A smooth and level surface is required to do the ideal wooden project. However, scratches, gouges, cracks, and defects are almost inevitable during construction and even usage. These blemishes happen in the wood rather than on the surface, limiting the type of repairs you can use.
Filling holes is possible with suitable materials; luckily, there are several available materials for repairing cracks and holes in wood. Wood filler is one of the most popular materials for repairing holes in wood.
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In most cases, a wood filler is typically made from sawdust and held together by glue with some extra additives. Wood fillers ensure those openings on the wood are covered, and its smooth and leveled surface is restored.
There are so many wood filler products in the market today, which makes choosing the best option somewhat difficult.
And this is why this guide is so important; to help anybody, no matter your experience level, choose the most suitable wood filler product for your project. To do this, we’ve come up with some of the best wood fillers anybody can buy.
Best Wood Fillers
|Aqua Coat Cabinet Grain Filler||• Eco-friendly|
• Low VOC
• Great for porous wood
|Bondo Wood Filler||• Fast drying time|
• Comes with a hardener
• Blends with natural wood color
|Minwax Stainable Wood Filler||• Versatile wood filles|
• Great for large holes
• Made from real wood fibers
|Elmer's E892 Stainable Wood Fillers||• Good for indoors and outdoors|
• Sticks to wood, nails, and screws
|Goodfilla Water-based Wood Filler||• Fast drying|
• Water soluble
• Available in variable colors
|Goodfilla Water-based Wood Filler||• Several hues available|
• One-year money-back guarantee
• Unlimited shelf life
|Elmer's E887Q Stainable Wood Filler||• Affordable for small usage|
• Good for small holes
• Affordable for small usage
|Elmer's E913 Carpenter's Color Change Wood Filler||• Changes color to indicate its current state|
• Beginner friendly
We understand that best can be relative, so we’ve developed a comprehensive list that covers different bases and helps woodworkers repair wood. Here is our best list
1. Aqua Coat Cabinet Grain Filler
Open-grain wood has a grainy surface which means they are coarse with visible grain lines. It is built to be eco-friendly with low volatile organic compounds, low odor, nonexplosive and impressive wood grain adhesion.
Repairing porous wood requires a specialized filler, and the Aqua Coat cabinet grain filler does what you need.
Some wood fillers require a lot of learning to grasp their usage. This is different from this aqua coat wood filler as it is easy to use.
All you need to do is to generously spread the filler into the spores using any flat but firm edge. You need a material that will not further scratch in the wood, so metallic knives and sharp edges are unsuitable.
Aqua coat wood filler not only smoothens coarse grains but also improves the wood surface and reduces paint absorption, requiring less paint. In addition, it is water-based, which means you can mix it with dyes and pigments that are soluble in water. The wood filler is also compatible with water and oil-based primers and paint.
- Low odor
- Low VOC
- Non flammable and combustible
- Great for porous wood
- Easy to use
- Fast drying
- Good adhesion
- Limited to indoor use
2. Bondo Wood Filler
No matter the wooden surface or its position, Bondo wood filler is a two-part filler that seals opening quickly.
It takes about 15 minutes to be ready for sanding, which is faster than other wood fillers. So if you’re looking for a quick, same-day repair, Bondo is a recommended option.
This two-part filler will turn medium brown upon its mixture, which helps it blend well with natural wood color.
Its impressive features do not end there as it is sandable, stainable, and paintable, giving you so much freedom to add a suitable finish. Its repair is permanent and does not shrink when exposed to harsh weather.
For an affordable price, the package comes with a 1 Oz Bondo red cream hardener. This mixture is water-resistant, allowing you to use it outdoors and indoors to repair wood. Using this product with a wood restorer brings more consistent repairs.
- Fast drying time
- Comes with hardener
- Stainable in 25 minutes
- Suitable for both interior and exterior repairs
- Blends with natural wood color
- Permanent and nonshrinkable
- No color variety
3. Minwax Stainable Wood Filler
Minwax is our most versatile wood filler with the ability to do so much, and it is one of the reasons many people love to use it for wood repairs.
It suits different openings in wood like gouges, nail holes, cracks, and knot holes, among others. In addition, the wood filler is stainable and specifically made to match Minwax wood stains.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using water-based or oil-based stains; you’ll find that this filler can work with any. It is made from real wood fibers, which makes it a durable filler once dry.
