Filling holes and cracks in wood is an essential part of any home improvement project, but it can be confusing to know which type of filler to use.
Should you use putty or filler? What’s the difference between the two? How do you get the job done right? In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about filling holes in wood: what each one is used for, how to choose between them, and how much time it will take you.
What’s the difference between wood putty and wood filler?
In general, wood putty is a softer, more flexible material that’s used to fill small holes and gaps. It’s easy to work with because it molds around the irregular shape of the surface you’re repairing.
Wood filler is harder than wood putty and not as flexible—which means it doesn’t move around easily when you try to apply it.
Instead of being malleable like wood putty, it stays in place once you press down on it (but still has some give). Wood fillers are also available in different grades that allow you to choose between high-strength materials or ones with lower strength but greater flexibility.
Table of Contents
- What’s the difference between wood putty and wood filler?
- What are the 2 kinds of wood fillers?
- How do you fill a gap between two pieces of wood?
- How thick can wood filler be applied?
- Can I use caulk instead of wood filler?
- Do you use wood filler before or after sanding?
- How do you fill in deep holes in wood?
- Can you fill large holes with wood filler?
What are the 2 kinds of wood fillers?
Wood fillers come in two forms: oil-based and water-based. Both can be used for filling small holes, but some are better for larger ones.
Oil-based wood filler is good for filling deep holes, while water-based is best for covering up small cracks or holes.
2a) What is the best kind to use?
For most projects, you’ll want to go with water-based wood filler because it’s better suited for fine work than oil-based products are.
How do you fill a gap between two pieces of wood?
To fill a gap between two pieces of wood, you’ll need to:
- Use a putty knife to spread the wood filler.
- Use the same putty knife to smooth out the wood filler once it’s spread.
- Use a damp cloth to remove excess dust and/or sanding residue before your finish dries (if applicable).
How thick can wood filler be applied?
Generally, the thicker you apply your wood filler, the stronger the bond between your two surfaces. On flat surfaces, apply a coat of wood glue directly to the joint and smooth it out with a putty knife or other tool.
Allow this layer to dry before applying additional coats of wood glue or spackling compound.
How do I apply wood filler?
To use sandpaper on smaller areas around nails or screw holes, first, remove any old adhesive or paint from the surface in question with acetone (nail polish remover) and clean rags.
Then lightly sand down any rough edges using 150-grit sandpaper and wipe off any dust with a damp cloth before proceeding with step four below:
Can I use caulk instead of wood filler?
While caulk can be used to fill holes, it is not an appropriate substitute for wood filler. Caulk is a sealant rather than a filler, and it’s not made of wood like the rest of your wooden surfaces.
It also won’t hold up as well over time as a solid wood filler would. Caulk is useful in making sure that water doesn’t leak into any gaps between two things (like the wall and floor of your bathroom), but it doesn’t have the same properties as a wood filler.
Do you use wood filler before or after sanding?
The most important thing to know about wood filler is that it doesn’t work on bare wood. Wood comes in many varieties, and some are more porous than others.
If you try to put wood filler on a piece of raw wood, all that will happen is the filler will fall through and make a mess under your project.
Instead, use paint or stain as your base coat. Then sand the area smoothly with medium-grit sandpaper (between 60 and 100 grit).
This will ensure that any minor imperfections or holes have been filled before you apply any kind of finish or top coat.
Now you can fill in these areas with whatever type of wood filler works best for you!
How do you fill in deep holes in wood?
If you have a deep hole in your wood, it’s best to fill it with a putty knife. As you do this, make sure that you don’t use too much filler as this will cause the sides of the hole to bulge out.
When you’ve finished filling the whole area, let it dry completely before sanding down any excess material with a sanding block and sandpaper.
The goal is to make sure that there aren’t any rough edges or ridges left after sanding—if there are any visible marks on your piece of furniture or another project, then continue rubbing them out until they’re gone!
Afterward, use water-soaked cloths or damp paper towels to remove any extra wood filler from the surface of your project (you want just enough for smoothness!)
Can you fill large holes with wood filler?
Yes, you can fill larger holes with wood filler.
- Use a large putty knife to apply the filler to the hole. Don’t use it too much.
- Don’t apply the filler to the edges of the hole or it will look like you’ve tried to hide it. Fill it completely, then sand down after it dries for a smooth finish.
Wood filler is a great tool to have in your workshop. It can be used to repair holes or gaps in wood, make small repairs, and even create new projects that look like they were made by hand.
It’s also a good idea to use sandpaper when applying wood filler so as not to leave any rough edges on your project!