How To Replace Drawer Pulls with Stripped Screw Holes

What You'll Need
Screws larger than the current ones
Cotton Batting
Wooden Matches
Drill and bits
Carpenters Glue
Wood Dowel

Dealing with stripped screws is a pain, especially if they are on drawer pulls. But just because you have a stripped screw hole doesn’t mean you can’t replace the drawer pull. Here’s what you need to know.

Step One - Larger Screws

This is the obvious place to start. If you can just use a larger screw in the pull, your job is easy and will be done in one step.

However, there will be some cases when this won’t work. If the drawer pull requires a screw that is the same size or smaller than the one you have, or if the screw is already fairly long and has stripped all the way back, then choosing a larger screw simply won’t do the trick.

Step Two - Fill the Hole

In some cases, it is best to just fill the hole and start over. There are several ways to do this:

Using Cotton

You can take cotton batting and soak it in carpenter's glue, letting it soak up as much as the glue as possible. Once it is thoroughly soaked, you can can start stuffing it in to the stripped screw hole. This is much easier if you use the tip of a small screwdriver to really get the cotton batting in the hole. 

Allow the glue to dry overnight. Then use an awl or a small bit to drill a hole in the makeshift repair. Now you’re ready to place the new drawer pull with the new screws.


This isn’t a very popular method, but it’s effective nonetheless. Coat some matches in the carpenters glue and stick them in the hole until it’s tightly filled. Make sure the heads of the match are facing you, as this will be the portion you end up cutting off later.

Let the glue dry for a few hours, and then just cut the ends off so they are flush with the drawer. Sand over the area and begin installing your new pulls.

The finished product of this method doesn’t look as clean, so you’ll want to make sure the new pull will cover the area you were working on.

Wood Dowels

This is the cleanest looking method you can use, but can also be a little trickier. You can use a pencil sharpener to sharpen the end of a small dowel. Once you have a point, dip it in the carpenter's glue and place it in the screw hole. Make sure you can get the dowel in as tightly as possible without breaking the dowel or the drawer. Allow some time for the glue to dry, and cut it off flush with the drawer.