screws

Make sure to apply Two-part epoxy resin before screwing into wood filler as discussed above. Because no other wood filler can hold screws well without cracking than two-part epoxy wood filler.

Better to start with a small drill to test the wood filler and better to make a pilot hole before drilling to screw so easily.

So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about can you screw into wood filler from different manufacturers.

Can You Screw into Ronseal Wood Filler?

Yes, Ronseal wood filler is a multipurpose wood filler that won’t crack or shrink easily. Therefore, you can screw into Ronseal wood filler without any issue by following instructions.

Can You Screw into Dap Plastic Wood Filler?

Yes, Dap Plastic wood filler can be screwed. It provides strong anchoring to the screws without splitting.

Other than that DAP Plastic wood filler can cut, drill, sand, varnish, paint without any issue.

It is a multipurpose outstanding wood filler for any woodworking activity.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Can You Screw into Wood Filler?

In this article we have deeply explored about can you screw into wood filler and how can you drill wood filler to hold the screws so well.

We have discussed, types of wood fillers that can take screw well without splitting and identified the drilling depth size for different wood types as well.

Most importantly, select the best wood fillers that can screw into and let it dry before the screwing process to get the best results.

The main purpose of wood filler is to fill up the holes and not to take drills or screws.

But you can screw multipurpose wood filler without splitting as an extra advantage. But make sure not to apply heavy load or stress to the area which can ruin the project.

Furthermore, we have talked about how to apply wood filler to hold a screw tightly by discussing each step in detail and answered some frequently asked questions about can you screw into wood filler from different manufacturers as well.

Hope you have gained pretty good knowledge about can you screw into wood filler and surrounding topics.

So, let’s jump into your next woodworking project like repairing surfaces using wood filler, and learn something new. Have fun!


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About the Author: Tung Chi