Repair a Nail Hole in a Hardwood Floor

What You'll Need
Wood filler or wood glue and sawdust
Wooden dowel
Putty knife
Dustpan brush

If your home contains hardwood floors, you should know how to repair a nail hole if you want to keep the flooring in good condition. Reduce the risk of further damage and keep your floor looking good by following these steps to fix nail holes.

Step 1 – Inspect the Floor

Though you may have only noticed a single nail hole, others at different points in the floor may also benefit from your attention. Once you are aware of every point of repair you will complete, you will know how much filler you need to complete the task.

Step 2 – Gather Your Equipment  

Note the color of the floor so you can determine whether a pre-prepared filler is available on the market in the right color. Alternatively you could use a filler in the shade closest to the floor along with the appropriate stain to create a color that matches the rest of the floor. Ensure that you obtain a filler that can be painted over, as some cannot accept paint and will leave a conspicuous mark.   

Step 3 – Prepare the Surface     

Make the surface ready for repair by cleaning it first to remove any dust or dirt that has become lodged in the nail hole. If you can't complete this task properly with a dustpan brush, try using a paintbrush with stiff bristles. Clean it afterward with a clean cloth.

Because the filler is also likely to overlap the floor’s surface, ensure that this surface is also free from grime. If you use any liquid cleanser for this step, ensure that you thoroughly rinse and dry the area afterward.  

Step 4 – Apply Filler

If you have managed to find a suitable filler, gather a little on the end of a putty knife and apply it to the nail hole. However, if you were unable to locate a suitable filler or you wish to make you own, mix a handful of sawdust from the same wood as the floor with three times as much wood glue. Combine it thoroughly in a disposable container and use this for the repair by applying it to the nail hole.

Continue to fill the hole until it has reached the surface. The filler should not contain any air bubbles. Hold a scraper at a 45-degree angle with the blade flat on the wood; firmly draw it over the site of repair to ensure a smooth surface. Use a cloth that has been lightly dampened with water to clean any excess filler from around the nail hole. Leave your work to dry for at least 24 hours or in accordance with the instructions.  

Step 5 – Seal or Color Your Repair

After the repair site dries, you can paint or stain it as necessary. Or you may seal the nail hole with varnish if this will match the rest of your floor.