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DIY wood projects can be fun to do at home but having tiny holes and cracks in your work can be annoying. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about it anymore because various types of wood fillers are available in the market. From filling in the divots to hiding the blemishes, wood fillers are necessary to have in-house all the time. Sometimes, even if you are not messing around with the furniture or woodwork in your house, you can end up with natural wear and tear in the wood. The uses of wood filler don’t just end here because it can be of aid when you have to seal the ends of a nail hole.
All in all, you can use wood fillers for multiple functions, but it can be tricky to find the right one. Continue reading to find the best wood filler of 2024 that can secure your woodwork and provide neat finishes to your DIY projects.
Minwax has been in the field for wood filler for a long time, and they are known to produce the best results. It is best to use this wood filler for the paints and stains made by their brand, but you cannot use it. The best thing about Minwax wood filler is that you can use it with oil-based and water-based paints and stains.
The product is designed with such expertise that you can use it for both exterior and interior applications. Customer review shows that the product is easy to use and also dries fast. It also implies that you cannot use this wood filler for big projects but will do wonders for small ones.
If it is your first experience using wood fillers, you can start with Elmer’s E855, as it is specially designed for beginners. Unlike most other wood fillers, it comes in a small tube and is not expensive to buy. It is entirely white, so you can easily paint it later. Furthermore, it does not leave behind any stinky odors.
The filler will take 12-14 hours to dry, but it is not strong enough to be used for big projects. If you have small holes to cover or a slight blemish to hide, Elmer’s E855 will do the job. However, fixing large pieces of furniture that are damaged or rotten will not bear good results.
The last filler that we saw was for beginners, and this one by Goodfilla is the opposite. If you are looking for expert wood filler, Goodfilla is the best option for patchwork and extensive repairs. The filler quickly dries out, and if you need to remove it at some point, you won’t have to grease your elbow. A good water splash and a little scrubbing will remove the filling easily. The filler is so strong that you can trust it to hold large screws without any issue. The company itself is very confident in their product, so they provide a complete money-back guarantee for a year.
The filler is fantastic for indoor projects as it can resist temperature changes. However, everything has some minor flaws; you cannot use this filler by Goodfilla for outdoor projects as it is water absorbent. Even after the filler is cured, it absorbs water, and it can result in humidity issues.
DAP 00585 outshines the other wood fillers because it adds wood fibers to the solution that makes it close to the actual wood even with its latex-based formula. The final results of using DAP wood filler are astonishing because it matches the timber in terms of texture and appearance, and duration of functionalities. It has the sturdiness of latex, and it is also water-resistant.
Coming to the cons, the wood filler is made with some strong chemicals that leave a harsh smell, so it is best to use it outdoors. Secondly, it will take a long time to dry out compared to other products mentioned in our list.
If you are not fond of the wood fillers that change to purple color when they dry out, don’t worry because Elmer’s E892 is not one of those. Elmer’s Carpenter wood filler is impressive for indoor projects like filling holes and missing parts. Once you are done applying it, quickly wipe the surrounding mess with a damp towel because the filler dries out quickly.
Although there is not much need to sand the wood filler after it dries out, you can do so if you want a smooth finish. You can also paint it, stain it, or simplest: leave it as it is. Make sure to store the wood filler in some air-tight container when you are done using it because it dries quickly, as mentioned above as well.
Does not turn to purple color
You can paint it, stain it, or sand it
Dries out too quick
Best Wood Fillers Buying Guide
It’s not so difficult to buy the best wood filler if you know these details to look for:
What to Consider While Buying Wood Filler
As we discussed earlier as well, wood fillers can do wonders for various jobs. Thus, before buying wood filler, you need to decide the task for which you need it. Some tasks require a unique wood filler to be accomplished. Some wood filler can do the job of filling holes, divots, and gouges for all types of wood. Other wood fillers can fill the significant gaps in open-grain woods such as elm and oak. Similarly, some wood fillers are for small projects, and others can complete an enormous task. If you are clear about your job, you can quickly sort out the various wood fillers options.
