Rust-Oleum, Home Depot partner on wood stain product line
Rust-Oleum, based in Vernon Hills, and The Home Depot Thursday announced an expanded partnership of the Varathane brand that now includes the Varathane Classic assortment of interior wood stains, polyurethanes, spar varnish, wood putty, stain markers, fill sticks, as well as a full line of Watco lacquers.
Varathane, a Rust-Oleum brand, has been a wood care category leader for 60 years. Since 1958, Varathane stains and polyurethane topcoats have been known for their fast dry times, greater coverage, on-trend colors and ease of use.
"We're excited and honored to partner with the largest home improvement retailer in the nation," said Bill Spaulding, president of Rust-Oleum North America. "We're also pleased that our Varathane brands, trusted by fine furniture makers, professional contractors and DIYers, are now available at all Home Depot stores."
The Varathane Classic and Varathane Premium product launches will be supported by a robust national marketing campaign, including TV commercials, print advertising, social media marketing and experiential events.
The national expansion of Varathane's wood care products at The Home Depot further strengthens the two companies' long-term business relationship.
Cracks, holes, rots, devotes, these are common in woods. And wood fillers are indeed a great solution to get rid of them. Filler allows you to repair the wood and paint on it perfectly which is why they are extremely popular among woodworkers. Having that said, not every wood filler will get your job done perfectly. To get the best out of it, first, you need to find the right one, since there are a lot of types and models available.
It gets frustrating for beginners to choose one from the large array of choices. You cannot run away from that struggle unless someone experienced does the work for you. If you want to stay away from that frustration and still get your hands on the best exterior wood fillers, this is the guide.
We have come up with 10 best wood fillers for exterior use. All of them are top-rated and users are getting the best results from these, so your investment won’t go wrong with these wood fillers.
Go through the reviews!
What Are The Best Exterior Wood Fillers?
Here are quick list of 5 best exterior wood fillers for the money we found on amazon:
- PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste
- FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler
- Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler
- Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler
- Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer
10 Best Exterior Wood Fillers Reviewed:
1. PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste
See Price Here
Starting with our top pick, the PC products wood repair epoxy paste, one of the finest and top-rated wood fillers available in the market right now. It is UV light, shrinkage, mildew, dry rot, and water-resistant (both freshwater and saltwater). So it is one of the best exterior wood filler. Though it is specially designed for use in outdoor woods but it performs equally good on indoor wood repairs as well.
It doesn’t come mixed, you will have to mix it and make the paste since it comes in two parts. However, be very careful when mixing these two parts, both need to be in an equal amount, not more or less. And ensure you mix them well, otherwise, it will be a waste. It is a high tack wood repair formula, so after filling the wood, it wouldn’t drip.
When using wood fillers, you have to take the temperature into account as well for better results. The appropriate temperature for applying this wood filler is 35 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the filler is dried and hardened fully, you can stain, paint, sand over it like a wood piece.
It is a long-lasting wood filler, the manufacturer has used real wood dust in the construction. Doesn’t matter how bad the hole or crack, this PC products wood repair epoxy paste will get the work done. Just make sure you know how to mix and apply properly.
- It lasts long.
- Resistant to water, IV ray, shrinkage, mildew.
- Hardtack epoxy paste.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.
- Little hard to mix it properly.
2. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler
See Price Here
This one is an extremely versatile wood filler, the FamoWood 40022126 latex wood filler. It comes in different colors which nicely matches the wood tone. If you manage to pick the right color for the wood, then you won’t need to do any sanding or extra painting. Not only color what it offers, but there are also some other features as well which makes this wood filler worthy of investment.
It is a solvent-free filler so it doesn’t contain any rough or smelly chemical which is good both for the wood and the user. Almost every filler now comes with harsh chemicals that are bad for raw wood, that’s why the manufacturer suggests to varnish the spot before filling it. However, you won’t have to be worried about anything with this very wood filler.
There is one drawback of solvent-free fillers and that is short storage life. One of the main reasons behind adding solvent to the fillers is to increase the storage life. Without it, filler gets dry pretty fast. So if you are picking a solvent-free filler make sure to get the needed amount, otherwise the remaining filler will get wasted. Though there is a chemical that can help to restore but still, it is better not to rely on that.
Once the filler gets harden on the applied area, it becomes hard as wood. And the best part is, it is shrinkage, cracking, and water-resistant. Plus, it lasts extremely long doesn’t matter how bad is the environment. Besides outdoor use, it can be used on indoor wood repair as well, the performance is the same.
However, according to some user this filler doesn’t stain well, it is the coloration the causes the issue. It makes ugly spots that are extremely visible. So keep this in mind before purchasing this one.
- It comes in different colors.
- Shrinkage, crack, and water-resistant.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.
- No foul smell and harsh chemicals.
- Long-lasting filler.
- Short storage life.
- Doesn’t stain well.
3. Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler
See Price Here
Though this Bondo Home Solution Wood filler is specially developed for rotten woods but it performs outstandingly in every wood type. It is a two-part solution, cream hardener, and the filler emulsion. Mix it properly and fill the crack or hole, it works like magic.
