10 Best Wood Fillers for the Money | Reviews and Buying Guide

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wood filler

The history of woodworking is vibrant. Ever since humans have taken up the craft, various creative and innovative techniques for repairing, joining, or working with this material have been developed. With the proper skill set, tools, and materials on hand, you can fix just about anything wooden – from an antique to your wood floor!

Wood fillers are an essential part of the finishing process for any woodworking project. They provide a smooth surface and help to hide imperfections in the wood, such as knots and scratches. The best thing about fillers is that they don’t have to be applied perfectly – because once you sand them down, they will become invisible!

We’ve created this guide so that you can find a suitable filler for your needs. In it, we’ll review ten different types of fillers on sale today – from epoxy to polyurethane products – so that you can make a more informed decision when purchasing yours.


Here’s what we cover in this Best Wood Filler review article:

  • First, we showcase our top ten picks side-by-side for easy comparison. Perfect if you’re short on time!
  • Next, we’ll tell you about the main features and benefits of each product
  • Then, we’ll describe any drawbacks they have
  • And finally, our buying guide will answer any of your nagging questions and give you a greater insight into the range available.

Sound good? Let’s begin!

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Best Wood Fillers | Compared

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10 Best Wood Fillers | Reviews

Pros
  • Interior and exterior use
  • Quick-drying
  • Sands easy
  • It can be painted or stained
  • Fast drying
  • Water-resistant
Cons
  • The product can dry out if left unsealed
Pros
  • Solid and durable epoxy filler
  • Sets within 15-25 minutes
  • Cures within 1 hour
  • Solvent-free
  • Interior and exterior wood filler
Cons
  • For small repairs only
Pros
  • Interior and exterior wood filler
  • Fast drying
  • Sand, drill, or plane repaired wood
  • No shrinking or warping
  • Not a solvent-based wood filler
  • It can be painted or stained
Cons
  • Can dry out quickly
Pros
  • Very durable
  • Ideal for sanding, staining, or painting
  • Sandable in 15 minutes
  • Stainable and paintable in 25 minutes
  • Color is close to the wood
Cons
  • Short drying time
  • Strong odor
Pros
  • Ten common base colors
  • Water-resistant formula
  • Easy instructions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 1-year free warranty
Cons
  • Wood putty has a strong odor
  • Color match varies
Pros
  • Will not shrink, crack or peel
  • Dries hard
  • Can be sanded
  • Available in several colors for wood matching
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Refund up to a year after purchase
Cons
  • Once dry, cannot stain, dye or tint
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Spreadable
  • Paintable
  • It doesn’t dry too quickly
Cons
  • Interior use only
  • Poorly fitting lid
Pros
  • Real wood fibers
  • Use with high-speed sanders
  • Solvent-free
  • Interior and exterior use
Cons
  • The lid doesn’t secure properly
  • Doesn’t absorb stain easily
  • Curing time varies
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Quick-drying
  • Sands easily
  • Shrink and crack resistant
  • Water-based
Cons
  • Hard to get filler out of the tube
  • For small repairs only
Pros
  • Handy box for the organization
  • 12 resin compounds
  • Popular wood tones
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Not suitable for sanding
  • Can shrink
  • May require multiple applications

What types of wood fillers are there?

Four different formulas classify wood filler; epoxy-based, gypsum-based, latex-based, and cellulose-based, and even more interestingly, they can be water-based or solvent-based.

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Epoxy wood filler

Epoxy wood fillers are a durable and resistant material. However, it does require the most preparation before use. You must mix both parts of the epoxy for proper adhesion and consistency to get the correct result from this product as instructed by its manufacturer. 

Epoxy wood fillers are the best choice for sealing foundations or walls in a home against wind and rain. They expand when it’s hot out but contract as temperatures cool down to prevent water from leaking through cracks. The drying process on the Epoxy wood filler takes much longer than other types of filler, so indoor projects should be the last choice.

Gypsum-based

Gypsum-based wood fillers are mainly for indoor use and are the perfect solution for filling gaps in drywall or baseboards. This type of filler is made from gypsum dust, which creates a paste when mixed with water. When it dries, it is no longer pliable but has a consistency like hardwood or rock!

It is important to note these wood fillers should not be exposed to rain after they have dried out as they are susceptible to water damage.

However, the gypsum-based wood filler is affordable and effective.

Latex-based

The latex-based wood fillers are an excellent choice for repairing rotted wood and fixing holes. These water-resistant, quick-setting products also require less preparation than epoxies, making them a breeze to work outdoors or indoors in any climate.

The latex-based wood fillers are very durable, and when thoroughly dried, they become rigid like hardwood. This means that you can use sandpaper on the filler to give a smooth finish – perfect for matching up with surrounding wood! The repair will not get damaged if screws or nails are driven into it.

Cellulose-based

Cellulose-based stainable wood fillers are not usually known as such on any packaging. Still, the product will say they contain real wood fibers and are inexpensive compared to Latex or epoxy. These water-based wood fillers can be mixed with a custom color giving it richer detail before application; many of them allow for indoor/outdoor use though there may be some exceptions, so always read the directions on the product.


Video: How to Fill Holes in Wood

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Best Wood Fillers Buyer’s Guide

While they may not be complicated, wood fillers are still an essential part of any DIY project. There is more to them than meets the eye, and it’s important to know what factors matter when selecting a wood filler for your next home improvement job. 

To help you with this process, we’ve compiled a list of some must-know information that will make choosing one easier!

Sanding and shaping

Wood is a rigid material, but it can still be damaged. It would be best to make sure the mixture you use dries well enough for sanding and shaping so that your piece will not have any imperfections after all of this work.

