how does wood filler work?

I grew up in a house full of DIYers who were always building, repairing, and installing things. They taught me how to use most tools, but the one tool they didn’t teach me was how to apply wood filler.

I had no idea how this stuff worked or why anyone would want to use it at all.

And then one day I realized that I needed some wood filler for my own project and had no idea where to start! So I did what any other millennial would do: I googled ‘How does wood filler work?’

Does wood filler really work?

If you’re thinking of using wood filler, you might be wondering if it really works. It does! The short answer is yes, a wood filler can help fix cracks and holes in your furniture or home décor.

When applied correctly, it can make these issues disappear as though they never existed in the first place.

It’s important to know how to use wood filler properly so that you get satisfying results every time. If this is something you’re interested in doing yourself, here are some tips:

  • Buy a high-quality product from a well-known brand (such as Minwax®) or one recommended by professionals in the trade such as carpenters or interior designers who have experience using these products regularly for their client’s projects.*
  • Use a putty knife when applying the filler so that there’s no excess left behind on top of what needs filling.

How big of a gap can wood filler fill?

Wood fillers can fill large gaps and small gaps with ease. The trick is knowing how much wood filler you’ll need to apply to your project because too little will result in an unsatisfactory end result, while too much can create a mess that’s difficult to clean up.

Being careful not to overdo it is crucial when applying wood filler. If you’re working on a small gap or crack, try applying just enough wood filler so that it’s barely visible from the outside of the wood surface.

This ensures that you won’t accidentally apply more than necessary while still filling any cracks or gaps adequately.

Does wood filler harden like wood?

Yes, wood filler hardens like wood. It’s a synthetic resin, so it behaves similarly to wood in that it will expand and contract with changes in humidity.

As you might imagine, this makes it useful for repairing cracks and holes in furniture or other objects made from wood (not necessarily just filler).

It is important to note that not all fillers are created equal. Some kinds of filler will look like putty or clay when they’re wet—the kind you’d use to repair a wall—but then harden into something more like plastic when dry.

This type of material won’t work well as a replacement for damaged pieces of furniture because its weight may cause structural damage after drying out. The best option is always going to be filling small gaps with epoxy putty.

Is wood filler permanent?

Wood filler is not permanent.

Wood filler is made of a type of plastic resin and glue, which will eventually wear away over time. The amount of time this takes depends on the quality of your wood filler and how much pressure you put on it when applying it to the surface.

If you don’t apply enough pressure, then your wood filler won’t create a strong bond with your project and will eventually fall off altogether or flake off in chunks (a process known as “blushing”).

This doesn’t mean that wood filler should be avoided altogether! Some people feel that it’s bad practice to cover up flaws in furniture with paint or varnish because it makes things look unnatural and fake—but if we’re going for realism here then perhaps we shouldn’t worry about whether our furniture has been repaired using water-resistant sealant or not. Your call!

If you want more control over how well your project holds up against moisture exposure then there are other products available besides epoxy: polyurethane resin comes recommended by many experts since it provides extra protection against water penetration; however, if this is still too expensive for your budget then go ahead and use epoxy instead—it’ll add another layer between any moisture damage so long as there aren’t any little pieces sticking out into gaps where they could get damaged themselves (more on this later).

How long does wood filler take to harden?

Wood filler takes a little while to dry, depending on the temperature, humidity, and amount of filler used. The drying time also depends on how thickly you’ve applied it.

Is wood filler as strong as wood glue?

The short answer is no. Wood filler is not as strong as wood glue, but it’s also much more flexible than the wood itself (which you can test by pressing your finger into it).

While you don’t want to use wood filler to repair a piece of furniture that needs to bear significant weight, you can use it in place of glue if you’re repairing something like a chair leg or table corner.

For example, if one leg of your dining room chair has broken off and you just want to replace the part, wood filler might be perfect for your situation.

Wood filler can be sanded and finished like wood itself once it dries completely: In fact, because most fillers are made from plastic or resin materials that are softer than hardwoods such as oak or maple, they’re easier to work with when finishing them because they won’t scratch as easily during sanding.

You’ll still need some patience since drying time depends on how thickly applied the filler was originally—but once dry (usually within 24 hours), most fillers will allow any kind of painting or staining without changing color or consistency too much!

Can you fill large holes with wood filler?

Yes. Once you’ve used a putty knife to smooth and feather out the filler, it’s time to sand. If you’re using oil-based wood filler, you’ll want to wait 24 hours before sanding.

The drying time is much shorter if your wood filler is water-based or latex—just wait until it feels dry on the surface of the wood (about 10 minutes).

Once your wood filler has dried completely, use coarse-grit sandpaper (around 80 grit) to remove any excess material from the hole and make sure that there are no bumps or ridges remaining.

Is it better to use wood filler or caulk?

So, what’s the best type of filler for your project? It depends on your project and the length of time you plan to keep the work.

If you’re doing a hobby like woodworking or carpentry, then it’s probably easier to use wood filler because it can be sanded and re-used several times before being covered up with new coats of paint or stain.

However, if you’re painting your house or doing other projects that require a more permanent solution, caulking is probably better since it will last longer without fading away over time.

Caulking has its advantages too: It’s much cheaper than wood putty because it comes in tubes (the same way toothpaste does) rather than cans, and because caulk isn’t as thick as putty it creates less mess when applied during application processes such as decorating walls where there are large gaps between two adjacent boards/pieces


In conclusion, wood filler is a great solution for filling small holes and cracks in wooden objects. However, it may be less effective for larger gaps or when you need something more permanent than glue.

If you’re looking for a long-lasting solution that can make your piece look like new again then this might not be the right product for you.

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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.

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