how to fill holes drilled through wooden panel

19 Dec 2012
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United Kingdom
I've got built shelves in the alcoves either side of the chimney breast in my sitting room. The wall at the back and sides of the alcove is behind wooden panel, which I guess is about an inch or so off the wall, with decorative architrave at the front.

There are several places where large holes have been cut in the wooden panel at the back of about half an inch diameter - I presume for speaker cables to pass through or something like that.

I want to fill the holes but can't think of a clever way to do it. Panel is about 8mm thick and I cant get it off without wrecking the shelving even more

I hope I've explained it clearly enough - if not I could get a photo later on

Anyone got any ingenious ideas?
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If you just want to block the holes, you could fit plastic cover caps, which just push in. Hafele make light and dark brown caps.
Not completely sure that this would work, but this what I do when refurbing old doors and other similar jobs. Fairly simple - it has to be for my skill levels!!

Buy some doweling slightly larger than the hole. Drill through the hole as neatly as possible using a bit the same size as the dowel. glue a piece of dowel in the hole leaving it slightly proud. Sand down when the glue is dry.

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If it's painted then as already suggested, either plastic caps or fill with dowel then fill / paint.

If you're trying to match natural wood then you could use a plug cutter to make plugs with face grain from matching wood. Carefully fitted and cleaned up they are almost invisible.

Here is a photo:

Hopefully this helps explain a little bit. In the picture, you can see the holes in the wooden back. The back is about an inch off the wall. So the problem is that I can't put filler in there as it will just fall down the back of cupboard.

Any clever ideas would be much appreciated as I'd like to fill these somehow and sand them smooth - the onse in the picture aren't too bad as they are usually hidden behind books, but there are more higher up that are more visible.

Couple of could use expanding foam to fill the void, and then fill whats left, or you could try passing strips of wood through the holes and try clagging them on with no nails adhesive, and then fill.
Tip - a wood screw in the centre of the strip allows you to pull the strip against the panel as the adhesive sets.
Another tip - car body filler sets like rock in 15 minutes or less - which speeds the job up nicely!
John :)
Thanks Burnerman - expanding foam sounds like a good idea, hadnt thought of that, I think I'll give it a try

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