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How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Occasionally, you will get a piece of gorgeous wood that has voids or knots in it. You wouldn’t want to add wood putty, because it wouldn’t retain the look of the knots. But, you want a smooth surface. The solution is to fill the wood knots and voids with epoxy. The results will be beautiful and you’ll be hard pressed to find the patch afterwards.

Materials:

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How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Begin by taping off the area around the holes, voids or knots. Press the edges of the painter’s tape down to seal it against the wood.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Remove the epoxy from the packaging. (I used Gorilla Glue Epoxy glue that sets up in 5 minutes.)

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Snip or snap off the tip of the epoxy tubes.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Press the cap out of the plungers before trying to depress the plunger. Retain the cap to use if you have any leftover epoxy.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Depress the plungers and squeeze the two part epoxy into the packaging mixing tray. Stir the epoxy with the enclosed wooden stick until the glue is thoroughly mixed (should appear cloudy and all one color.)

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Pour or spoon the epoxy into the voids, holes or knots. Do not let the epoxy touch your skin. Be sure to fill to the top or slightly over the top of the holes. Use disposable wipes to clean up any misplaced drips.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Allow the epoxy to harden and dry. Depending on the weather, the epoxy will likely need to dry and harden overnight.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

When the epoxy has fully cured, remove the painter’s tape.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand the epoxy until it is smooth and level with the rest of the wood surface. Avoid the temptation to keep the sander on the epoxy too long or the glue will gum up the sandpaper. It’s better to use several passes and allow the epoxy to cool off between sanding.

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Finish your wood with stain and/or topcoat of your choice. You can see my tutorial for refinishing reclaimed lumber for more details. You can read more on repairing holes in wood in “This Whole Post is on Repairing Holes.”

When you’re done it should be hard to locate the epoxy filled area! Can you spot it below?

How to Fill Holes and Knots in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Want more details about this wood table top and how to build the table?

How to Fill Voids and Knot Holes in Wood

 

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58 replies
  1. Erin
    Erin says:

    This is awesome. I have an old table with a couple gouges that I’ve been wanting to refinish and this will be perfect!

    One question, you say to stain after the epoxy. Is this true even if you want to use a dark stain, or would it make more sense to stain first in that case since the epoxy will be covering the wood?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Christina
    Christina says:

    Hi Brittany, Like Erin, I enjoyed this tutorial but want to know if I should stain first. What say you? 🙂 Thanks for the tip about sanding over the epoxy too! Wow, this table looks great! Thanks so much!!
    ~ Christina

    Reply
  3. Jyl
    Jyl says:

    Would this work on a vertical surface, like a door frame? I have a door that’s been scratched up by the previous owner’s big dog – but the scratches are too deep to sand smooth

    Reply
    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Jyl, your surface must be flat and horizontal when working with the epoxy. For dog scratches, I’d use Bondo or strong wood putty instead. The epoxy is when you want to keep the knot hole or imperfect look.

      Reply
      • Jyl
        Jyl says:

        thanks! I liked the idea of the epoxy because it’s clear and my door is just stained and I’m not sure I could get a really good match if I used bondo/stain (it’s an ancient door, with some kind of shellac on it) It’s probably time to just fill it in and paint it a wild colour! Thanks for your help!

        Reply
  4. joe burttcshell
    joe burttcshell says:

    This is a great idea! I wonder if table top epoxy can be applied over .also the lumber in this project is long leaf pine a beautiful lumber, heavy , dense, hard as oak and can be past down generations.

    Reply
  5. Bret
    Bret says:

    Can I add a little color to the epoxy so it’s darker when dry? I’m planning to stain my wood a dark color and I’m afraid since the epoxy is clear you will see the lighter wood thru the epoxy.

    Reply
  6. Matt
    Matt says:

    I’ve seen something like this on worktops where in largish holes interesting objects e.g seashells have been added to the resin how would you go about doing this?