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Staining and painting

Once your repair is finished, you’ll probably want to refinish the entire piece with either paint or stain. Luckily, the color goes on quickly and covers the surface; it will work well for most wood fillers. Staining can be a little more complicated; some filler materials absorb staining beautifully while others do not! If you plan to stain your project when the repair is finished, make sure that any filler material also accepts stains before using them together in this way!

Shrinking

When you apply wood filler, it’s essential to make sure that the surface is even. If your fill shrinks and exposes an old imperfection in the original material as a result of this process, then you will have to reapply more filler before letting it dry again.

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Drying time

There is no set time for how long your filler will need to dry before moving onto the next step in a project. You might wait 24 hours or just 15 minutes, depending on what type of filler you choose. 

You may think that glue is one of those items you can wing, but careful handling and following instructions are vital to getting the job done! Some fillers are quick-drying and require careful handling, but some can be left overnight without damaging them at all! Quick-drying adhesives can have a downside – they will ruin any materials still wet if dried while applying. Always read labels carefully and follow instructions before using adhesive products, so mistakes don’t happen.

Cracking

Filler is a great way to protect against cracks in your home, especially with significant repairs. However, the larger the area you are repairing and how close it is to its limits will determine if there’s a higher chance of cracking. This means that for big jobs like filling up an entire wall or floor space, make sure you get filler designed not to break!

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Color Match

The color of wood filler should be vital if you plan on staining the repaired area. Wood fillers come in various colors so that you can match them to the natural wood. But not every filler comes in multiple shades, which may be an issue if you’re going to paint over the damage later on. If this is the case, then opt for matching your color as closely as possible when choosing what type of filler and finish you want since stains will show through any gaps or seams between pieces more quickly than paints would.

Durability

Wood filler is often used in high-risk areas to repair chips that are already there. However, the site will continue to have contact with a lot of stress on these scratches and holes after you finish your repairs, which means it’s essential for wood fillers to be durable enough to withstand constant force without breaking or chipping away like before.

Furthermore, if you know ahead of time that you may need some added strength for this process, such as drilling a hole, screwing, or nailing into the surface, then make sure you purchase an appropriate amount of quality wood glue when buying materials. They can work together seamlessly throughout all stages until completion!

Exterior durability

Many people are under the impression that you can use any type of filler both indoors and outdoors. The reality is, most fillers will soften if they come in contact with water or other liquids. Suppose you’re working on an outside project where rain may happen often. In that case, it’s vital to choose exterior durability since this characteristic helps protect your work from getting washed away when there’s moisture present around it.

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Wood putty or Wood filler; Which is better?

This depends on whether you are repairing wood inside or outside. Wood fillers are the best option for interior woodwork, as you can sand and paint over it to achieve an excellent result. Wood putty is better suited for external work due to its ability to be painted without needing any further treatment after application.

Wood putty is a compound that can be used in both painting and woodworking. Many seasoned experts will refer to it as “plastic wood” because of its ability to fill gaps with ease without the risk of damaging or destroying raw surfaces – such as those found on pieces made from pine.

It’s often recommended for use after staining or varnishing workpieces so they won’t get damaged by chemicals during these processes before you apply your desired finish.
Wood putty is a versatile filling agent that you can use to repair any number of different surfaces. One significant downside, though, is its long drying time. 

This makes light colors more susceptible to dust accumulation and the eventual darkening from it over time; with so many color options available for this product, though, you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your wood stain or other surface needs!

Wood filler is a putty-like compound that adds not only function but also aesthetic to wood surfaces. Wood stains and finishes will adhere better if you apply the wood filler first before staining or finishing the project. Otherwise, it may not stay in place as well.
Wood filler comes in many different colors, but if yours doesn’t match, then there’s no need to worry! There are two options you can try. Add some dye with tints or mix sawdust into it for a more natural look instead – both will do just fine.

Latex is one of the most popular fillers, as it’s water-based and easy to clean up after. It is perfect for filling large cracks in unfinished wood like window or door frames. However, you can’t mix Latex with dyes, so there are no color variations if you’re using white paint, for example, but this isn’t a huge deal because we have other types of wood fillers such as epoxy and polyurethane at our disposal!

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Conclusion

All of the wood fillers reviewed are the best on the market and would do a good job.

However, our Best Overall is the Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler. Suppose you’re looking for a highly versatile, easy-to-use, and affordable wood filler that can be used indoors or outdoors and accepts Minwax penetrating stains of either water-based or oil-based. 

In that case, Minwax Wood Filler is the best overall. This product comes premixed, so there is no fuss; it is quick-drying, sands quickly before being painted or stained, is versatile and affordable. It will save you so much time as well as money! What’s not to like!

Our Best Value J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty Stick is a great, strong fix for many day-to-day DIY repairs. It sets within 15-25 minutes and cures in 1 hour, making it easy to use on the go or at home. This epoxy putty stick has a solvent-free formula that is both indoor and outdoor safe – so you can use it around your house without worrying about harming anything with harsh chemicals! 

Suppose you’re looking for a top-quality solution that provides strength against shrinking, warping, or pulling away from wood surfaces. In that case, the J-B Weld epoxy putty stick might be what you need, and they are also of such incredible value!

We hope that the ten reviews and Buyer’s Guide have given you all the information you need to buy a wood filler that is right for your project, and you can now buy with confidence.


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9 Best Finish Nailers for Your Home Improvement Needs | Reviews & Buyers Guide


Here are our favorite Stainable Wood Fillers

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Walter Snyder

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