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How To Fix Holes In Plywood Walls

Regardless of the material of the wall, accidents happen. When they do, you're dealing with an ugly hole in the wall. So, it leaves you with a dilemma. How do you fix the hole if you have plywood walls? If that's your concern, we've researched the topic for you! 

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Luckily enough, fixing a hole in a plywood wall is a simple process. To start, you will need to gather some tools. You will need a putty knife, sandpaper, paint, keyhole saw, brush, and a sander. From here, you can:

  1. Prepare the area
  2. Mark the area and cut a new hole
  3. Screw a furring strip on the inside of the wall
  4. Secure the plywood patch to the furring strip
  5. Fill the seams using wood filler
  6. Sand the area

Although it sounds like a simple project, it's better if you get an in-depth explanation of what you'd have to do. Additionally, not all holes are the same. Some might require an alternative way to fix it. These are some concerns that we go over further ahead. Just keep reading!

Handyman applies putty or filler to cover the gap between a wood cornice and a concrete wall with a trowel, How To Fix Holes In Plywood Walls

Fixing the Hole

Before we go over the steps, it's essential to determine how big the problem is. More specifically, how much area does the hole in the wall cover? If it's a small ball-size hole, the solution above might not make sense. 

Plywood with hole

However, it does make sense if the hole in the wall goes over a large area. Regardless of the situation, we'll go over two ways to patch the hole. We'll cover the small gaps first. 

1. Prepare the Area

Before starting, there's a crucial factor to consider that relates to the plywood. Of course, you're going to need more of it. 

The essential aspect of it is the thickness. Other than that, the type of plywood or color doesn't matter as much. At most, the patch might stand out from the rest of the plywood. 

But, you're likely going to paint it. Therefore, you don't have to think about appearance. The main focus is filling in the hole.

2. Mark the Area and Cut a New Hole

Grab a piece of plywood that's a bit larger than the hole. Hold it in front of the area you're going to fill. Then, trace around the plywood. 

With this method, you'll have to cut around the hole. This way, the new block of plywood can fit in easily. 

Now, take a keyhole saw and cut around the tracing. Keep it close to the lining, but it doesn't have to be perfect. 

Click here to see this keyhole saw on Amazon.

3. Screw a Furring Strip On the Inside of the Wall

Depending on the piece of plywood you use, you should now have a rectangular or square hole in the wall. For the next step, you'll need a furring strip. Furring strips are narrow strips of wood that you use to attach to a wall.

Their main use is to create a level plane to attach flat surface materials. If you don't have a furring strip, you can make one out of plywood.

The furring strip doesn't need to cover the hole. It's going to be the support for the plywood patch. However, it needs to be long enough to secure into the left and right sides of the hole.

If the hole is too small, it might be a challenge holding the furring strip to screw it. A workaround for this is to place a screw on the middle of the strip. It doesn't need to go all the way through.

You should have a handle to work with now. Put the furring strip through and secure it with screws on the right and left sides of the wall.

4. Secure the Plywood Patch To the Furring Strip

Grab the plywood you used to trace the hole. It should fit into place. But, there's still a bit more work to do. 

Even if the plywood patch fits decently, it can still move around. And using a filler to hold it in place won't be sufficient. Therefore, you need to secure the plywood patch with the furring strip. 

You can do this by using screws to hold the plywood in place. Use two of them on the left and ride sides of the plywood. Placement doesn't matter as long as it reaches the furring strip. 

It can get confusing to follow along with written instructions only. So, here's a YouTube video demonstrating what to do:

The video concerns drywall. However, their solution can be used for plywood walls too! It's a similar process with slightly different materials.

If you want an example of filling in a larger hole, here's another YouTube video for reference:

As you can see, filling in an extensive hole will follow the same steps. However, you might need two or more pieces of furring strips to secure the plywood patch to the wall. 

5. Fill the Seams Using Wood Filler

Now, you'll need to fill in the seams. To do so, you will need wood filler. 

Click here to see this wood filler on Amazon.

Take a putty knife and smooth the wood filler over the seams. Apply the wood filler liberally. It doesn't have to be perfect. Regardless, wipe off any excess and try to keep it as neat as possible. 

You will need to wait for it to dry. Follow the instructions of the wood filler you choose to use. 

The wood filler above dries in 15 minutes. But sanding will also be necessary. So, you'll have to wait a total of 30 minutes or an hour to be safe. 

6. Sand the Area

We've reached the final part of the process. Grab a sander and smooth out the surface. You can use a sanding machine or a sand sponge. 

Click here to see this sand sponge on Amazon.

You're free to do whatever you'd like from here. Prime and paint it to finish the job!

Can You Patch a Hole in Plywood?

Removing holes from a wood surface

Yes, it's possible to patch a hole in the plywood. Though, you'd have to assess the damage first. If it's a small hole, it's acceptable to repair it with a new piece of plywood.

If it's too large that it threatens the structural integrity, it might make more sense to figure out something else.

How Do You Fill Damaged Plywood?

Filling in damaged plywood depends on the extent of the damage. If there's a large hole, you can follow the steps above to fix it. However, it will not make sense for small holes that are not bigger than a centimeter in diameter.

In this case, you will need to look at an alternative way to fill in the gaps. Some suggest using epoxy or wood filler in this situation.

Can You Use Wood Filler on Plywood?

Worker applying filler to the wood

Yes, wood filler is the standard tool for fixing damaged plywood or wood in general. Though, there is another product on the market that might sound similar to it. You won't run into this problem buying the item online.

It becomes a problem when you don't have access to the internet to check the differences between wood filler and wood putty. So, if you were to go to a hardware store and find one over the other, you might wonder what the difference is.

Can you use wood putty in place of wood filler? The straightforward answer is no. If you want an in-depth explanation, let's go over the differences between the two.

Wood Putty or Wood Filler?

Man covers the cracks with putty

The essential difference between the two is their makeup. Wood putty uses synthetic materials. These materials make it relatively pliable once it dries.

A wood filler differs by using wood byproducts like wood dust and a binder that is either water or petroleum based. Instead of staying relatively flexible, it dries rock solid.

As you might've guessed, this determines their usefulness for situations. Since wood filler dries solid, it's better for indoor use. Wood putty is better for outdoor use because it shifts with wood. As a result, it doesn't crack or separate.

What Is the Best Filler To Use on Plywood?

The best wood filler to use on plywood depends on the project. Another aspect to consider when choosing one is the labels. Some wood fillers will claim they are for indoor and outdoor use.

Why does that matter? As mentioned, wood filler dries solid. So, once the wood expands or contracts, the wood filler won't hold well. For this reason, they're generally used for indoor projects.

However, those are strictly water-based wood fillers. Other wood fillers will have latex in the formula. Accordingly, they gain water resistance. In addition, it can expand and contract with the wood.

So, if you don't want to use wood putty, look for a wood filler formula that can be used outdoors.

Final Takeaway

Fixing a hole is a simple project that shouldn't take too much time. As you can see, it follows the same procedure as fixing a hole in drywall. Now, it's all up to you to decide what's next! We hope you found the information above helpful.

Before you go, do you have other areas that need fixing? Is there a gap between the stairs and the wall? If you need help fixing it, check out this post:

How To Fix The Gap Between Stairs And Wall?

Do you have holes in a hardwood floor? We have tips to fix it too! To learn more, check out this post:

How To Fix Holes In Hardwood Floor - Large And Small!