What is a Wood Filler?
Cracks, divots, holes, or rot can crop up on wooden surfaces due to ordinary wear-and-tear, accidents, and during do-it-yourself projects. Fortunately, wood fillers - which come in water- and solvent-based formulas - can be enlisted for all sorts of repairs, from hiding blemishes in the wood grain of cabinets and filling seams or gaps in door trim to sealing nail holes in a newly built patio table.
Wood Putty VS Wood Filler
It is commonly used to repair accessories and furniture that is made of wood. It provides a beautiful aesthetic for wooden furniture.
If the wood is not stained or varnished, it can be harmful to use wood putty. In woodworking, wood putty is used to fill up the screw and nail holes. It can also be used as a knot if any piece has come out. Wood putty is made up of linseed oil with a combination of calcium carbonate. It also has wood fibres.
The drying time is long for wood putty but after drying it becomes hard. If there is any residue oil, it can be scrubbed off easily. After drying, any kind of paint and stain can be used on the wood. The best option to use on wood putty is the oil-based finish.
Wood putty is the most suitable option for outdoors as it is water and sunlight resistant.
Wood filler is a mixture of latex, clay, wood fibers, and epoxy. It is used before finishing. The wood filler gives options of various colors to easily match with different wooden projects. It can also be painted, varnished, stained, and painted in different colors.
Wood filler is mainly used to fill comparatively large holes. It dries up fast. It can also be used to fill any cracks within wooden pieces to give a natural look.
It is not helpful for outdoor pieces. It cannot expand. So when the wood will expand due to weather conditions, there can be crack formation. Also, sunlight can make wood filler shrink. Wood filler is not adhesive. The drying time is also short. It can be used with any kind of finish.
What Kind of Wood Filler Should I Use?
Wood fillers are typically formulated for one or more specific tasks. Some are suitable for filling voids such as divots, holes, or gouges in all wood species. Others are formulated to fill pores in open-grain woods with large pores visible to the naked eye, such as oak or elm, to smooth their naturally coarse texture. (As the filler inundated the pores, it levels any unevenness to achieve a finish particularly desirable on furniture.) The most versatile fillers can be used to fill either voids or pores.
Wood fillers can have thick (putty-like) or thin (pancake batter-like) consistencies. Thicker fillers are primarily used to fill voids, while thinner fillers are mainly used to fill pores in open-grain woods. It’s important to choose the right consistency for your project, as thicker fillers contain large particles that don’t readily fit into the pores of open-grain woods, and thinner fillers generally lack the body to adequately fill voids. (Tip: In a pinch, some thicker fillers can be thinned with water to fill pores.)
The most common fillers come in white or wood-inspired shades; clear versions for filling pores are also available. If you don’t plan to ultimately stain or paint the piece, opt for a filler in a shade that either closely matches or contrasts with the original wood color, depending on whether you want to play down or play up the filler color. If you do intend to coat the cured filler with stain or paint, be sure to pick a stainable and/or paintable product, either in white or in a shade that’s lighter than the stain or paint you’ll use.
Wood fillers are packaged in tubs, squeeze tubes, and sticks. Those in tubs are either no-mix and can be applied directly with a putty knife or spreader, or two-part fillers must be mixed before application. For tube fillers, you need only squeeze out a scant amount to fill voids or pores, while with stick fillers, you simply rip off a small chunk and apply by hand. Tubs, which hold the most product, tend to be most economical and so suited to larger projects while sticks are the least cost-effective and best used to repair scratches and cracks.
How to use Wood Filler?
If your furniture contains holes or cracks, wood filler is the ideal material to fill them. The cracks or other hollows observed on a piece of furniture make it old-fashioned, hence the need to fill the openings with wood filler.
Before starting to fill the holes, the targeted part must be exposed and sanded for the preparation of this place. Once done, clean the area in question while removing the dust from the wood with a rag. As for the stage of applying the wood filler, you must choose the model that most closely matches the color of the piece of furniture you want to work on.
The paste is applied directly to the crack or the hole. You need to handle it as quickly as possible because it dries quickly. You need to put a little more in the hole and spread it better with a spatula to prevent it from making bumps on the wood. If the dough has been spread well over the hollow, let it dry for a few minutes.
If by touching the place in question you feel that the paste has hardened, go to the sanding step which consists of removing the excess paste with fine-grained sandpaper.
Key Takeaways from How to use wood filler
Choose a wood paste of a color close to that of the wood to be treated.
Apply the wood filler directly and generously to the holes and cracks, then even the surface with a spatula.
Be careful, wood pulp dries rather quickly, so you have to handle it quickly.
Leave to dry.
Once the wood pulp is dry, remove the excess on the surface with fine sandpaper.
Best Wood Filler for Large Holes
The best filler for large holes is Dutchman. Firstly, a perfect wooden piece is selected and then can be fitted into the empty space with the help of a machine. The ends are attenuated and then shaved to match with the wood. This is quite a better method of filling holes rather than using wood putty which can discolor later.
Best Exterior Wood Filler
Bondo is one of the best exterior wood fillers which is durable. There are some more high-quality products too. MH Ready Patch is an alkyd-based filler which can be used exteriorly as well as interiorly. It can be used for small holes or cracks. If something is excessively damaged, it is more convenient to replace them or cut out such pieces.
Epoxy Wood Filler
Epoxy wood filler is used frequently in architect designing. But it is quite expensive, which is why people prefer not to use it in their homes.
But it can be used if there are any empty spaces due to any insect damage or the wood has rotten. It is the best option for such areas where it is difficult to replace the wooden piece, epoxy is the survival in such cases.
Epoxy wood filler is used in places where the wood is damaged or rotten.
Bondo Wood Filler
Bondo wood filler is an excellent choice if you are looking to replace old and damaged windows and doors. It is less expensive than epoxy wood filler and works just like it. In woodworking, it has been used for several years. Bondo can be used as a replacement for epoxy for damaged and rotten wooden pieces.