The best part of using this filler is the drying time. It dried within just 15 minutes and gives a light brown tan tone within that time. And after 15-20 minutes, you can sand it, or paint is like wood. Some fillers take hours to get dried properly.
The mixer of these two-part solutions is malleable which makes it extremely easy to apply. Plus, it comes with a low viscosity index which enables the solution to penetrate deeper into the applied spot. However, having that said, this wood filler isn’t for filling large cracks or holes, it would be able to make a strong bond in large holes and cracks. So make sure to pick this for only small repairs.
It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Rain, UV rays cannot harm it much that is what makes it best for exterior application. The easy to apply feature makes it an extremely suitable filler for the beginners as well.
- Very easy to apply.
- Durable filler.
- Dries in 15 minutes.
- Suitable or both indoor and outdoor.
- Works in all wood types.
4. Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler
See Price Here
Elmer has made its name really popular by its top-notch wood fillers. They have served the market for quite a long and till now they have maintained the quality they are known for. Presenting Elmer’s E892 stainable wood filler, one of the top-rated wool fillers in the market right now. You will find Elmer’s wood fillers in tubes as well, and they are pretty popular as well.
This wood filler has wood fibers that mimic the wood once dried completely. Due to the wood fibers, you can sand it, paint it, drill it like wood. After drying this filler holds screws properly as well. There are a lot of fillers that are not suitable for hard machine sanding, but you can do fast machine sanding on this filler but make sure it is dried and hardened properly.
Unlike some wood fillers, this doesn’t take a couple of hours to get dried properly, it dries faster. It is shrinkage resistant and water-resistant. Plus, UV rays also can’t damage the filler. All of these makes it one of the best wood filler for the exterior. Since it is resistant to water, cleaning gets easy as well. However, though it is advertised to be good at staining but it is not. A lot of users have the same complaint.
- Dries very fast.
- Durable filler.
- Very easy to apply.
- Shrinkage & Water-resistant.
- Holds nail & Screws.
5. Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer
See Price Here
And here comes the last one, the Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer. Rotted woods are a very common issue that homeowners often face and this one is the solution for that. It forms a solid base over the rotted wood and stops further rotting. And when the solution dries properly, you can sand, stain, paint on that pretty easily. Having that said, it cannot be used to fill holes, it cannot penetrate that deep and it won’t hold longer.
It is water-resistant, so do not worry about using this one exterior wood items. Water cleaning is also pretty easy. Lastly, though it is advertised to get dried within 2-hour but according to the users, it takes longer to get dried properly.
- Easy to apply.
- Comes at a low price.
- Forms strong bond.
- Can be sanded, stained, and painted.
6. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler
See Price Here
One feature that makes it move a step ahead is the color. This Elmer’s Carpenter Color change wood filler comes with a unique color, purple! This isn’t an ordinary wood color, there is a purple wood which is rare and expensive. However, the purple color of this filler isn’t permanent, it changes. Here comes the interesting part.
Most of the time it happens, people can’t determine whether the filler got dried fully or not. The confusion makes them to wait more than the needed time. And some people who are always in a hurry start sanding or doing other stuff before the filler dried fully. With this filler, you just have to keep an eye on the color. When it is completely dried and ready for further work, the purple color will turn completely into white. This feature eliminates the guesswork completely.
After the filler dried completely, sanding, painting, staining is very easy and simple. Another good thing about this filler is, it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that might damage the raw wood or damage for humans. Plus, it isn’t smelly as well. However, this filler works great in filling small holes and cracks. It cannot bond well in bigger holes or cracks. Lastly, after drying this filler turns into white completely, this is something that some users didn’t like. It actually comes to people’s preferences.
- The color shows when it is ready to be sanded.
- Inexpensive price.
- Doesn’t contain any harmful chemical.
- Isn’t smelly.
- Easy to stain, clean, paint.
- Not very strong.
- Not for filling big holes or cracks.
7. Elmer’s Product P9892 Probond Wood filler
See Price Here
If you are looking for a cheap wood filler, you might be interested in this Elmer’s product P9892 Probond Wood filler. It is an extremely low priced filler though that doesn’t reflect on its performance. Once dried it becomes really hard, if used well under the right temperature and it is dried properly, sometimes it becomes harder than the wood. The best use of this filler is when it needs to be curved. Since it gets hard like wood, you can easily do curving and decorate like a wood. This is something that very few wood filler offers.
The manufacturer has used wood grain in the construction of this filler and that is exactly why it acts like wood. However, once applied properly, this filler can last for years. It is very durable and long-lasting. Another reason why this filler makes a highly strong bond is the adhesive properties in it.
We already know Elmer’s is one of the best glue manufacturers and they used some properties in this filler that makes it sticky and hence allows it to form a bond that lasts for years. There is a major drawback as well, because of the stickiness, the filler cant reaches deep inside the hole. So if you need to fill a deep hole, do not choose this filler, it cannot penetrate deep. Another flaw of this filler is the lid.
