How To Fill Drill Holes In Laminate Cabinets

Posted on: 14 September 2017


Laminate doors have a covering that makes them appear as real wood. When you replace and adjust hardware on laminate cabinet doors during a remodel, you will need to fill the holes. You have to use caution while you fix holes to avoid damage, but it is easy with the right tools. Fill the holes by following this step-by-step guide.

Fill Holes A Half-Inch to One-Inch with Putty

To complete this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • soft damp rag
  • masking tape
  • pencil (optional)
  • paper (optional)
  • putty knife
  • utility knife
  • coarse-grit and fine-grit sandpaper
  • toothpicks or wax crayon
  • wood dowel or scrap laminate
  • wood filler
  • contact cement (optional) 
  • wood stain (optional)

Wipe the cabinet doors with the damp cloth, then dry them using a clean cloth or paper towels. Raise a window to ventilate. Attach a small piece of masking tape around the hole to protect the surface.  

Gently scrape any chipped paint or varnish with coarse sandpaper, and clean dust. Repeat the process using fine grain sandpaper.

Some wood fillers come in two parts that need to be mixed in a container. Squeeze a pea-size amount of filler on the putty knife, and spread it on the hole, pressing it fingers unit it is even with the surface, if needed. Use a rag to dab excess putty. Let the putty dry, and spread on an additional layer, if it shrinks.

Plug Holes Less than Half an Inch 

Find a wax crayon to match the color of the laminate, which requires testing various shades. Clean the hole area, and push the crayon tip into one side of the space until it is even with the surface. Insert another crayon on the other side of the space.

Dab a toothpick in some wood filler, and insert it into the hole. Add more toothpicks until the hole is filled, then snip the tip of the toothpick. Stain the repair area, if you prefer.

Cover Large Holes

Find a piece of laminate to match the cabinet a close color match, or a piece from installation. Lay paper over the hole, and rub the pencil on the paper. 

Cut out the hole, and use it as a guide to cut the laminate with a utility knife. Attach masking tape around the border, and lightly sand around the hole border.

Clean dust with a damp rag, and detach the tape. Spread contact cement on the laminate piece, and press it in place. Alternately, insert a wooden dowel, in the same manner, using contact cement. After the patch dries, stain the dowel with a matching color, if desired.

Contact a cabinet company, like Olson Cabinets & Woodworking Inc, for more help.