Wood Putty and Wood Filler

How to Use a Wood Putty and Wood Filler


​As a woodworker, there are numerous instances you have to drive screws into a piece of wood but it end up leaving narrow holes at the top. Also, there could be other open holes or gaps that typically don’t make your wood look so good especially if you want a smooth texture. Well, you inevitably have alternative agents to do away with these holes; using wood putty and wood filler.

This article helps you not only understand the two possibilities but also how to employ them for remarkable wood surfaces.

​Wood putty, also known as wood dough, is a substance made of varied colorings and ingredients like fine dust for repairing wood products. It can be polyurethane, epoxy, or fiberglass.

In most cases, wood putty is applied on wood materials before other procedures like staining, sanding and other finishing.

It helps fill the small knots, cracks, splits and other wood defects. Once applied, it undergoes a chemical reaction to dry hard producing a glossy finish on your material. It is widely used for wood bonding and wearing for an attractive look.

Veteran woodworkers can attest to the fact that it always saves the day when doing tasks like hardwood flooring. You can fill the abysses either before or after the finishing, and in minutes you are eyeing a satisfactory and nearly neat wood texture.

Wood putty could be water-based, a preferred choice for diminishing the coarse wood looks. On the other hand, it can also be solvent-based for thickening uniformity on unwanted holes.

Wood filler is traditionally made of wood fibers or sawdust added to glue. However, it may consist of other components like a bulking agent, solvent for binding parts or filling pores on the wood surface.

It is a solution for woodworkers seeking a silky and super clean texture. You will find it easy to fix the many defects on walnut, oak, and other applicable materials. It’s largely impervious, a brilliant idea for outdoor use.

Nonetheless, for those that are strained for easy matching to pieces of wood, they are suitable for indoor use. Other applications of wood fillers include fixing scratches and scrapes usually done after filling or staining the defects.

​Pertinent tips on using Wood Putty and Wood Filler

​Using wood filler

​Make sure you have a Putty knife, Wood putty, and Sandpaper then follow these other ideas for concentrated application of your wood filler.

  • ​Prepare the area to apply wood putty by scraping off the paint from the wood area of interest.
  • ​This can be followed by sanding to do away with the irregular surfaces for a smooth texture. Clear off any loose debris that might be still stuck on the surface to help the wood filler stick well on application.
  • ​When squeezing the filler into the holes, exercise caution to extend to the deep parts. This is why you should consider wood fillers with pointed tubing because they help effectively direct the paste to your piece of wood seamlessly.
  • ​When applying your wood filler, you can polish it against the grain or on both with the grain. A little overfill of the hole will compensate the paste that shrinks into the hole during the drying process.
  • ​Quick smoothening of the filler using a putty knife will leave an appropriate surface for sanding. You can employ normal sandpaper or an orbital sander for an even thorough surface.
  • ​However, ensure the surface has dried first for good results. You can refer to your type of wood filler guidelines on how long it takes to dry.
  • ​Perhaps, if you are thinking of painting, you can proceed to do this after the above steps.

​Using wood putty

  • ​Open up your wood putty vessel and use a small spoon or spatula to help mix the contents into a fine paste.
  • ​If you are keen on blending the colors, you will have to proportionately mix them up carefully based on the set color combination.
  • By taking appropriate amounts of putty, apply them on the areas to patch like holes, cracks or dents. Take time to spread it out with your fingers into the dents or cracks before wiping it off with a dry cloth.
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    Position your knife at an angle of about 45 degrees besides the hole. With some force, scrape off any leftover putty on the surface to required smoothening and leave it to dry.
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    ​However, be careful not to leave the drying stage take too long before kicking off sanding. This is to ensure the putty is easy to remove during the sanding process for a smooth surface.
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    ​However, be careful not to leave the drying stage take too long before kicking off sanding. This is to ensure the putty is easy to remove during the sanding process for a smooth surface.
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    Remember, you will leave a great deal of dust around after the whole action is over. Therefore, clean your workstation using a vacuum cleaner to reach out to any small dirt stuck on the surface.

​Essentials to keep in mind

​In most cases it is fitting to use wood filler when you have finalized light wood sanding, otherwise, deep sanding might cause an irregular surface on your wood. This will ensure you reach deep into the holes for an accomplished finish.

Advisably, apply wood putty before staining the wood to bring out a satisfactory look after sanding for a smooth texture. Or else, doing this after staining affects wood coloring. This is why you normally come across unmatched colors on your piece of wood after your project is exhaustively done.


​The wood filling is a great way to do away with the stains on your wood surface. When using both wood filler and wood putty, just in case you don’t have the sandpaper to scrub off the surfaces, you can opt for a burlap or microfiber rag.

However, avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool likely to damage the texture of the surface. For wood putty mixing, adopt the appropriate and recommended formula from the manufacturer for outstanding results.

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About the Author Kim Brown

A passionate blogger! Editor at Toptennotch. I love to travel & writing. Regularly writing about different topic for various magazines, newspapers and websites. Happy Reading!!!

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