It comes completely airtight which is a great thing. But if somehow even a little amount of filler solution comes on the lip of the container, it doesn’t remain airtight anymore. And if air gets inside, the solution will get harden inside the container. And doesn’t matter how much you try, it is very hard to keep the lip of the container safe from the filler.
- Extremely low price.
- Highly durable filler.
- Lasts very long.
- Easy to apply.
- Dries quite faster.
8. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler
See Price Here
We know how irritating it is when fillers take 24 or more hours to get dried properly. We have the Minwax 42853000 wood filler for those who don’t like waiting for a day or two. This very wood filler dries extremely fast, within 15-minutes after applying it will get harden.
It is undoubtedly one of the top-performing wood fillers of the market right now. Comes with impeccable bonding power and the surface can be colored very easily. If you are looking for a filler to fix issues permanently, this Minwax model suits pretty well. Rebuilding or restoration of any hardwood items is effortless with this very filler. Nail holes, cracks, knot holes, small gouges, etc. this filler does an excellent job in filling these.
Once the filler is dried properly, you can sand, paint, put nails and screws as well. It holds nails or screws just like wood. Plus, this filler is suitable for using on both indoor and outdoor. It is crack and shrinkage-resistant, so don’t worry about the filler breaking off. It is compatible with oil or water-based wood stains.
However, there is a downside of this wood filler which is you cannot take much time when preparing it, it will start getting hard and that will result in not being able to fill the holes properly. Though the manufacturer says it dries within 15-minutes but few users have noticed this filler dries even faster.
Fast-drying is both a good thing and also a bad thing. But if you prepare filler for small holes filling, then you shouldn’t have any problem. Because when you prepare a large amount of filler, it obviously takes time in mixing, and hence, fillers start to get hard.
- Crack & Shrinkage-resistant filler.
- Dries within 15-minutes.
- Very easy to apply.
- Holds nails and screws securely.
- Can be sanded or colored easily.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.
- Gets harden if mixing takes time.
- Small storage life.
9. Carpenter’s Wood Filler
See Price Here
Like we said in the previous review, fast-drying fillers are good but at the same time, they are bad as well. When you are preparing filler to fill up large holes or crack or a lot of small holes, obviously the mixing process will take time since the amount is high. And if the filler is fast drying, then you are in trouble because as you mix it might start getting dry. So if you are looking for a filler to fill in big holes or cracks, never opt for fast drying.
Then which one you should opt for? Something like the Carpenter’s E849D8 wood filler. We know it is irritating to wait for 24 or 45 hours to get the filler fried but that is a benefit also since you get to mix the solvent and filler well and apply with ease. And the wait will worth it.
However, this filler is an interior filler, so do not even think of applying it outsize. It is advertised to be crack and shrinkage-resistant just how an ideal filler should be but few users have noticed little cracks and shrinkage. Very easy to apply and it makes a very strong bond.
- Easy to mix and apply.
- Forms a strong bond.
- Easy to sand or paint.
- Good storage life.
- Holds nails, screws nicely.
- Few users have seen it cracking and shrinking.
10. DAP INC 18741 Platinum 16OZ Patch Filler
See Price Here
Here comes a very easy to use wood filler, the DAP INC 18741 Platinum patch filler. Though this is mainly used as wood filler but works incredibly well in Fiber cement, PVC, Composite, Metal, and other materials as well. It is super easy to apply, completely effortless. And once it dries properly, you can sand it or paint it like wood.
Comes with great waterproofing ability and moreover, it is UV ray-resistant as well which makes it a suitable choice for outdoor use. However that being said, we don’t recommend this for filling large holes or cracks. If you need to fill small cracks and holes, go with it, otherwise don’t. Lastly, it takes a while to get dried properly which is a good thing but a bad thing as well.
- Can be applied effortlessly.
- Sand or paint it like a wood piece.
- Preparing is super easy.
- Can be used on Composite, PVC, fiber cement, etc.
- UV and water-resistant.
- Takes time to dry.
- Not for filling big holes and cracks.
How to Choose the Best Exterior Wood Filler?
For picking the ideal wood filler you need to consider a few factors before making the purchase. All of these factors are equally important, so make sure you don’t miss anything.
The manufacturer uses different ingredients in making wood fillers but there is one that you should always look out for. Wood fiber made wood fillers. One issue most people face with some wood fillers is, some are not hard enough to be sanded, and if it is hard, you cannot curve on that.
If you make sure that your wood filler comes with wood grain, that will become the wood after drying. You will be able to sand, stain, paint, curve anything you want. The filler will become a strong part of the wood. Some manufacturer uses adhesive properties in the making, they are very sticky. It has both benefits and flaws.
The best part of fillers that come with adhesive properties is they form a highly strong bond. And when gets dried fully, they become extremely solid. The disadvantage is, they cannot go in a deep hole. And they can’t be stored for a long time. So it depends on your, if you want to fil a small hole, then go for adhesive property fillers, otherwise don’t.
