Can you varnish over wood filler?

One of the most common questions that I get asked is, “How do you cover fillers in wood?” The simple answer is, “You can’t.” The reason for this is that wood filler is a different material than regular wood. It’s not actually part of the wood, but rather something that sits on top of it.

This means that when you try to paint over or stain over it, the filler will still show through in some way shape, or form. That being said, there are ways around this problem so that your project doesn’t have to be ruined by an ugly patch of white filling compound!

How do you cover fillers in wood?

Here are the different ways that you can cover up a filler:

  • Use stain to cover the filler. This is the most common method, and it’s what you should use if you’re going for a dark finish. You’ll want to sand any rough edges or spots where there was excess filler before applying the stain so that it goes on evenly. Then, just brush it onto your piece with a foam brush (these are cheap and great for filling in areas). If you use a wood filler that matches your wood’s color, then this won’t take much time at all! This is also an option if your piece has multiple colors of wood in it; just make sure that whatever shade of stain matches one part of the piece well enough so that there aren’t any obvious differences between them when they’re all painted together later (for example darker walnut stains might not match lighter mahogany).
  • Use paint to cover fillers in wood furniture

Can you put a stain on wood filler?

You cannot apply stain over wood filler. Wood filler has to be sanded down, which will cause the stain to crack and peel off.

Stains are not a good choice for covering wood filler because they don’t provide enough protection from moisture, which can cause the wood filler to flake off with use.

The only way you could use a stain on your project would be if you were also using another coating as well (such as paint).

How do you make wood filler not noticeable?

  • Use a filler that matches the wood. This is the most obvious solution to the problem, but it may not be possible if the wood grain is very different or visible at all. You can also use stain on your filler to match it with your furniture’s color scheme.
  • Use a filler that is a different color than wood. If you have an area of your furniture with lots of cracks and dents, using a different-colored fill will help to hide these flaws in appearance. It will also look more natural because other parts of the structure are usually painted or stained before adding any kind of filling material into them!
  • Use a filler that is less noticeable than the wood itself (and therefore doesn’t stand out). For example: if there were two pieces standing next to each other one would be darker than another one but wouldn’t seem any brighter because they’re both dark so they blend together seamlessly – this could work well as long as no one notices anything odd about their surroundings…unless someone looks closely enough at everything around them every single day (which isn’t likely unless there’s something wrong with them).

Can you seal wood filler?

You can seal wood filler by applying a thin coat of polyurethane or lacquer. This will protect the surface from moisture, which is what causes wood filler to crack.

You should also let it cure for at least 24 hours before sanding or painting over it, and 48 hours if you’re using oil-based primer or paint.

If you want to use water-based paints, wait for about 72 hours after sanding the filler before applying them.

After that, there are no rules! You can leave it as is—honestly, there’s no wrong way to do this—or distress it with sandpaper so that its texture matches your existing project’s surface finish better than if you’d just painted over fresh layers of stain on top of each other (which would create very obvious lines).

Can you oil over wood filler?

You can, but it won’t look good. The oil will darken the filler, and the color difference will be hard to disguise.

If you want to use oil over wood filler, choose a light color with low tinting strength (such as mineral spirits). This will seal the filler and prevent it from being affected by water or other elements.

The bond between your original wood and your repaired area should remain intact regardless of what type of sealant you use on top of the wood filling—just make sure that whatever product you use is compatible with both materials before applying it!

Why is wood filler showing through paint?

When wood filler shows through your paint, there are a few reasons. The most common is that you didn’t sand the wood enough before applying the filler.

Another option is that you didn’t prime the surface before adding filler, or you applied too much paint over a large area at once.

You may not have used a quality paint or brush either; cheap brushes will leave bristles behind in your project while good ones won’t shed as easily and will be more flexible to work with.

How long does wood filler take to dry before sanding?

When it comes to wood filler, patience is a virtue. The drying time for wood filler before sanding can take anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours. If you’re impatient, there are ways you can speed up the process:

  • Use a hair dryer
  • Use a heat gun
  • Use a heat lamp

How do you change the color of wood filler?

  • If you want to keep the same color, but get a different texture and finish, choose a different brand of wood filler.
  • If you want to start over with an entirely new product, try using a stain instead of paint first.


Hopefully, we’ve answered most of your questions about varnishing over wood filler. If you still have any questions, just leave them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Photo of author

Martin Flood

Martin Flood has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years as a general contractor with expertise in remodeling projects that are large or small. He has furthered his career by specializing in epoxy resin flooring, providing excellent service to both commercial and residential clients. Martin’s experience enables him to offer professional advice on how to choose the right type of project based on your needs and budget.

Leave a Comment