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Wood Filler

The Differences Between Wood Filler and Wood Putty

In finish carpentry wood filler is a wonderful product.

This product is generally used to fill nail holes, cracks and pores in open grained woods such as oak, ash, rosewood, hickory, mahogany, and walnut.

It is also known as a wood grain filler.

When it comes to this filler It can also be used to fill those not so perfect miters but there are a few things to know before you start using it on your wood work.



Differences of Filler and Putty

Wood "filler" should be applied to the wood before it is stained and varnished.

Wood Putty should be applied to the wood after it is stained and varnished.

Then after it is applied a coat of varnish will seal and protect the covered areas.

On raw wood I will use a product called "Dap Plastic Wood Filler."

wood filler


Dap 21502 Plastic Wood 4-Ounce


This plastic filler is paintable and stainable and can be used as a wood grain filler.

Wood putty is applied after staining and The reason for this is because this product contains certain chemicals that can be absorbed into the wood if it is applied to raw wood.

These chemicals can interrupt the natural absorption of the stain in to the wood where the wood putty was applied and produce unfavorable results.

There are all sorts of brands and types of wood putty out there.

Be sure to read the directions for use to get the best possible outcome.

wood filler


Minwax 42853 Stainable


The type of wood putty I use and recommend is made by Minwax.

There are many colors or shades of this product that can be mixed and combined to match any color of stain.

The texture of wood putty is compared to kid's playdoo and is a type of plastic resins which hardens when it dries after it is applied.

Matching the color of wood putty to the stain can virtually hide nail holes, small splits, small gaps in miters and other small imperfections if applied properly.

wood filler


Color-Putty #108 3.68OZ LT Oak Wood Putty


Homemade Wood Putty / Filler

You can easily make your own wood filler.

With a hand full of really fine saw dust and White or wood glue you can make it by mixing the glue with the sawdust.

Form the mixture into workable putty.

It's certainly not as good and strong as the real plastic filler although will work if needed.

Also keep in mind this would be the raw color of the wood but will take stain.

Be careful to clean or sand the excess off on raw wood so the stain can penetrate evenly.

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