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There is a thimble for an old wood stove that goes through the wood paneled ceiling of my family room. The thimble does not extend out through the roof (this room is an addition). I would like to remove this thimble from the ceiling, as well as relocate a ceiling light fixture.

My question is how to I repair the hole that will remain in the wood paneling? I would understand how to do this with drywall, but with this wood paneling I am not sure what the procedure would be.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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retired painter
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Ideally you'd replace the affected boards. You could inlay similar wood striving to keep the grooves in line but it will always show. Sometimes the best fix is the easiest - just nail wood over the hole and paint it to match.
 

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Those are very narrow strips so I am assuming they weren't individual strips. What size the panels? If small enough, you could replace with making your own strips and put the end grain joints at random and far apart to hide single repair cut. Depends on how much time and effort you want to spend.
You also could leave the thimble, insulate it, and make it a conversation piece.
If changing around many lighting fixture holes, you probably want to abandon existing panels, make the changes you need, and use new panels over the old panels. New panels shouldn't be that hard to install, esp if you make diy panel holder, use glue and ring shank 1" panel nails. If this, make sure the paint is stuck well. Example, it doesn't come down in sheets or dust when you scrape it.
 

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If the ceiling is as old as it looks, whether it is individual strips or milled wider boards, it will likely be a fair bit of work requiring custom milling since I doubt off-the-shelf lumber will match. I would either cap it with a painted piece of wood, mask a patch with a light or just put a thimble cap on it. A thimble cap would keep with the style of the room.
 

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It will still show the circle but in the past, in paneling, in similar situations, I have used drywall and mud to patch the afflicted area. then using a straight edge and triangle scraper to carve fake grooves.


In your location I would try Bondo's method using an eyeball can light and focus it on a picture which I hung over the mantle.
 
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If I were to just cut a round piece of wood to patch both holes, how would I go about attaching it?



Cut 2 furring strips about 6-8" longer than the hole is wide, put them in place above the hole on opposing sides and screw through the existing wood to anchor them. Then add your circle and screw into the strips.


Same way you would do a drywall patch.
 

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I would look in the closets and rob the tongue and grove from there to feather in to cover the hole. I would never just cover it with a solid piece. I would want the patch to never show. I had done this in one of our bathrooms during a remodel. All tongue and groove, so I had plenty of spare wood. That wood is 2 strip tongue and groove. It is old and still readily available in most places.

It is pretty easy with the correct tools and patience. The tongue and groove will hold the wood in place. Then angle cut one of the tongue sides off and glue that into the groove. The last piece to install will be the board that you cut the tongue from. That is to be placed on the tongue and glued. After the glue dries, sand that seam, prime and paint. If done properly, one will never see it
 
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