Some fillers take a few minutes to get dried and there are some which take an hour. We won’t say you should go for fast drying or slow drying. As long as the quality is okay and the filer delivers durability, you shouldn’t stress yourself much about the drying time.
When you are purchasing wood filler, make sure to buy the needed amount. You might be needing some more filler in the future, some people pick up a large volume and they end up wasting all. Fillers are not a thing that you can store. A little amount of air will make the entire container of filler hard. So if needed you can buy later, but buy the needed amount if you don’t want to waste money.
The wood piece you would be repairing is that something that people will notice? Wood pieces like the table, chair, door, window, etc. These need to look good. So when you are pocking a wood filler, try to pick a suitable color for the item you would be repairing. Otherwise, it will look bad.
Wood filler comes in different types and each serves a different purpose. Knowing all the types are extremely important so that you can choose which one is best for you. We have summarized each of the types so that you can get a clear understanding.
This one is widely used and available. Cellulose-based filler doesn’t come pre-mixed, it comes with powder or paste which are mixable, and you need to mix it. These fillers are suitable in different solvents as well, alcohol-based and water-based. Since they don’t come pre-mixed, they can be easily stored for a long time, just mix the amount you need. And if we talk about the price, due to its wide availability it is pretty inexpensive.
The mixing up process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and after applying when it gets dried properly, you can do sanding, painting, staining, pretty easily. However, it is best for staining.
Gypsum Wood Fillers
These wood fillers contain mineral powders and they are best suited to water-based solvent. With water, they get so solid that breaking it will require extreme effort. It gives a transparent and crystalline look which makes this filler blend with the surroundings.
And since it is transparent the wood color is shown, it looks good as well. Having that said, these fillers get stained pretty soon, so a great layer of paint over it would be the best decision. One more thing, they are not waterproof, so they can’t be used for exteriors, only indoor wood repairing.
Vinyl wood filler
Well, if you are a beginner and need a very easy to apply wood filler, then go for the vinyl-based wood fillers. They are very malleable and easy to apply. Setting then into the hole or crack is super simple but when you put a thick layer of this they often crack. It is one reason why most people don’t go for this filler.
But if you need to do some thin coating over the woods, then hands down vinyl base wood fillers are one of the best. Another perk of using this filler is it is a plastic-based solution and is resistant to water and UV rays which makes it suitable for exterior wood pieces. Though it wouldn’t stain but we would suggest using paint over, just to be on the safer side.
Epoxy wood fillers
Here comes the most popular one, epoxy wood fillers. It is a petroleum-based wood filler that makes highly durable and long-lasting bonds, thanks to its adhesive properties. It can be used as glue as well, it works outstandingly.
It doesn’t come pre-mixed, you have to mix it on your own. How better the result would be that depends on how better you mix it and the temperature you apply in. The container should have a suitable temperature range, so make sure to follow.
Mix the amount you will be needing, after mixing you cannot store it, because it dries way too fast. This wood putty filler is weather-resistant, so they can be used both outdoors and indoors. However, since they are very sticky, they cannot be used in filling deep holes.
What are the Uses of Wood Fillers?
Wood fillers are getting used for different things, have a look at most of them.
This is the main purpose of wood fillers, they are developed for this. Wood fillers can go deep, doesn’t matter how deeper the hole is, it would get the job done accurately. However, in this case, you will have to pick the right wood filler, vinyl and epoxy base wood fillers are not good for filling deep holes. Due to the stickiness of the epoxy fillers, they cannot go deep.
There are a lot of fillers who works best for deep filling. However, before using them ensure you sand the applying area with fine grip sandpaper. Get rid of all dust and debris before applying the filler.
Smoothening wood grains
There are different kinds of wood grains ranging from small to large, with wood fillers you can make these grains look so pleasing. It doesn’t require any hard work, just give a thin layer coating over the wood grain by wood filler and the polish that. Polishing will give you a reflecting and smooth finish that will look really good. And then you can add a thin stain as well for making it look even better.
If you have a wooden floor and there are little cracks and holes, you can apply wood fillers there as well. However, be sure to not use water-based wood fillers on the floors. Do not apply a thick coating of wood filler on the flooring. Add a thin coating and then polish with a fine-grit sandpaper. Many people add wood stain but stains are not compatible with all the fillers, so make sure you apply depending on the compatibility.
This another popular use of wood fillers. Old furniture woods often rots which obviously doesn’t look good. Wood fillers can sort that out effortlessly. Just take off the rotten wood and apply a thick layer of fillers, that’s all. But make sure to use a sustainable wood filler, otherwise, go with a wood hardener.
Another use of wood fillers is as adhesive. Not all fillers are suitable for this, there are few types of wood fillers that contain high adhesive properties, and that makes it act like glue such as epoxy wood filler. So yes, you can use fillers to bond to wood pieces together.
How to Prepare Wood Filler?
Buying wood fillers isn’t all, if you want to use it all by yourself, you will need to know how to prepare them. Don’t worry, the process is very simple, all you have to pay attention to is the time. You cannot take much time when preparing wood fillers since they get dried pretty soon.
