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Replacing Cabinet Hardware? Tips for Filling Holes in Stained Wood

Are you replacing your cabinet hardware and filling holes in stained wood? In this post, we take on this tough DIY problem and teach you how to fill holes in stained wood that are hidden!

Thank you to Mohawk Consumer for sponsoring this post! All opinions are entirely my own. This post also contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.

Wondering how to fill holes in stained wood? Here's how to repair nail holes in stained wood the easy way.

Filling holes in stained wood is not easy. Even with stainable wood filler, the holes are usually fairly noticeable and can stick out like a sore thumb. It’s either too dark or too light. Matching the natural look of the wood grain is also tough to do if you don’t have the right products.

With today’s post, we’re going to show you some helpful products that are perfect for filling holes in stained wood. Not only are you able to match the color of the stained wood, but you’re also able to match the natural look of the grain on the wood.

Supplies needed to fill nail holes in stained wood. You'll need Mohawk high performance clear acrylic, Mohawk fill sticks, and Mohawk brush tip markers.

Here are the products were going to be using today for filling holes in stained wood:

Fil-Stik® (Fill Stick)

  • Rub-on semi-soft putty wax stick
  • Fills in nicks, holes, and scratches quickly and easily
  • Works on most wooden surfaces in low traffic areas
  • If applied properly, the repair will hold up forever unless you purposely dig into the area where Fil-Stik is applied
  • No sanding or topcoat required
  • Comes in 37 different color options
  • Learn more about the Fil-Stik here

Brush Tip Graining Marker

  • Marker with micro brush tip to add grain lines or alter the color
  • Imitates the natural grain appearance of wood surfaces, which is perfect when filling holes in stained wood
  • Can be used after applying Fil-Stik or any other putty or filler
  • Comes in 27 different color options
  • Learn more about the Brush Tip Graining Marker here

High-Performance Acrylic Aerosol

On what types of projects or repairs would need to use these products?

The Fil-Stik filler & Brush Tip Graining Marker will definitely come in handy if:

  • you’re replacing cabinet hardware and the holes of the new hardware don’t quite match up with the old ones
  • you made a simple mistake a drilled hole in the wrong spot when you were adding your hardware (THIS IS WHAT WE WERE DOING)
  • you have dents, nicks, or scratches on wood surfaces of doors, baseboards, or furniture
A close up look at a nail hole in a stained wood cabinet door. We learned how to repair nail holes on stained wood to hide this hole on the cabinet door.
A stained wood cabinet door has a small nail hole where the old cabinet hardware was attached. Here's how to easily repair nail holes in stained wood.

Why we were looking for a solution for filling holes in stained wood

Now it’s been a couple of years since we replaced our cabinet hardware in our kitchen. When we were installing the hardware, we made a silly mistake and accidentally drilled a hole in the wrong spot! We’ve honestly just left this hole because I knew that standard stainable wood fillers would be obvious and not blend in.

When I saw the Fil-Stik and Brush Tip Graining Marker from Mohawk, I knew I’d struck gold and finally found what I like to call “wood camo”.

I made a step-by-step video for how to fill holes in stained wood, so you can either watch the video (turn up your volume for voice-over tips) or read the full, detailed tutorial below! Enjoy!

If you love DIY videos, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss one!

Supplies for filling holes in stained wood:

1. Remove cabinet hardware.

Start by removing any cabinet hardware that is currently on the cabinets with a screwdriver and set it aside. The existing hardware will just get in the way when filling holes in your cabinets.

2. Test Fil-Stik on the inside of the cabinet door.

If you’re not sure about the color of Fil-Stik to use, we would recommend getting 2 or more color options to test. For our darker-colored kitchen cabinets, we tried both Dark Walnut and Extra Dark Walnut.

When in doubt about the color of the Fil-Stik, go lighter and match it to the lightest color tone on your cabinets (usually where there is no grain).

You can test the colors of the Fil-Stik easily on the inside of the cabinet door when filling that side of the hole. To test, just rub the Fil-Stik over the hole.

3. Rub Fil-Stik briskly over hole.

Once you decide on the correct color Fil-Stik, continue filling the hole in the cabinet. To do so, you just rub the Fil-Stik briskly over the hole until it is filled completely.

Repeat the process on the front side of the cabinet.

4. Wipe excess off with a paper towel.

Mohawk’s instructions say that you can wipe excess off with a hard surface (like a credit card) or a paper towel. We found that a dry paper towel worked best.

I stopped the process of rubbing the Fil-Stik over the hole several times to wipe off the excess with a paper towel throughout the process.

5. Use the graining marker to match grain lines in the wood.

Again, I’d recommend ordering 2 or more colors to test on your cabinets if you’re unsure. We tried both Black and Deep Brown Mahogany. Start on the backside of the door to practice your technique a bit and test colors.

Once your hole is completely filled, carefully use the graining marker to match or replicate grain lines in the wood.

6. Lightly rub Fil-Stik over wood to reduce the shine of the graining marker.

I found that the only downside to the graining marker was that there was a bit of extra “shine” to the marker areas, similar to when you use a permanent marker on something. This made it stand out.

To fix this, once the graining marker is dry, you can simply lightly rub the Fil-Stik over the area again and wipe the excess away. The Fil-Stik takes away any extra shine created by the graining marker.

7. Spray with sealer.

Lightly spritz the area with the aerosol acrylic sealer to make sure it lasts forever.

A close up picture of a stained wood cabinet door with a repaired nail hole using Mohawk wood repair products.

I was so impressed with how these products worked. I’m now confident that you can fill holes in stained wood and have it be completely hidden!

A stained wood cabinet door with new brass hardware. We filled a nail hole on this stained wood door using Mohawk wood repair products, and now the nail hole is barely visible!

I can’t believe how long it took us to fix this hole in our kitchen cabinets after replacing our cabinet hardware and making this silly mistake! This whole process only took 15 minutes or so and the products are very budget-friendly!

Are you replacing cabinet hardware and filling holes in your kitchen cabinets?

Let us know in the comments below how it goes!

How To Fill Holes In Stained Wood

How To Fill Holes In Stained Wood

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $20

Think you're stuck with unsightly nail holes on your stained wood furniture? Think again! Here's how to repair and fill holes in stained wood - in just a few easy steps using Mohawk wood repair products.

Materials

Tools

  • Screw driver
  • Paper towel

Instructions

  1. Remove cabinet hardware.
  2. Test Fil-Stik on inside of cabinet door.
  3. Rub Fil-Stik briskly over hole.
  4. Wipe excess off with paper towel.
  5. Use graining marker to match grain lines in wood.
  6. Lightly rub Fil-Stik over wood to reduce the shine of the graining marker.
  7. Spray with sealer.

6 thoughts on “Replacing Cabinet Hardware? Tips for Filling Holes in Stained Wood

  1. How does this product work when I will have to drill the new hole right beside the old filled hole? Is the new product rigid and stable?

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