how to remove wood filler from hardwood floors?

If you’re like me, you’ve used a lot of wood filler in your life. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably also asked yourself this question: “How do I get rid of dried wood filler?” Wood filler is the most common material used to fill cracks and holes in wood, but it’s not exactly easy to use or remove.

You can’t simply sand or scrape off excess fillers because they’ll leave marks behind that will be visible after staining or varnishing your project.

So what can we do about all these unwanted marks? What follows are some tips on how to remove excess fillers from hardwood floors and other surfaces without damaging them:

How do you soften dried wood filler?

To soften dried wood filler, try one of the following methods:

  • Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away dried wood filler.
  • Try using a damp cloth with a bit of WD-40 on it to get rid of the dried wood filler (WD-40 has been known for its ability to soften hardwood floors that have been damaged by water).
  • If you’re in an area where mineral spirits are available, use some on your damp cloth and rub gently until the hardened wood filler comes off easily without damaging your flooring in any way.
  • Ammonia can also be used; just soak your cloth or sponge in it before wiping away at the hardened mess left behind by dried putty/spackle/caulk—as long as it doesn’t contain bleach or any other chemicals that might damage your flooring!

Can you sand off wood filler?

It’s possible to remove wood filler from hardwood floors with a sander. You can also use sandpaper, a paint scraper, and even a belt sander. Here’s how:

  • Sander – Use an orbital sander with medium-grit sandpaper to remove the bulk of the wood filler before vacuuming up any dust with your vacuum cleaner.
  • Sandpaper – Use fine-grit sandpaper for final smoothing after using an orbital sander or hand scraper to get out surface imperfections and smooth out scratches in the surface of your flooring.
  • Paint Scraper – Use a plastic knife or paint scraper to scrape off excess wood filler on corners and edges where it may have been squeezed into cracks in your flooring before using water and soap solution (like Murphy’s Oil Soap) to remove residue left behind by this process if necessary.

Does wood filler wash off?

  • Use a damp cloth.
  • Use a soft brush.
  • Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
  • Use a damp sponge or other absorbent material to wipe up the wood filler, as we’ll explain below.

How do you cover up wood filler after staining?

You can use a stainable filler to cover wood filler on hardwood floors. You can also use a stainable primer and sealer, paint, varnish, or wax.

For oil-based products, such as tung oil or Danish oil, you’ll need to sand the surface first before applying them (unless it’s an environmentally-friendly version that doesn’t require sanding).

Are wood putty and wood filler the same?

Filling holes and filling gaps are two very different things. When it comes to filling gaps between the floorboard and the skirting board, you need a filler that can properly fill up the space without creating new problems.

To do this, you will need a product like wood filler or poly filler.

These products have much more give than putty does and therefore fill in the gap perfectly without causing any damage.

However, when it comes to repairing damaged floorboards that have been punched out by nails or screws (or even worn away by years of wear), you’re better off using putty rather than filler as this type of material is softer and more malleable – perfect for getting into crevices where woodwork has come loose or chipped off completely.

How do you get putty off of wood?

What you need: A putty knife

You can use a putty knife to scrape off excess wood filler and smooth the surface of your floor. You may need to use more than one putty knife, depending on how much excess filler was used.

Can you use wood filler on hardwood floors?

Yes, you can use wood filler on hardwood floors. However, it’s important to keep the amount of filler to a minimum. If you don’t want to sand off excess filler later, be careful about how much you apply now.

If you do end up with too much filler on your flooring, you’ll want to remove it by hand with a scraper or putty knife (which will also help prevent build-up).

If that doesn’t get all of the excesses off, then consider using an industrial paint stripper like Goof Off or Goo Gone instead—these are stronger solvents that will eat through most types of wood fillers.

How do I get rid of excess fillers?

  • Use a sharp scraper to remove excess filler. You can find scrapers at home improvement stores, hardware stores, and sometimes even in the paint section of your local department store. Scrapers are used for scraping away old paint and other kinds of material from surfaces, so they’re ideal for removing wood fillers that have been applied too thickly or unevenly.
  • Use a putty knife to remove excess filler. Putty knives have flat, blunt edges that are perfect for scraping away excess filler without damaging the floor underneath. Putty knives are also very durable—they’re typically made from plastic or metal—so they won’t break easily when you’re removing wood fillers from hardwood floors using this technique.
  • Use a sanding block to remove excess filler (if needed). When using this method, you should wear protective gloves while sanding because it’s easy to accidentally scratch your hands with sandpaper when working with hardwood floors! If you don’t have access to any scrapers or putty knives but do have some sandpaper lying around somewhere, then you can use it on its own if necessary by simply rubbing over any areas where there’s too much filler until everything looks smooth again; however, keep in mind that doing so may create scratches on top of existing ones depending on how much pressure was used during application earlier.”


If you’re going to use wood filler on your hardwood floors, it’s important to know how to deal with the excess. While it’s still possible that you may have some left over after finishing your project, there are steps you can take before starting your next one.

If wood putty or wood filler is covering up an area where you want to stain or paint, consider removing it first so that there are no surprises down the road when you apply new coats of paint or stain!

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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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