As you know there are different kinds of wood fillers, epoxy, putty, liquid, these are the most common ones. Each of these kinds serves different purposes, if you have gone through the buying guide section above you must know which kind of filler is best for you. Skipped the buying guide? Go back, it’s a 5-min read, it will be worth it!
Along with the wood filler, you need the right solvent as well. There is two most popular kind of solvents water and alcohol-based solvent. Which solvent you will pick that will depend on the kind of filler you have picked.
And then you will need a putty spatula which will help you to mix it up. Or if you don’t have a putty spatula you can use a small thin sheet of plywood as well.
Take a small amount of filler and add little solvent, and start mixing. You cannot wait, otherwise, it will get hard to mix it up. Here comes the most important part. The mixture should not be too diluted and nor it should be too dry. You will have to bring the right consistency.
On the first go, you might not get the right consistency, though it isn’t a hard job at all. But if you don’t have any prior experience, you can take the help of an expert or any video tutorial which will help you understand better. Make sure the paste you make can penetrate inside the holes or cracks to fill them up and make a strong bond.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you fill holes in exterior wood?
It is very simple. If the filler doesn’t come pre-mixed, mix it well, and then under the recommended temperature put the filler inside the hole, don’t forget to use a putty knife for better results.
Can wood filler be used outside?
Surely. There are fillers that are specially designed for use outdoor. They are weather-resistant fillers and can be used indoor as well.
Is there a waterproof wood filler?
Yes, there is! All of the exterior wood fillers are waterproof.
Can I use wood filler on rotted wood?
Yes, you can! Wood fillers are widely used in treating rotten woods.
What can I use instead of wood filler?
You can use wood putty instead of wood filler.
If you want the best result, then using the best exterior wood filler is the must. So do not compromise anything that comes in the way. However, hope you have gone through the reviews and it helps.
Wood Putty vs. Wood Filler: What’s the Difference?
June 14, 2018
When repairing furniture and other wooden items or building them from scratch, there are many instances where you will need to fill holes. These holes can be a result of defects or inconsistencies in the wood or where the nails go in.
And when it comes to filling holes in a workpiece, wood filer and wood putty are always the best and in most cases the only solutions.
Wood putty and wood filler are often used interchangeably by woodworkers to mean the same thing. While they serve an almost similar purpose they are still different products and suitable for different wood filling projects.
Knowing the difference between a wood filler and putty is vital for every woodworker as it makes it easy to pick the right product for a project.
Wood putty is also what many seasoned woodworkers and experts like to refer to as “plastic wood”. And it is one of the most common wood filling compounds in many workshops.
Wood putty is the type of filler that you apply after staining or varnishing your workpiece, and this is because most types will contain chemicals and other ingredients that can damage the raw wood.
Although the ingredients of wood putty can vary from one manufacturer to the other, all are oil-based compounds. And the primary ingredients in most as are boiled linseed oil, some calcium carbonate and a universal colorant.
It will resemble a plastic resin and will feel like soft clay when you add some water. The stiff dough texture of wood putty means that you need a putty knife to apply it.
Once dry wood putty will harden but this takes a long time or at least longer than wood filler. Some types will harden on their own while others will require you to mix in a hardening chemical to stiffen the putty.
The long drying time if the greatest shortcoming of the wood putty as it means that lighter colors can accumulate dust and darken once the patty is dry. And this can affect the appearance of the workpiece.
You can get wood putty in a variety of colors and hence making it a versatile filling agent. The many color options make it easy to find something that matches your wood stain.
Wood putty is the best filling agent for use on outdoor furniture as it not only resists shrinkage but is also less prone to the effects of the natural elements like sun and rain.
It is also more cost-effective than wood filler because it lasts longer. Even when the putty dries in the container you only need to use a little acetone to restore it.
Lastly, wood putty also has some adhesive properties and this makes it a great masking glue but it works best with oil-based finishes.
- More cost-effective. A small container of wood putty will last for a long time which makes it a more cost-effective filling agent. Even when it dries in the bottle, a few drops of acetone is all you need to refresh it
- Adhesive properties. Wood putty has adhesive properties and so you will not always need to use a seal. However, this will only work on the oil-based finishes.
- Best for outdoor furniture. Unlike wood filler, putty resists shrinkage and it is more resistant to the effect of the sun and rain which makes it the best choice for your outdoor furniture.
- Longer drying time. Most kinds of wood putty will take more time to dry than wood fillers. And the biggest disadvantage about this is that a light colored wood putty can accumulate dust and darken.
Wood Putty Vs. Wood Filler: Which One For Your Project
It happens. Old wood gets holes in it, new wood looks imperfect. You want a smooth finish but don’t want to completely redo a project. That’s where both wood putty and wood filler come in. But the two are not the same.
If you do a lot of projects with wood, or if your house isn’t brand new, you should probably keep both wood filler and wood putty around. Neither are expensive in small amounts and both can last a long time unopened.
What Is The Difference Between Wood Putty And Wood Filler?
