How to Keep Screws in Wood From Coming Out

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Since the invention of the screw in 1513 by a German clockmaker, building everything from furniture to houses got a lot easier. Screws with their threads have much more holding and gripping power than their cousin the nail. Sometimes the wood or material surrounding a screw will become "stripped" or burrowed out in such a fashion that the screw no longer grips the area. To fix this, one needs to insert a wood putty or glue to give the screw more substance to which the threads can grip.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood putty - acrylic-based
  • Wood glue
  • Putty knife
  • Old rag & water
  • Put the nozzle of the wood glue bottle into or as near to the hole surrounding the screw as possible and squeeze the glue bottle, allowing wood glue to fill the hole. Allow to dry. If the glue fails to hold the screw, move to the next step and use the denser wood putty.

  • Using your finger, squish a small pea-sized ball of wood putty into the hole surrounding the screw.

  • Work the putty into the hole filling it until no more will stay in the hole. Align the screw how you wish it to be and allow the wood putty to dry. If this fails to do the trick, remove the screw, fill the hole with putty and allow to dry. Then screw the screw into the putty-filled hole.

  • Use the putty knife to smooth the wood putty around the hole and scrape off and remove the excess putty.

  • Use an old rag and water to wipe up any excess on the wall, or wood. Once the putty dries it doesn't clean up very easily. According to Handyman Fix Home Repair, "Once the acrylic based wood putty has dried, you have to use toluene or acetone to clean it up."

Tips & Warnings

  • Always buy water-based or acrylic-based wood putty. Handyman Fix Home Repair states that "This form of wood putty is also quite economical when it comes to storage because it does not dry out nearly as quickly as the solvent based putties are capable of doing." After many repairs you may need to reposition the screw above or below the stripped hole instead of attempting to continue repairing.
  • Make sure to clean the wood putty with a wet rag before it dries. It is difficult to remove once the product has dried.

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