Wood fillers can be used for lots of purposes, and some of them don’t even have to involve wood at all. Of course, this would be what the majority will use the filler for, but the possibilities are endless. If you need a filler (also known as wood putty) for home or work-related repairs of wood furniture, floors, doors, or cabinets, there are five chosen for this purpose below, strong and made to last, many can also be useful for repairing wood that’s outdoors.
- It has a quick setting and drying time.
- It doesn't crumble or chip away when in contact with heat, rain, and water.
- Looks good when painted over.
One thing is sure: these are the best that you’ll anyone online, and they have the attributes to prove it. Look at each product to see if it’s best for what you need to be done, then head over to the Buyer’s Guide for helpful purchasing tips to make picking the right one a bit easier. After you’re done with that area, check out the Summary, as the top two from the list are announced at the end. Let’s get started.
This is a short comparison table that specifies the area you can use putty in, and whether you’ll be able to paint over it. Go to the links provided by the brand’s name in the reviews; there you will find a more detailed background about the products shown here.
|Bondo 20082, Quart Home Solutions Wood Filler|
|Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler, 3.25-Ounce Tube, White|
Best for Staining
|PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste, Two-Part 12oz in Two Cans, Tan 16333|
Best for Indoor Use
|Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Rockhard Water Putty|
Best for Exterior Use
|Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler, 16-Ounce|
Top 5 Best Wood Fillers Reviewed
1. Bondo 20082, Quart Home Solutions Wood Filler – Best Stainable Wood Filler (Editor’s Choice)
The Bondo 20082 is a wood filler/putty for people that need something that works the same, no matter if they’re sealing holes in cracks from an outdoor or indoor location. There are numerous features that put it above the rest, but is it right for your home? Let’s look further.
The product might look similar to any canned putty that you’ve seen in a store before. When you’re ready to apply it, the solution will settle very quickly. For people that have little to no experience with using fillers, this could either be a good or a bad thing. If you’re having trouble finishing off the job without it drying on your too early, it’s suggested that you read over the instructions that are shown in the label very carefully or look at a video to see others filling in wood.
Interesting to Know
In any case, you’ll have it figured out eventually, so don’t worry if things don’t turn out so well on the first attempts at using the Bondo. When it does dry as you want it to, you’ll quickly see how nothing ever turns into a crumbly texture. This is another good thing since breakage would defeat the purpose of using putty in the first place. Instead, the solution will mold over whatever you put it on, whereby you can paint over the finished result or sand it down for a more smooth and parallel shape to the wood. Again, painting and staining are possible to do. In fact, you might find that it gives off a better presentation once the piece is painted over to resemble that you’re repairing.
- It has a quick setting and drying time.
- It doesn’t crumble or chip away when in contact with heat, rain, and water.
- Looks good when painted over.
- Although it hardens rapidly, it might dry out a little too quickly for some users.
2. Elmer’s E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler, 3.25-Ounce Tube, White – Best Wood Filler for Hardwood Floors (People’s Choice)
Don’t get this Elmer’s product mixed up with the glues that are may have used during grade school. This is the E855, are strong wood filler that works great outside and in interior locations that are hot, humid, or dry. Nothing seems to affect the speed at which starts to harden, so be sure to move with a plan when you put down the putty for the first time. There’s not much provided in quality, but the brands make up for this by being useful in ways that some of the larger putty products lack.
For starters, handling it easy to work with. Seeing as the putty is confined in a plastic squeeze bottle, that eliminates the need for lengthy preparation, or messy cleanup. Just squeeze out the amount that you need and half of the work will be done already. If you’re going to sand it down when that part’s over, you probably won’t need to finish it with a power tool. It has the same consistency as the wood that you’re fixing and smoothes out just as easily. If there are any issues, it’s mostly to do with the bottle.
Interesting to Know
Remember, this a wood filler. They tend to harden at the bottle’s tip when left open, but could even do so when closed. With this in mind, clogging could happen if you don’t use up the product in one sitting and go back for it at a later point in time. If this happens to you and your bottle is clogged, simply unclog it with a pointed object. This will get it to flow out from the tip again as normal.