    Reply
  7. Amy
    Amy says:

    Hi

    My table i have just purchased has had pine inserts put in where the knots have happened and it looks a bit of a miss match. Im looking to digging out out these pine inserts and using epoxy to refill them. The table how ever has already been clear stained and wax. When i sand down the epoxy would i have to re stain and wax the whole of the table again or could i just stain that one area?

    Reply
  8. CATHY LALOR
    CATHY LALOR says:

    I have a solid oak worktop in my kitchen. Over a period of time, a leaking tap (mounted in worktop) has caused damage to the wood. So when I scraped it and sanded it back, there is now a hollow around the tap hold. Can I fill it in with epoxy and before I replace the leaking tap. I dont really want to have to change the whole worktop.

    Reply
  9. Mike
    Mike says:

    Brittany, Your tip is exactly what I was looking for. I am making a bench for one of my grandkids with his name engraved in the top. But the boards have knots in them and I was searching for a way to handle the knots. Your tip to just fill the knots holes with Gorilla Glue Epoxy is a simple and easy solution. Thank you very much.

    Reply
  10. Donna Williams
    Donna Williams says:

    Hi Brittany, what about the tanins that may “bleed” into my new stain? I would like to use something other than a shellac – possibly sealer, epoxy? etc. which would prevent this but still allow the stain to be beautiful. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!

    Reply
  11. Kim
    Kim says:

    Any ideas on how to fill in the areas between each of the boards on a custom table I built. I want to use a self leveling clear coat on the top but some of the boards have space between each other that would leak through. Thanks

    Reply
  12. H in OH
    H in OH says:

    Here’s a little tip to get a better color match. Sand the wood first, then take the sawdust from your sander and mix it with the epoxy.

    Reply
  13. S
    S says:

    Hi, filled in knot holes on cedar top for end tables. I sanded off and used a polycritic clear gloss but the knots are still super shiny and looks awkward any suggestions.

    Reply
  14. Donna Spakes
    Donna Spakes says:

    Hello, I love your post and I’m wondering if this will work for my purpose. I have a reclaimed bridge timber I pulled out of the water. Since this is going to be a table, I really want to fill in the holes somehow. But more importantly, there is a rotten area that I don’t want to dig out. I’m wondering if the Apoxsee will hold that together so that I can stain and put clearcoat over the top of it? What do you think?

    Reply
  15. Sharon Artemenko
    Sharon Artemenko says:

    I have a 8 foot long x 6 inch thick x 10 inch fir beam that has already been mounted on my fireplace. There is a section on the beam that has a knot that has dropped some wood out. I don’t want to lose anymore out of the knot. Will epoxy work if I wait a bit longer to place in the hole, so it doesn’t run out? So nervous…I don’t want to ruin it…I will be staining after wards. The area is on the face of the mantle..so worried it will run out….what to do?!?!

    Reply
    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Yes, the epoxy will run out as it is liquid and fill always self level. You’ll have to either remove the mantle to lay it flat while adding the epoxy or use a different filler that isn’t liquid.

      Reply
  16. Greg
    Greg says:

    we have mesquite mantel that already has tung oil applied. we’ve now decided to fill the knot holes with epoxy so what do we need to do to prep before pouring the epoxy?

    Reply
  17. MIsery in Missouri
    MIsery in Missouri says:

    Hi!
    I have a new pressure treated pine deck that is ready to be stained after a year. Knot holes are needing to be filled ( large and some small). The builder used nails instead of screws to put down the boards, so turning them over would be a huge problem. Can I use the Gorilla epoxy to fill them? If so, will staining after be a problem. And will the epoxy come out in the future?

    Reply
  18. Lindsey Moore
    Lindsey Moore says:

    Hello Ms. Brittany, I am doing the same project as Mike, but I don’t understand if the knots need to be removed then filled or if they are to be left alone and filled. By the way your tips are wonderful, so keep doing what you are doing! Thanks!

    Reply

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