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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Repair a Small Hole in a Hardwood Floor

Our house is almost 100 years old and it has some really lovely hardwood floors. The boards are skinny and long, unlike most flooring today, and give the house a lot of charm.

However, it is not charming to have holes in said floor boards. I'm fine with a few scratches and dents, they're pretty inevitable when you have kids and dogs. But small holes get bigger over time.

The other weekend I decided to fix a small hole that developed in the flooring in our living room. It was really hard to find an easy, quick solution that didn't call for sanding down the floor and re-staining or removing a portion of the floorboard.

So I decided to do my own thing, with the guidance of several online handy-person articles and videos.

I decided to fill the hole with Minwax Wood Putty in Golden Oak. It was a close match to the area of floor, but most wood putties can be mixed if needed to get the right color. I also liked that it doesn't require staining or sanding. It also doesn't dry fully hard, so it has a bit of give. This is good because our floors shift slightly depending on the season.

Just FYI, the hole I patched was about 2 x 10 x 5 mm.

- Fine grit sand paper or sanding block
- Denatured alcohol and a cloth
- Painters tape
- Wood putty
- Putty knife
Before, During and After

Here is the step-by-step process I used:

1. Sand down any rough edges around the hole.

2. Clean the floor and wipe it down with a bit of denatured rubbing alcohol. Allow to dry fully.

3. Tape off the area around the hole to make sure you don't get any product on the good flooring. Low tack, high quality painters tape is best to prevent leaving a residue on the floor. Apparently you can also just wipe the area clean with a paper towel.

4. Push a bit of wood putty into the hole using your fingers. It's better to use multiple thin layers rather than one thick layer because it actually decreases dry time. Just make sure the previous layer is dry before applying another. I also read that you can use a hair-dryer to speed up drying time, but I didn't try it. This step took me about a day to complete.

5. I used a putty knife to gently apply the final layer of wood putty to make sure it was smooth.

6. After you apply the last layer, carefully remove the tape so you don't disturb the finish or leave any tape residue behind.

7. Allow to dry for at least a few hours before any dogs lick it or boys poke at it out of curiosity!

The Final Result
* Disclamer: What I did may be total wrong, I am not an expert in flooring by any stretch. But it turned out well and everything still looks good a weeks later.


  1. Wow. My floor got exactly a hole like your. And thanks god I read this to fix my floor. Thank you very much. Really helpful post.

    1. 5 months later and it's still looking good - glad you found it helpful!