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how to fill a hole

There is nothing more frustrating that working on a piece of furniture and having the perfect hardware in mind but the holes from the existing hardware are the wrong size.

This beautiful dresser has been sitting out in my garage (which I’ve slowly but surely been emptying) for.EVER. It was a Salvation Army find from last summer. I paid $39.99! It is sturdy and heavy and the drawers are in perfect shape.

When considering what kind of hardware to use, I decided on these:

I’m not usually a fan of brass but I’m really loving antique brass hardware lately.

When I discovered that the existing hardware holes were a whopping 5 inches apart, I looked for 5 inch hardware. ZERO. Β That meant I was going to have to keep the original bobo pulls. Um, no.

What to do? Fill the holes!

You can’t use just any old wood filler to fill the holes and have nice results. Many products shrink and cave in and leave visible marks. Not good. Others take forty forevers to dry.

Psssttt….You wanna know about a no-fail, easy as pie, ultra inexpensive, quick-drying product that will making filling holes a SNAP????

You are soooooooooo gonna thank me once you try it…pinky swear.

The product I use is found on the plumbing aisle at Home Depot. It’s called Fix-it Stick.

This is a life changing product for furniture diy-ers.

It is a two part epoxy that comes in a tube and costs around six dollars. πŸ™‚

It is sandable and paintable.

Wear gloves and slice off the amount you will need. Kinda looks like cookie dough…don’t eat it though. It will stick your insides together. πŸ™‚

Work the putty in your hands until the two colors combine into one, it becomes warm, and it starts to smell a little funky.

Fill the holes. (I spread the putty a little further to cover indentions that the hardware left.)

After 15-20 minutes it dries to a finish as hard as steel. You can sand after one hour.

Here it is sanded down. Hey, it looks like eyeballs! You lookin at me? You lookin at ME?

Keep running your hand over the surface until it’s completely smooth.

Now it’s ready to prime and paint.

Then it’s time to drill the holes to fit the hardware….not the other way around.

This was unbelievably quick and beyond simple! A great way to not be limited in hardware choices when refinishing furniture. Holla!

Here’s a little sneaky peek of the finished dresser. I’ll be posting the full before and after tomorrow!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Linking up here:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. VERY HELPFUL; THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE TIP OF FILLING HOLES IN FURNITURE!!!

    March 8, 2011
  2. Jamie #

    OMGosh!!! I have this delima all the time…can’t wait to get some of this stuff! You are amazing….absolutely beautiful!!! I can hardly wait til your next post! Thank you so much!

    March 8, 2011
  3. elaine #

    That is such a great find…..those dang holes do often present a challenge……thanks for sharing!!!

    March 8, 2011
  4. Susan J #

    This is great information to have – thanks. Can’t wait to see the finished project!

    March 8, 2011
  5. Sharon #

    Interesting. Just wondering why you didn’t use the putty knife to scrap the excess before you let it dry. wouldn’t sanding be easier then?

    March 8, 2011
    • I left it to fill some indentions that the hardware left. Sanding was a breeze.

      March 8, 2011
      • Hannah #

        It’s so pretty mommy! When did you paint this one?

        March 8, 2011
      • This past weekend…remember??? It was in the middle of the kitchen??? πŸ™‚

        March 8, 2011
  6. Kathtleen Fullerton #

    The fix-it stick is now on my shopping list. Wood putty always gives me a headache with it’s srinkage, etc. Apply, let dry, apply, let dry, on and on. Thank you for this tip. The dresser is beautiful and love the new pulls.

    March 8, 2011
  7. What a great tip! I always thought it would be to much trouble to fill in holes, but this product makes it look easy!

    March 8, 2011
  8. Thank you so much for this tip. I am getting ready to restore a dresser and a chest of drawers I purchased for my bedroom(art deco style) and a hardware change is a must. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to change the hardware, but I do now. I just love your site.

    March 8, 2011
  9. Sharmin #

    You rock! I can’t wait to see the entire reveal – that looks so great! Thanks so much for this tip!!! The timing is perfect for a re-do of my ugly “Aunt Mal” cabinet thingy that my TV lives in…it really needs some paint and new hardware to lend it some coolness factor, and this is the perfect remedy!

    March 8, 2011
  10. Thanks so much for the fabulous tip, Susan! I will definitely look for some of this next trip to the home store. πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday!

    March 8, 2011
  11. OK, that’s a brilliant solution to a constant problem of mine. Thank you! I usually use short sections of dowel and glue them in and fill around them but this looks waaaay easier. And from the hint picture the finished product looks amazing.

    March 8, 2011
  12. I searched on-line for this product and couldn’t find it. Where do you get it? I live in VA. I see that you are in Canada so I may be out of luck. Thanks! BTW, I love your furniture repurposing! I’ve just started some projects but time is an issue – isn’t it always?!

    March 8, 2011
    • I found it at Home Depot. I would think your local store would carry it. Good luck!

      March 8, 2011
  13. Larissa #

    I have the same hardware problem, except maybe a little bigger. I have a desk that has no hardware, just large holes for “handles”. It would take a lot of putty to fill that so that I could add some cute hardware. Should I just forget about putting on knobs and leave it as the open space or do you have any other advice on how to effectively fill it? Hope this makes a little bit of sense.

    March 9, 2011
  14. Quick question: When you have furniture with drawers like this one, do you paint the entire drawer or just the fronts?

    March 10, 2011
    • Hi there. I paint the fronts, the top of each drawer front and the side of each drawer front. Make sense? I have found that sometimes a little bit of the top or sides show when the drawers are pushed in, so I just make a habit of painting them. Hope that helped.

      March 10, 2011

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