- Very easy to work with; difficult to leave a mess during application.
- Sands evenly and doesn’t take a lot of effort to do so in the process.
- While the bottle can clog, they’re relatively easy to clean out.
- Smoothing out the filler with a putty knife could be difficult to do (because of the viscosity).
3. PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste, Two-Part 12oz in Two Cans, Tan 16333 – Best Wood Filler for Staining
The PC products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy has a name that’s reminiscent of the classic woodpecker cartoon but performs in a way that’s extremely advanced. If you’ve seen old wood putty in a brick and mortar store that didn’t offer up the things that can be done with this one, don’t be surprised. The primary attribute is how easy to blends with various paints.
Interesting to Know
You can choose to do this any time you’re ready, or even add paint to the mixture as it hardens. And unlike even some of the news wood fillers, there are no annoying odors that come from the substance. You might get a whiff if you were to work very closely with it, but nothing to the point where it would cause you to get headaches or what to open any windows. And shape-wise, this is as easy and it gets, You can get an ergonomic fit to anything that it touches, including wood that has become partially rotted. It’s hard to look for flaws in the PC-Woody. If there is one, it would probably be related to the drying time.
Small one-off jobs would dry up fairly quickly but you would find yourself waiting for up to 24 hours for anything covering a large area. And if there’s a lot of humidity in your location or the temperatures are quite high, things could go on for even longer before the putty completely hardens. This isn’t to discourage people from trying it out but be prepared to wait a bit the further south you are geographically. Yet, all in all, this is a solid product that shouldn’t be missed out on, even if you’re anticipating on getting a larger wood putty.
- It can be painted over or stained before curing is completed.
- No odors and lingering smells make it perfect for indoor use.
- Molds easily into the shape of any item that it touches.
- Drying time can last for over 24 hours.
4. Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Rockhard Water Putty – Best Indoor Wood Filler
The Donald Durham’s Water Putty is suggested for consumers that want a filler built for dry environments that get very hot. Under such conditions, you’ll find that putty is more likely to crumble regardless of whether it’s not meant to do so. None of that will happen here, and the filler stays on better than glue when curing is completed. Unlike most of what’s been shown, this is in powder form as well, something that offers up several benefits.
Interesting to Know
The first benefit is preparation. You can more easily create a consistency that’s ideal for the size hole that you’re filling up, taking out small bits of powder and mixing them until the putty begins to form. The second advantage is drying. Since power is naturally dry, you don’t have to worry about anything clogging on the inside of the can. Just scoop out the desired amount and use what you need. And lastly, you can more easily stain and color the filler how you want, rather than waiting for it to completely dry before doing anything.
This saves time from having to wait a long time to get it cured, before finishing the job off. The biggest drawback is that this isn’t waterproof, which could make it hard to use in many outdoor locations. You can do it, but making repairs outside is better suited for environments that receive little rainfall throughout the year. So unless you’re in a precipitous locale, make a run for the Donald Durham’s Putty.
- It doesn’t crumble, even if placed in a dry environment.
- The powder consistency of the putty eliminates common issues that are found on premixed competitors (such as drying/crumbling).
- It can be colored or stained during the mixing process.
- Not waterproof
5. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler, 16-Ounce – Best Exterior Wood Filler
The final putt on the list is the Minwax Stainable Wood Filler. It’s one of the densest fillers that’s shown here, and leave a very strong bond to the repaired wood. As you may have guessed by now (or anticipate doing yourself), many fillers will be worked on after they’ve dried out completely. By this, drilling and making holes for nails and/or screwdrivers may occur. If you plan to do this, your drill will go through it without cracking the bond. It takes about 1-2 hours for the putty to solidify but under 6 for everything to harden up to the point where it can be worked on.
While this putty is a good buy for anyone that wants to repair wood, there are a few things that you should know about prior to settling on the brand. The most important is the fact that the odor is quite strong. You’ll definitely find yourself ventilating the area where the putty is bonded. If that happens to be indoors, try to avoid smelling it for prolonged periods at a time. And you won’t want to make large masses of putty at the same time.