Ask anyone who works with wood regularly and they will tell you they use both wood putty and wood filler. The two are not the same so both are usually needed in the long run. But what are the differences between them?
Note: companies often label wood filler and wood putty the same. To find out which one the product you’re looking at really is, then you can check the label to see which of these you can find out on your own.
You can sand wood filler but you cannot sand wood putty. This is important to remember. The wood putty needs to be flat and in place as once it dries, it’s staying. You cannot sand it down or smooth it out.
Finished Or Unfinished Wood
This is the easiest comparison. Wood putty should be used primarily on finished wood while wood filler is generally used on unfinished wood. However, wood filler can be used on both finished and unfinished wood.
Wood filler won’t last as long as wood putty outside. If you’re using it outdoors, then wood putty is your best bet because it can stand the elements even though it is oil-based where wood filler is water-based.
When it comes to painting, wood filler is better. You can’t paint wood putty so great. If it’s days old then it can be possible but you will have to make sure you have the right kind of paint whereas it’s safer to use most paints with wood filler.
Wood putty is an adhesive that is made from plastic. But wood filler is made with sawdust or wood fibers that can blend in well with unfinished wood. But it will need to be stained or finished in order for it to adhere well.
How to Fill Holes In Wood
Now let’s take a look at a quick tutorial on using both wood putty and wood filler. These tutorials will let you know the small steps you can take to fill holes in wood. The tutorials are so simple that we have them right down below.
Keep in mind that the quality of wood filler and wood putty that you use matters. Make sure that the wood product hasn’t been sitting in a damp place for over a decade. But other than that, the stuff can last nearly a lifetime if sealed.
How To Use Wood Filler
Wood filler is a very useful item for small projects. You can apply it to small holes and cracks in unfinished wood for your new projects. In this project, we applied it to imperfections in a handrail we were making.
First off, we applied the wood filler but didn’t flatten it out too much. Then, we let it dry and sanded it down. In the end, we finished it with a stain and sealer. Looking at the end project, you wouldn’t know the filler is even there.
We did the same thing with this retro rainbow dresser. We applied the filler to imperfections and knots. In this case, we smoothed it down nicely and painted over it. This is perfect for knotty wood that you want to paint.
How To Use Wood Putty
Wood putty is actually easier to use than wood filler because you just use it and go. It is thicker than wood filler and can be used for home repairs. For example, say you rewire a room and there are holes in the doorframes.
If these doorframes will be covered by the door again, you can fill them with wood putty and then cover them up. Putty is sort of for leaving and forgetting about it which is not something you can do with wood filler. In short, wood putty is best for daily home repairs.
Buying Wood Filler
If you’ve never bought wood filler before, then you need to consider a few things. Don’t just buy the first one you see, follow a guide to find out what the best wood fillers you can buy are to feel secure in your purchase.
You don’t want to buy “cheap” wood filler but you also don’t want to be overcharged. Wood filler should cost between $1 to $4 an ounce unless bought in bulk. Don’t pay much more or less than that for small projects.
Brand matters. While you can go to a local hardware store and trust the brands they sell, the most common brands for good wood filler are Minwax and DAP. When in doubt, buy one of their brand’s choices.
Don’t get more than you need. Look at the area you need to cover and the depth of the holes. You can use clay or something similar to test the amount you need or try to eye it. You can always go back and buy more.
Some wood fillers have a very distinct odor. If you can’t handle this or worry about the chemicals used, then read reviews to find ones that don’t have a strong odor. Or, prepare and wear a mask to help you deal with it.
Indoor, outdoor, cracks, holes. Make sure you read the uses for the filler you’re looking at to see if it applies to your project. Some are for specific types of projects which isn’t always obvious at first.
Again, wood putty is for finished wood, but it is often labeled wood filler. Make sure the wood filler you buy can be sanded and stained if you are using it on unfinished wood. Otherwise, you’ll have to start over again.
Drying time doesn’t always matter. It doesn’t even usually matter. But you need to know beforehand so you can plan your project out. Do you need to wait a day to sand it or paint it? You need to plan your workweek.
Check out the ingredients. If it says wood filler but doesn’t have any wood fibers in it, then you probably don’t want it. If it says wood putty but doesn’t have an adhesive, it’s not real wood putty. Pay attention to ingredients.
If you want to do regular touch-ups, make sure that the wood filler you choose has a good date after it’s opened. You can’t expect it to last forever, but you do want it to last long enough for you to use it twice if need be.
Check out the drying color of the wood filler. Wood filler comes in many different wood colors so you can easily stain it and it will look the same as your wood. Choose the same color as your wood rather than your stain.
Wood Filler FAQs
Like with any home repair item, there are a lot of questions asked about wood filler and wood putty. After all, they were made for DIY. Here are the most frequently asked questions about wood filler.
Can I Use Caulk Instead Of Wood Filler?
Caulk would not work for filling holes in wood because over time, it will shrink and the hole will reappear. Wood filler and caulk are not interchangeable, so if you need both, then buy both of them. It will save money in the end.
