How To Fill And Repair Cracks In Wood Paneling

Lead Image
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-20
What You'll Need
Putty knife
Wax stick
Wood putty
Scrap piece of wood paneling

Wood paneling adds a rustic accent to any home. Installing wood paneling is easy, although its flimsy texture leads to some unavoidable wear and tear, including the occasional break. A simple crack in wood paneling is somewhat easy to repair. Follow these steps to repair and fill cracks in wood paneling.

Step 1 - Determine the Color of the Wood Putty

When a wood panel is damaged, the repair is completed by simply using wood putty. The putty and the color of the existing wood panel should match. The color of wood panels become diminished as they age, so choose your putty carefully.

Step 2 - Wood Putty Purchasing Guide

Before selecting the wood putty, it is best to take a piece of scrap from the damaged wood paneling with you to the home improvement store or local hardware store. This piece of the paneling should be compared to the various wood putty colors at the store. The lid of the wood putty container has a display of how the dried putty would appear. Pick out the color that best matches the color of the wood paneling to be repaired.

Step 3 - Repair Minor Damages

If the damage is just a hairline scratch, then the repair can be completed by simply applying or wiping wood floor wax, furniture polish, shoe polish, or petroleum jelly on the damaged area. More dramatic damage or scratches on the wood paneling may need a stronger agent, such as a stick putty or wax to hide the scratch. It will act as a concealer to the damage on the wood paneling.

Step 4 - Repair Major Damages

A room with wood paneling.

For damage on wood paneling that is deeper, such as a hole or scratches, the solution is to use wax or sticky putty. The wax is applied to the holes using a putty knife. In the case of scratches, apply it like a crayon and simply color it. For cracks, fill it with putty and rub it smooth with a putty knife so it matches well with the wood paneling. For best results, let the putty dry fully. Wipe away any remaining wax with a soft damp cloth.

Step 5 - Add Finishing Touches

To make a smooth finish to the repair on the wood paneling, sand the repaired area with fine-grade sandpaper. Use a sanding block to lightly sand the damaged area. Smooth the finish until it blends in with the rest of the wood paneling. After sanding, use a wood stain on the wood paneling to cover any blemishes.