When it comes to wood repairs, wood filler is one of the best tools you can get. Usually made from sawdust and glue, this substance gives you a way to fill voids and cracks with something that can easily be sanded and painted.
Wood filler is especially handy when working with reclaimed wood, which is more likely to have flaws. In this article, we will take a look at the best wood fillers that we found online.
Best Wood Fillers in October, 2019
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This filler is very versatile, as it is available in quite a few different colors. All of these colors are meant to match natural wood tones, making it so that this product may not even need sanding or painting. If you do a good enough job of matching up those colors, you have a chance to save yourself some work.
Pros And Cons Of A Solvent-Free Filler
This is a pretty strong filler, which is impressive when you consider how it is made. This is a solvent-free putty, which means that it doesn’t contain the kind of harsh and foul-smelling chemicals that are often seen in products of this type. It doesn’t reek, and won’t require you to wear a safety mask when applying.
The only problem is that solvents are added to wood fillers for a reason. That reason mostly comes down to storage life. The solvent normally helps the mixture to keep from drying out during storage, so this product won’t have a very long shelf life when compared to brands that contain a solvent. However, the lack of solvent does not appear to have any effect on the strength of the product.
Nice And Tough
Most reviews seem to agree that this putty provides a durable repair that won’t be prone to cracking, shrinking, or other deformation. Speaking of which, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, making it a pretty durable product overall. However, these reviews do show some complaints, and those complaints are kind of consistent.
May Not Stain Well
Some of those who have purchased this product claim that it will not stain properly. They say that the coloration of the wood filler interferes with the stain, creating an ugly spot that stands out because of its different coloration. I also like the fact that it’s water-soluble because this makes cleanup much easier. Also, it allows you to reconstitute dried-out filler.
This wood filler is defined by one feature above all, and that is its ability to change color. It might surprise you to learn that this stuff has a purple color, which might seem like a terrible choice considering that wood is never purple. There is a type of wood called “Purple wood”, but it is rare and expensive.
The purple color is meant to stand out because it will indicate when the product is dry. When the filler changes from purple to white, you immediately know that it’s time to sand, paint, or otherwise finish the surface. I find this to be a very handy feature that also helps to save time by taking the guesswork out of dry-time estimation.
Like all Elmer’s products, this one has little to no toxicity. There is no harsh chemical odor to burn your nose, and you don’t have to worry about getting it on your hands either. It dissolves in water much like the last product we examined, and it has the same advantages: Easy cleanup and easy rejuvenation of dried material.
This is a trusted product that has been on the market for a long time, and which has a proven history of effectiveness. However, it’s not the strongest filler in the world. As such, it might not be the best for heavy-duty projects. Also, this stuff dries a pale, milky color that tends to stand out unless it is painted or stained. Thus, you will always need to paint or stain this filler to keep it from looking junky.
This is probably the most distinctive and unique product on our list. Instead of just making a wood filler product, System Three went a step farther. This product is meant to be a full-fledged moldable wood substitute.
Looks, Feels, And Works Like Clay
This stuff is meant to be kneaded, just as you might do with a lump of bread dough or a ball of modeling clay. In terms of its consistency, it feels a lot like clay, which was obviously the intent of the manufacturer. As such, you can mold it into any shape that you want.
One of the best things about this clay-like consistency is that it opens up new possibilities. Of course, you can use this product to fill gaps and cracks in a piece of wood, but it can also be used for more decorative purposes. For instance, you might choose to mold the image of a small animal or a symbol that has meaning for you. Once made, this can be firmly attached to any wooden object, and can even be painted so that it doesn’t stand out too much. In short, you can combine the arts of woodworking and sculpture.
Tough And Easily Bonded
I like the waterproof nature of this putty, as it makes this product suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Despite this, the product doesn’t seem to be waxy or plastic-like. That’s good because wax and plastic do not bond with other surfaces in the way that this product does.
On the negative side, this product is kind of expensive. Also, it is an epoxy-based formula, and that’s why it comes in two bottles. It has to be mixed before it takes on the desired consistency. This does increase the shelf life but is also a little bit inconvenient.
When you think of Bondo, you probably think of old junky cars. However, they make a lot of other products besides their trademark auto repair mixture. As you might expect from a company that normally makes auto repair products, this one produces an extremely strong bond. In this regard, the product definitely lives up to its name.
One of the most distinctive features of this product is the quick drying time. Like most wood fillers, it will take a full 24 hours to cure fully. However, this stuff is ready for sanding, painting, and/or re-coating after only 15 minutes. For those who are rushing to get the job done in time, this can be an excellent time-saver. It’s also great for use on vertical surfaces where a less chunky product would slip or drip.
The downside of this feature is the fact that you don’t get a whole lot of time to finish the job. Once you begin using this stuff, you have (on average) less than 15 minutes before it starts to harden. When this stuff hardens, it hardens in a very serious way. Thus, you should use good planning and figure out exactly how the job will be done before you even open this product.
Ugly and Unstainable
Just like their auto repair compound, this stuff is ugly. It looks nothing like real wood and presents a significant eyesore. However, this won’t be a problem for painted wood. You should not choose this product for treating anything made of stained wood, because it cannot be stained.
This product behaves a little bit differently from the others, but that’s mostly because it’s made of a unique mixture of latex and wood fibers. This gives it many of the same properties as wood, but with the waterproof and impact-resistant nature of latex. This stuff is cheap and readily available, which counts for a lot.
Made With Real Wood
We like the fact that this filler is made with pieces of real wood because that makes it easier to blend it with the existing finish. Obviously, a wood filler will always require some sanding, painting, or other finishing work, but this product should make it a little easier.
On the label, we can see that there are some harsh chemicals in here that make it necessary to avoid breathing the fumes too deeply. Thus, it’s better to use this product outside. Because of its waterproof and flexible nature, latex will hold up to outdoor use much better than other materials. The sun can have a degrading effect on latex over time, but this can be avoided with a thick coat of paint.
We aren’t really sure how this product can be water-soluble and waterproof at the same time, but it seems to be both of these things. It’s water-soluble before curing (for easy cleanup) and totally waterproof once cured. That’s a nice touch indeed.
There are just a few problems with this product. First of all, it has a long drying time. The label says that you have to wait 2-6 hours before sanding, and the full curing process will take about three days. Not so great for people who are in a hurry, but no big deal for those who are not. Also, there is a warranty mentioned on the label, but it doesn’t seem to be very helpful at all.
It would be far too long and boring to list all the ways in which wood filler can be used. When you consider all the things we use that are made of wood, you realize that such a list could go on for a very long time. Not only can it be used to make damaged wood look new, but it can also make a weakened piece of wood strong again. Of course, it’s not a good idea to trust wood putty when you are dealing with load-bearing timbers. Even for these, however, a wood filler can be used to strengthen and beautify the surface. We thank you for reading this article all the way through, and we wish you the best of luck.