is DIY wood filler stainable?

Wood filler is a very versatile product, and while there are several different kinds of wood filler, they all have one thing in common: they’re designed to hide imperfections in the surface of your wood or other materials.

The most popular brand of wood filler is Elmer’s, but there are plenty of other brands out there that offer comparable performance at different price points.

So how do you know which one is right for you? We’ll explain all about wood fillers and their applications for home improvement projects by answering these questions:

Can you stain wood filler?

Yes, you can stain wood filler. However, it is important to note that you have several options for staining your project.

You can use any stain you like—whether it’s a traditional oil-based stain or an environmentally friendly water-based one—but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.

You may also consider using a pre-stain conditioner, which will help prevent blotching on the surface of your piece before applying any top coats of paint or finish.

Other items worth considering include whether or not your wood filler has been stained already; this will determine how much sanding (if any) is required before application of new stain coats.

Consult with our experts at Peachtree Paint if you need assistance in selecting the right product for your project!

Can you make your own stainable wood filler?

You can make your own stainable wood filler using a DIY method. This will give your project more of an artisanal look, and it’s fun to try something new.

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Wood Filler
  • Glue or another adhesive (optional)
  • Paint, stain, or oil that matches the color of the wood filler

Does Elmer’s wood filler take stain?

Elmer’s wood filler is not stainable, but if you use it to fill holes in wood, you can then sand it down and stain the rest of your project.

How do you fill holes in wood that will be stained?

If you’re looking for a wood filler that is stainable, there are several options.

  • In order to get the best color match, you can use a wood filler that has been specially designed for staining. These fillers might not be as easy to work with as some of the other products in this guide but they do offer great results when used correctly.
  • Another option is using stainable wood putty or PVA glue. Both of these products have been designed specifically for filling holes in furniture and other wooden objects before being stained so they will match your existing surface perfectly once applied over an existing stain or varnish coat.

Why is my wood filler not staining?

If the wood filler you used is not staining, it could be for one of a few reasons:

  • The wood filler was too thick. In order to make sure that your wood filler will stain properly and be able to take on any color you put on top of it, make sure it’s thin enough to penetrate into the cracks and crevices of the wood. If your filler seems like it’s too thick, try adding more water or sanding down some areas until they’re flat again.
  • The dry time wasn’t long enough before applying paint or stain over top of your project (it should be completely dry before applying anything else).
  • You didn’t apply paint or stain evenly across all areas where cracks were filled in with filler (this will cause uneven coloring).
  • You applied paint or stain too soon after filling holes with filler (wait at least 24 hours), which could cause bleeding from under layers into already-painted areas.* You didn’t let each layer dry fully before applying another coat—you may want to use an indoor/outdoor polyurethane sealer instead so that moisture doesn’t get trapped inside during this process.* Your surface isn’t smooth enough—try sanding again before retouching with more filler if needed!

How do you stain Minwax wood filler?

  • Sand the wood filler with 200 grit sandpaper, or even 320 grit if you have it, until it feels smooth to touch. The smoother the surface, the better your stain will adhere to it.
  • Clean off all dust with a tack cloth before staining. This will make sure none of that pesky sawdust gets in your way! If you don’t have one of these handy guys, no worries—just use a rag dampened with mineral spirits or paint thinner and wipe down the entire project area until there’s no more dust left behind on its surface (or inside). It might take some elbow grease depending on how dusty your project is—but hey: no one said woodworking was easy!

What is a good substitute for wood filler?

  • Bondo
  • Polyurethane wood filler (also known as Minwax High Performance Wood Filler)
  • Elmer’s glue. You can use any kind of glue suitable for wood, including a white glue like Elmer’s or even a PVA-based craft glue like Mod Podge or Glue Dots.
  • Sawdust mixed with glue – it works just fine but you’ll have to sand before staining if you are using sawdust from a cheap saw.

Can you add sawdust to wood filler?

You can add sawdust to wood filler in the same way that you would add any other filler. Sawdust is a popular material for filling holes, cracks, and gaps because it is easy to get and inexpensive.

Sawdust does not make an especially sturdy or durable patch, however; so if you’re trying to repair something like furniture or a piece of art, you would probably be better off looking for a different type of material.


The best way to stain a wood filler is to use an oil-based stain that will penetrate the pores of the wood. This will help it match the color of your existing finish or paint job.

You can also make your own stainable wood filler by adding sawdust or other colored powders, then applying it with a brush or roller.

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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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