Can I Fill Gaps With Wood Filler?
Cracks, yes. Gaps, no. Gaps should be filled with caulk, sealers, and expanding foam. Using wood filler will just not work. Not to mention, it would take forever to get just right and will cost a fortune.
Can I Make My Own Wood Filler Or Putty?
In short, yes you can. It won’t work quite as well as over-the-counter filler, but you can combine wood glue with sawdust to create a decent filler that can be used to fill small holes and cracks. It may take longer to dry but it’s worth a try.
How Big Of A Gap Can Wood Filler Fill?
You can safely go up to 3/8th of an inch with wood filler. More than that is a hassle and may require more intense repairs if you want things to look good and last as long as they should. But 3/8 of an inch is a good cutoff.
What Is Spackle?
Spackle is very similar to wood filler only it is used for plaster and drywall. If you plan on painting the wall or project, then spackling it will work just fine because the paint will cover the difference if done right.
How Thick Can Wood Filler Be?
This question is hard to find an answer to, which is why it’s asked so often. But in general, try not to go thicker than 1/2 in. So yes, a 1/2 in deep and 3/8 wide is a good gauge. But you can go as long as you wish.
Can Gorilla Glue Work As Wood Filler?
Not all Gorilla Glue as it will expand, but Gorilla Epoxy is a type of putty that can do the job fairly well. You may not be able to finish it like regular wood filler, but it can do a good job of filling small gaps that are unseen.
Does Wood Putty Get Hard?
Wood putty doesn’t necessarily get hard. Instead, it contracts and expands to form with the wood. It is meant to feel like it is the same texture as the wood after you sand the area and refinish it, but it isn’t rock-solid.
Is Wood Filler Durable?
Yes. Even though it doesn’t get rock-solid, which would take away from the natural effect it has on blending with the wood, it is indeed durable. It isn’t usually durable enough for outdoor use but it likely won’t scratch.
Is Wood Putty As Strong As Wood?
Yes. In fact, wood putty is generally stronger than wood as wood is not fire-resistant and is susceptible to scratches as well. But wood putty is very strong, which is why a lot of people will add an entire layer of it to their wood.
Can I Use Putty As Wood Filler?
This is a tough one. Wood putty should primarily be used on finished wood while wood filler is used on unfinished wood. Putty can’t generally cross over but wood filler on the other hand can be used for both.
Is Wood Filler Waterproof?
In short, yes, wood filler is water-resistant but no, it isn’t waterproof. It is water-resistant only after it dries. While wood putty can be used outdoors, wood filler is more susceptible to the weather. Including rain.
Is Wood Putty And Wood Filler The Same?
No. These are two different products and thus the theme of our article here. But just in case you wanted to sum it all up once more, the answer is that no, these are two different products that should be used differently.
Let’s break this down one more time. Wood putty should primarily be used on finished wood while wood filler is used on unfinished wood. Putty can’t generally cross over but wood filler on the other hand can be used for both.
This should answer your question and let you know that you should keep both around because if sealed, they will last decades! So might as well have them on hand for both finished and unfinished wood projects.
Depot wood putty home
Furniture Repair – Bondo vs Wood Filler
Happy Tuesday to you!
Today’s QTT is more like a full blown tutorial on How To Use Bondo as Wood Filler… and how I think they compare. Even though this post isn’t really ‘quick’, it’s a follow up on last weeks Quick-Tip-Tuesday and I can’t wait to show you this amazing dresser leg repair!
So let’s get right to it… Have you ever passed up on a gorgeous piece of furniture because it was flawed or damaged? Maybe it was perfect in every way but it was missing veneer. Maybe a drawer corner was knocked off? Or possibly a hunk of wood was missing from a leg? Like this one!
No worries… I’m learning imperfections like these are EASY to fix!
I’ve used Bondo on a good few furniture projects and the truth is, I’m blown away by how well Bondo repairs small AND large missing wood pieces and/or veneer!
For instance, I wasn’t 100% sure Bondo would fill this entire missing leg piece.
My original thought was to use some wood shims and wood glue to fill the majority of this missing leg, and THEN use a wood filler or Bondo to patch the rest of the repair. Then I thought – screw it. I’ll find a way to re-create the straight lines of the leg… and I’m sure the Bondo will be strong enough. I was right!
There are numerous brands of “Bondo-Type” products but what you’re looking for is a putty used for automotive repair and filler. All-Purpose Bondo’s are best. Just as the name suggests, these products can be used on wood, concrete, tile, automotive repair etc.
The price of Bondo is in the $15-$20 range versus a brand-name wood filler which you can buy for between $5-$10. Bondo is a little more costly, but as you’ll discover below, well worth it for the time it saves and the durability it provides!
Mixing Bondo isn’t difficult but I’m not going to lie… it’s a whole lot of smelly! Make sure you work in a properly ventilated area and read the safety instructions.
Bondo comes as a putty and includes a separate colored cream hardener. Once they are mixed together, the hardener activates the putty with some sort of chemical reaction. It’s important to mix thoroughly until it’s consistent in color.