Wood fillers have different consistency; they can be thick like putty or as thin as pancake batter. Again, if you have a clear picture of the task you need the filler for, you can decide what consistency you need. Thick wood filler is made to fill voids, and on the other hand, thin wood filler is to fill pores. Choosing the right consistency can play an essential role for your project because wood filler with thick consistency has large particles, and they won’t fit in the pores of open-grain wood. Similarly, a wood filler having thin consistency will fail to fill voids perfectly. If you somehow buy thick wood filler for tiny pores, you can add a little water to it and make it thin.
Mostly wood fillers are white or some wood-inspired shades. Some wood fillers are also available in the precise shade so that you can fill pores without leaving any color behind. The best option is to choose a wood filler that closely matches the original color of your wood or is in contrast with it. It can be a little time-consuming to find the right shade, so the white color wood filler is to paint or stain it when it dries.
It would help if you also considered whether you would be using the wood filler for indoor projects or outdoor projects. It would be best to use the interior wood filler for only those woodworks that will stay inside the four walls because such fillers will crack or shrink in the exterior environment over time. If you are not sure about the environment where you will use it, you can opt for a wood filler that is suitable for both the interior and exterior.
As you would have seen in the products above, wood fillers come in various shapes and sizes. They are available in tubes, tubs, and sticks. A tub that tends to contain most of the product is the best choice for a large project. A tub is a mostly no-mix product that implies using it directly with a spreader or putty knife. A tube of wood filler is the first choice for filling pores and voids. Stick wood filler is the simplest to use as you take off a little chunk and apply it gently with your hand.
How to Choose the Drying Time
Wood fillers have different drying times, and you need to choose them according to your project size and duration. As the composition of wood fillers varies, their drying time also varies. Water-based, latex, or cellulose-based wood fillers dry quickly within 15-30 minutes. Epoxy-based fillers take a longer time to dry, around 30-40 minutes, and sometimes it can even take up to 2 hours.
If you are working on a project with not much time to spare, it is ideal to go with quick-drying wood fillers. On the opposite side, if you plan to make adjustments to more considerable work or something that needs more details, you need a longer dry time.
Which is better: powder or paste?
Choosing between powder and paste wood filler is a matter of personal preference. While paste comes in ready-to-use form, you must combine the powder with water until it reaches the desired consistency. The paste filler has a significant disadvantage of storage because once the tight seal box is opened and the filling is in contact with the air, it will dry out. Thus, it would be best if you stored it in an air-tight container. With powder filler, you don’t have to worry about wasting or drying the product because you can mix a large or small quantity of powder and let the rest sit idle on the shelf.
Look at it this way: if you have to fill in small holes and cracks, a small paste tube will do the job. If you are dealing with a professional or commercial job, you need wood filler in bulk. Thus, you can buy powder wood filler that won’t go to waste by drying out.
Wood Filler FAQ
Q: Can you drill into a wood filler patch?
It is based on the type of wood filler that you are using. If you are using a solvent-based wood filler that is best to cover imperfections, it will lack the strength to withstand a drill machine. However, other wood fillers match the power of actual wood. Thus, you can treat such wood fillers as regular wood and drill into them if required.
Q: When can you sand the wood filler patch?
It depends on the drying time of the wood filler. As soon as your patch dries completely, you are free to sand it, paint it, or stain it. However, make sure to be patient because if you try to sand wet wood filler, it will ruin everything. You will have to start again with the filler process.
Q: Can scratches be treated by wood fillers?
Yes, if you want to treat scratches that are not much deep, you can use wood filler. You need to apply a thin layer of wood filler at the scratch and remove the excess. Once it dries out completely, you can sand it, so it gives smooth final touches.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Woodsmith Review Team is composed of authors, editors, and woodsmiths. Large language models (like Artificial Intelligence) may have been used in the research and creation of the content.
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