Hole too big for screw in wall

What should you do when you have a hole in the wall that’s too big for the screw you need to use? Fortunately, there are at least four things you can do to fix the problem of a hole too big for screw in wall relatively quickly and easily.

Use a bigger screw

The quickest fix is to to switch to a bigger screw, if you have one. But if you did, you probably already thought of that.

Use an anchor

hole too big for screw in wall
If the hole in your wall is too big for the screw you need, the quickest, best fix is often an anchor.

The second quickest fix is to put a plastic anchor in the hole to plug it. The anchor will take up quite a bit of space, and the upshot is the screw will hold better with an anchor anyway. If the anchor is a bit too small, try it anyway. It will expand when you put the screw in. See the photo to the right to see how an anchor behaves.

Many anchors will expand more than the one in the photo does.

Gorilla glue, of all things

If the anchor fits too loosely even after you put in the screw, remove the anchor. Squirt some Gorilla Glue into the hole. Run the anchor under some water. It doesn’t need to be soaking, but just needs a bit of moisture on it. Better yet, squirt a little bit of wood glue onto the anchor. Then put the anchor back in the wall. The moisture activates the Gorilla Glue, which will expand to fill the gap. Gorilla Glue can expand to fill a gap of a good 1/8 inch or so. That means that even if the anchor is half the size it needs to be, Gorilla Glue can help solve the problem.

MacGyver it

I don’t know how much I like this solution, but in a pinch, you can close up the hole with some paper. Yes, ordinary paper. Cut a strip of it about a half inch wide and several inches long. Run a thin bead of wood glue along one side. Wrap the paper around the screw and keep wrapping until you build up enough material to close the hole. Cut off any excess, or cut another strip and keep going as necessary. Once you’ve fashioned a suitable plug for the wall, squirt some wood glue into the hole, then push your paper plug into the hole. Leave the screw in and let it dry overnight.

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