Mix both together on a clean non-absorbent surface like plastic or glass. I’ve designated this glass frame for mixing my Bondo. I’m not sure why, but I read mixing on cardboard can absorb and change the chemical balance of the product.
For a golf size blob of putty, I mixed in a one inch line of hardener. If you mix in more hardener, it will dry faster… it may even start drying during your repair. Be sure to follow the mixing instructions! Because it dries so fast, there’s a short amount of time you have to work with this stuff – unlike Wood Filler where you can pretty much take your time.
You can apply Bondo with a putty knife or with the same tool you use to apply wood filler but the consistency is different. Bondo is more wet and gloopy….I know, not the most professional terminology there…lol.
To create a straight edge which may be required for some larger repairs, use any sort of firm flat surface. I used paint sticks and clamps to create a perfect edge by following the natural line of the leg.
Check out last weeks Quick Tip Tuesday to see what I use so the Bondo doesn’t stick to my paint sticks!
Unlike wood filler that may need to be applied in a few coats, Bondo has NO shrinkage. As long as you fill in your repair generously, only one application of Bondo is needed.
The biggest advantage of using Bondo over a regular wood filler is the short dry time. Wood filler can take hours to dry and require more than one coat. Bondo dries in less than 30 minutes and only requires one coat!
This means more projects in less time.
Shaping and Sanding Bondo
Bondo dries super hard and doesn’t sand quite as easily as wood filler. Removing any excess Bondo BEFORE it’s 100% dry will really cut down on your sanding efforts.
Here I’m skimming and shaping down the excess Bondo with my putty knife. This was about 12 minutes after applying it. It had set but wasn’t fully dry making it pliable and easy to shape.
After I removed the excess following the contour of the original leg, I let it sit for another 10-15 minutes until it was totally dry before I sanded.
Starting with an 80 grit on my orbital sander, I worked my way to 220 grit for a perfectly smooth finish. Voila!
Painting & Staining Bondo
Bondo and other similar type products are made for painting – not staining. However, 3M has come up with Bondo Wood Filler that does accept stain… how exciting! If any of you have tried staining with this Bondo, I’d love to hear your results!
This piece has been painted and you’d never know the leg was broken!
I can’t tell you how many perfectly imperfect pieces I’ve passed up because I had no idea how to fix them. Seriously, Bondo has become a game changer when salvaging furniture. It’s easy to use, saves me time, and provides a heavy-duty durable fix!
I’d love to hear all about your Bondo adventures and repairs so leave me a comment below. Or if you have any questions… ask away!
Catch last week’s Q-T-T here – and if YOU have any tips you’d like featured on the SI Quick-Tip-Tuesday-Series, feel free to send me an email!
Make sure you drop in tomorrow to see the FULL REVEAL of this dresser!
I absolutely LOVE this chippy primitive look and hope you do too! I promise to make tomorrow’s post short and sweet with plenty of gorgeous pics! 🙂
See you tomorrow and have an amazing day!
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Filed Under: Blog, Furniture Repair, How To Tips, Product Reviews, Quick Tip TuesdayTagged With: bondo vs wood filler, bondo wood filler, bondo wood repairs, broken furniture leg, furniture repair, QTT, quick tip tuesday, using bondo for furniture, wood fillerSours: https://salvagedinspirations.com/furniture-repair-bondo-vs-wood-filler/
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09.12.2020 Applying the Epoxy Filler. Stuff the epoxy filler into the wood using your putty knife. Apply with pressure to make sure the wood and the epoxy bonds properly. When it comes to deep areas and you want to make sure the filler is getting everywhere you can use an additional piece of wood. Place these carved blocks of wood after you have applied the filler into the hole. To get optimal results ...
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PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy PasteSave. To us the greater the convenience the higher its praises should be. And that shall not back down when it comes…Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement CompoundSave. Here’s one of the best wood fillers for decks that can work like magic and show you results within the hour.WoodEpox Wood Replacement Compound 2 Pint KitSave. Abatron lovers shall unite as we have very assuredly listed yet another 2-pint Abatron compound kit so you can…
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With the wax-based recipe this pocket-sized wood filler fills in nail holes cracks imperfections and other material defects like a marker. It dries in 10 minutes and cleans up quickly with soap and water. It is one of the best wood fillers for a beginner. Best for Painting – FamoWood Wood Filler. FamoWood is a high-quality latex wood filler.
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Apr 30 2021 3. Elmer’s E861 Carpenter’s Wood Filler. The Elmer's E861 Carpenter's Wood Filler is a much more portable and lightweight option than a larger tub of heavy wood filler. Coming in a 3.25 oz 7-inch long tube this water-based stainable paintable and sandable wood filler …
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Elmer's. Carpenter's Wood Filler. Check Price. Best for DIYers. Bottom Line. Your best bet if you need a wood filler that is effective yet comes at a price that will fit most budgets. Pros. Affordably priced. A great pick for DIYers and novices because it's very easy to use sand paint and clean up.
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