Filling Woodpecker Holes In Wood Siding

A woodpecker.
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-30
What You'll Need
Painter's 5-in-1 tool
Disposable shop rags
Paint (to match existing color)
Cedarwood shim
Wood glue (or craft glue)
Sawdust (explained below)
Utility knife
Finish nail

Woodpecker holes can be a nuisance for homeowners to deal with. The holes break the seal of the home, which allows other birds and rodents to enter the attic space and build nests. Squirrels and rats are well known for destroying the coverings on wires, and that means that a simple woodpecker hole could endanger your entire home and family. The solution is to fill the hole with similar material as the siding itself.

Step 1 - Save Sawdust

When you fill woodpecker holes or blemishes in siding or other wood surfaces, the type of wood plays a factor. It decides how well the paint covers and how well the patch blends into the existing surface.

If you make it a practice to save a small jar of sawdust from different types of lumber, you will possess an instant patch kit for holes in all kinds of lumber. Remember to label the sawdust according to the type of tree it is from for future matching.

Step 2 - Prepare the Backing

Cut a piece of cedar shim that is slightly more narrow than the width of the hole and ½ to 1 inch longer than the width of the hole. Carefully drive the nail through the shim, then wiggle it around until you can slide the nail back and forth in the hole but not so much that the head of the nail pulls through.

Step 3 - Glue the Backing into Place

Put a couple of drops of wood glue on each end of the shim and allow the glue to set for up to 5 minutes. Insert the shim edgewise into the hole. Use the nail to pull it flush against the interior of the siding.

To hold the shim in place for drying, hang the hammer from the nail by its claw, so that the weight of the hammer is gently pulling the shim tight against the hole. Allow at least 1 hour of drying time. Repeat this step if the glue did not hold.

Step 4 - Mix the Repair Putty

While wood glue is a perfect bonding agent, it does not have a wood texture, and paint will have a smooth, glossy appearance that stands out starkly against the surrounding wood grain.

To solve this problem, mix sawdust from the type of lumber being repaired with the wood glue to form a thick putty. Be sure to stir the mixture well so that the glue is evenly distributed.

Step 5 - Apply the Putty

Using a painter's 5-in-1 tool or a putty knife, apply the putty you have just mixed. Do not fill the hole all at once but scrape layers into the hole a little at a time. Because the glue needs to dry all the way through the patch, allow at least two hours drying time, but six or more hours is better.

Step 6 - Sand and Paint

Using a piece of sandpaper, score the patched surface so the small scratches follow the grain of the surrounding wood. Paint the surface to match the existing color. Once the paint has faded to match the older paint, you should only see a slight visual indication that the patch was ever made at all.