The 10 Minute Handyman: How to Fix a Stripped Hole

When faced with a minor home repair, the man lacking confidence does one of two things: ignores it or calls a repair man. Instead, earn a few man points by doing simple home repairs yourself. Here, we talk about the endemic stripped screw hole.

You don’t have to be a carpenter to make small repairs around your home or apartment, and a lack of hands-on experience should be no reason to deter you.

Drywall is great; it’s easy to install compared to older alternatives, it’s a cinch to paint and patch, and requires little maintenance. One of the more common problems you’ll run into is a stripped hole; a hole used to hang or hold something to the wall that enlarges over time eventually causing the hole to be larger than the fastener you’re using.

An example of this happened in my girlfriend’s apartment. Her towel holder in her bathroom began to pull off the wall because of normal use and being tugged on.  This is a simple fix and you’re manly-man points will go up if you opt to fix things like this without her asking.

In many cases the correct way to fix this would be to use a larger screw or larger plastic anchor, but in this situation, we can’t use anything bigger because they wouldn’t fit the towel holder’s fasteners anymore. So, we have to make the hole smaller again.

(Note, this method should be used in light duty fixes, anything heavy or important that cannot loosen again because of danger concerns should be approached with a more permanent solution.)

How to fix a stripped screw hole part 2

how to fix a stripped hole part 3

how to fix a stripped hole part 4

how to fix a stripped screw part 5

how to fix a stripped hole part 6

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply August 26, 2010


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  • Reply August 26, 2010


    My wife’s grandfather used to use caprenter’s wood glue and toothpicks to fill in the gaps when he repaired holes in the wall.

    It’s a great trick, and something you can use in a lot of places around the house.

  • Reply August 26, 2010

    Matt S.

    Toothpicks!! Brilliant.

  • Reply August 26, 2010


    James, the wood glue is a great tip, thanks!

    Matt, I’m glad you found it useful. Try it out and let me know how it goes sometime.
    .-= Andrew´s last blog ..The 10 Minute Handyman- How to Fix a Stripped Hole =-.

  • Reply August 26, 2010

    Mark Plus

    Matchsticks and carpenter’s glue work as repair stripped out screw holes in wood. We motel managers pick up these tricks along the way.
    .-= Mark Plus´s last blog ..I have to admit- This made me laugh =-.

  • Reply August 27, 2010


    Now all you need is a new towel 😉

  • Reply August 27, 2010


    Careful, Sam, my girlfriend might be reading. 😉

  • Reply March 2, 2011


    Hahaha that was a very informative article funny too. I use spackle to fill holes but your idea is very unique thanks

  • Reply November 3, 2011


    Sometimes such posts really prove useful, people wastes lot of money on such things. Knowing this will make their work easier and even some money will be saved in their pockets.

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