Interesting to Know
If you do, some of it would harden before you have a chance to use it. Instead, try to do small batches, something that might increase the time you spend working on your product. But in the end, the Minwax Wood Filler does do the job that it’s made for and reinforces anything that comes within its bond.
- After drying, the filler is very dense and maintains its shape the entire time it lies on the object being filled.
- Easy to drill holes in inside; doesn’t crack when doing so.
- Hardens in less than 6 hours.
- It has a strong odor that doesn’t go away fast.
- It must be used sparingly in order to avoid premature hardening of what isn’t used fast enough.
The guide below details some pertinent info concerning which products are better for specific purposes.
How to Choose a Good Wood Filler?
Try to find out what wood you’re going to fix first. It is going to be a simple door repair, or something more complex? Many people use wood putty for outdoor uses as well. It’s very important that you acquire the correct product for doing this. How large of an area do you intend to cover? If the project is only a small section, you might be better off with a putty that’s sold in a plastic bottle.
But for anything that’s spread out over several square feet, investing in a canned filler is strongly recommended. That way, you won’t end up running out of anything before the job is finished. You would also have space for making and correcting errors, or throwing out filler that doesn’t meet the consistency that you want.
Where Filling will Take Place
Most wood putty and fillers are great when bonding to wood that’s indoors. However, the same cannot be said for outdoor wood. Temperatures can play a big part in how well you’re able to get the filler to dry at an acceptable rate of speed. If you’re in a humid location, this could take much longer than the time specified by the brand. You might have to clean out rotted wood before you start, which is usually the case for outdoor projects that involve a restoration of old wood.
Too hot and dry, the putty may begin to crumble earlier than expected. Yet too cold or moist and the filler might not completely harden at all. If it doesn’t you could end up with a bigger problem than before. As such, know your setting before picking anything from the list above, and choose according to the area they recommend it to be used more.
Wood Putty Curing Time
Curing is the time it takes for glue, wood, or sealing substances to lose all moisture and become completely dry. Most of those evaluated here average around 1-2 hours, but this is a conservative approximation. It doesn’t factor things like weather, humidity, location, and type of wood being filled (as discussed previously) For that, study the place that the putty will be placed on, checking to see how wet it is and how much putty you will need to fill in all the cracks.
As a rule of thumb, give your putty at least three or four hours of drying time before commencing anything else nearby with it. You can sometimes check how dry it is by simply running a finger over the top portion. After 24 hours have gone by, it’s safe to say that the majority of your putty will be finished curing. You can then begin other work on the restored wood.
Water-based fillers are good for indoor use but can be beneficial in some outside projects. But to keep it safe, assume that a water-based putty is best for the inside of your home. Attempting to do work with one without taking your environment into account is something that often ends up in wood fillers being returned. Usually, the manufacturer will list in the front of the can whether or not the putty is water-based.
Some of them might have had any moisture at all, consisting only of a power-like substance. These puppies are good for beginners as well since the solution in the container is at less risk of becoming solidified before it can be completely used.
Sanding, Painting, and Drilling
These are activities that many people will have to do after the wood putty has become hard. Some products are better at maintaining their shape if nailed or drilled through. It might not be possible to do this at all with some low-quality fillers.
Hypothetically speaking, if you were to try this out with a bad filler, it would likely end up cracking before you finished drilling the hole. To avoid this, always check to see if the putty your using is a true epoxy. It might not seem like something that’s likely to occur, but not all wood fillers that are advertised as such contain the resins needed to be truthfully described as them.
Do you know which product you want to try out on your wood restoration projects? Because of the variations in size, shape, and consistency of putty, you should look into the Buyer’s Guide if you skipped over it. It will allow you to formulate a better idea of which products are right for the job that you have in mind. But truthfully, you could go with anything from the list and end up a happy customer. However, two stand out the most, each other having the right consistency, curing time, and strength for filling in the wood of all types (rotted, hardwood, and softwood).
These are the Bondo 20082 and Elmer’s E855. if you’re not sure about which to pick it’s guaranteed that the wood you apply these two products will be of exceptional improvement. That’s not to say that the others should be looked over. Overall, you’ll be in good hands with all five of the wood fillers shown.