how to wood filler?

Whether you’re fixing a wobbly leg on your coffee table or smoothing out a few rough patches in the walls, wood filler has got you covered.

But sometimes it’s not easy to know how best to use this versatile product. Here are some tips for getting smooth results with wood filler—and avoiding an amateurish look that’s worse than the dents and cracks:

How do I get a smooth finish with wood filler?

  • Use a putty knife to apply it.
  • Use a damp cloth to smooth out the filler.
  • Wet sponge, smooth out with a wet rag or paper towel

How do you use wood filler for large gaps?

If you have a large gap, use a putty knife to fill it in completely. If the wood filler is too thick, sand down the surface until it’s smooth and even with the surrounding area.

Then use a putty knife or trowel to apply more wood filler until it’s level with your workpiece.

If you want to cover up any flaws that remain on your piece after sanding, try using a wood filler of another color (like black or white) as opposed to simply painting over them because this will give them an aged look that blends well with older furniture items.

In addition to using different colors for contrasting designs or adding character through graining effects, you can also choose from several different types of fillers such as solid hardwood; hollow hardwood; softwood; blockboard; plywood/particleboard; fiberglass mastic (for sealing holes); foil backed rubber latex compound for repairing copper pipes and lead flashing around windows & doors.

Is wood filler easy to use?

While wood filler is easy to use, it is important that you take precautions before applying it. Wood filler is a great material for repairing and filling holes in wood, but there are some safety measures that must be taken when using it.

First of all, it’s important to wear gloves while working with wood filler as the product can stick to your skin. Second of all, wear safety goggles because particles from the product can get in your eyes and cause damage. Thirdly and most importantly: use a respirator mask!

The chemicals in this substance can cause respiratory issues if they get into your lungs through inhalation.

Can you apply wood filler with your fingers?

The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think. You can’t just go smearing wood filler all over with your fingers like it’s frosting or something.

That would be messy and extremely time-consuming (not to mention what happens when it dries). However, if you use a putty knife or trowel, a foam brush, roller, or sponge and rag—you can just slather on the wood filler and spread it around quickly and easily.

Can I use my finger to apply wood filler?

If you’re working with a small amount of wood filler, it’s easy to use your finger. Just smear the filler across the surface of your project.

However, if you want to smooth out larger areas or use more filler, consider using a putty knife or trowel instead.

These tools are designed specifically for spreading and smoothing compounds like wood filler. They have wide blades that make applying and blending easier than using your fingers alone.

Wood fillers come in two types: powdered and liquid (or gel). Powdered fillers typically require mixing before application; however, gel versions generally don’t need mixing at all—you can simply apply them directly from their containers onto surfaces such as trim pieces or cabinets.

Do you have to prime over wood filler?

Wood filler is not a very porous material, which means that you don’t have to worry about sanding it down and cleaning out the pores before painting.

However, if you are using a paint that contains oil (like latex) or one that is water-based, then you should consider priming over your wood filler.

If you are using oil-based paint on top of wood filler, then it is recommended that you apply multiple coats of primer first in order to keep the paint from seeping into the wood fibers.

If you are using latex paint on top of wood filler and plan on staining afterward (rather than painting), then pre-stain conditioner may help prevent blotchy areas from occurring in your finished product.

Can you apply wood filler with a brush?

Yes, you can apply wood filler with a brush. However, there are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a small brush—a 1/4” or 1/8” brush is ideal. This will allow for precise application of the wood filler and prevent it from clogging up the bristles of your brush.
  • Apply just enough wood filler to lightly cover the area needing repair. If you apply too much, it may be difficult to sand down later on without damaging surrounding areas.
  • Apply thin layers of wood filler as opposed to trying to fill large gaps with one thick layer at once (this could lead to uneven drying).

Do you use wood filler before or after sanding?

  • Sand until you have a smooth finish.
  • Apply wood filler to the surface of the joint, and allow it to dry. If you’re using a brush or rag, be careful not to leave behind any excess material that might cause issues when sanding later on.
  • Sand again after the filler has dried. This will give your project an even nicer finish than before, and will also make it easier for you when applying paint if needed later on down the road!


Wood filler is a great tool to have in your toolbox. It’s easy to use and can be used for many different projects around the home or office.

We hope this guide has helped you better understand how wood filler works and how it can benefit you in your next project!

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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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