It is relatively dry before application which means it is less of a mess to work with and leaves no shrinkage. The water-resistant qualities of this wood filler mean you can use it for indoor and outdoor projects.
Its texture is grainy as it contains real wood fibers. It is water-based with a relatively dry texture making it easier to stack the filler and repair deep gouges. The grainy nature makes working with smaller holes difficult.
- Versatile wood filler
- Stainable and quite suitable for Minwax stains
- It is made from real wood fibers
- Ideal for both indoors and outdoors
- No odor
- Great for large holes
- The relatively dry texture leads to non-shrinkage
- Not suitable for small openings because of the filler texture
4. Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Fillers
Elmer’s E892 wood filler is another filler with actual wood fibers making the repair durable. The mixture will repair cracks, gouges, holes, and more on different projects.
Depending on the level of repairs necessary, it can take from 15 minutes to 8 hours for the fillers to dry. Typically, the deeper the hole, the more time the filler needs to dry.
The Elmer E892 filler will handle interior and exterior repairs. After drying, you can sand with any sanding material, including high-intensity sanders, without damaging the filler.
The nature of these fillers makes them adhere to the wood fibers, nails, and screws, preventing cracking or shrinking along the way.
The mixture is solvent free and can easily be cleaned with water. Excess fillers on the wood surface do not require a special cleaning method to remove. Damping a rag in water and wiping the excess wood is enough to clean Elmer’s E892.
- Interior and exterior repairs
- Sticks hard to wood, nails, and screws
- It contains real wood fibers that blend in easily
- It dries out too quickly
5. Famowood Latex Wood Filler
Famowood is a versatile latex wood filler with several available colors. Correctly matching the filler to your wood color will save you time and stress, as you may no longer need to sand and stain.
It is a professional-grade wood filler with a strong structure. Its durability is evident as it avoids cracking, deformation, and shrinking. The durability does not reduce when you use it indoors or outdoors.
The filler is solvent-free, which means it is free from the chemicals that cause the bad odor most wood fillers have. With this, you can use this filler without any special nose covering.
The downside to the lack of solvent is that the filler has a short shelf life once it is opened. It will typically dry out quickly, so you’ll need to finish it before it dries.
Famowood is fast drying and suitable for quick repairs. It accepts various paints and stains, which greatly increases your options.
If you need a quick fix, its 15 minutes drying time is impressive for decent cracks. Water-soluble fillers are easy to clean. Sometimes the colored fillers may affect the way it takes stain or paint.
- Solvent-free and odorless wood filler
- Fast drying
- Available in a range of variable color
- Water soluble
- Great for indoors and outdoors
- It does not shrink or crack
- The colored filter can affect the way it takes stain
- Short shelf life after it is opened
Also Read: How to Fix a Hole in a Door (Easy Guide!)
6. Goodfilla Water-based Wood Filler
Goodfilla is water-based and versatile, with less than 11 different hues available to match the color of your wood or finish. You can go further than the available color by mixing with tint, dye, or stain to get a matching color for your project.
It also comes in varying sizes depending on your project. While many fillers have a poor shelf life and dry out quickly, goodfilla can be recovered by adding water and mixing if it dries out.
Its impressive 100% money-back guarantee of up to 365 days if the product does not satisfy you brings trust to its customers.
Its clay-like consistency and poor spreading capacity make it suitable for small holes and less ideal for larges cracks. Great for indoor use, its odor-free capacity brings it closer to most users’ goals.
Using the wood fillers outdoors can be tricky since absorbing a lot of moisture can weaken the filler. However, it does have good temperature resistance. It can hold a screw or nail as it has an excellent bonding property.
- Unlimited shelf life
- Great for small holes due to its fine consistency
- Several different hues are available
- It can be mixed with other materials to get a custom color
- One year money back guarantee
- Doesn’t shrink
- Not easy to spread
- Not suitable for large holes
7. Elmer’s E887Q Stainable Wood Filler
Made with the inexperienced woodworker in mind but used by both newbies and professionals due to its simplistic nature. It is affordable, with only a small amount required to get a wood filler that can repair damages to your wooden project.
The filler comes in a squeezable tube and is made from reconstructed wood fibers and how making it a durable wood filler.
Elmer’s E887Q fillers are stainable with any stain you have available. It has a sticky consistency which helps it bond properly to the wood, especially during drying, where it is easy for the filler to fall off. In addition, the filler does not include any toxic materials that make using it difficult and unhealthy when inhaling it.
It is excellent for minor repairs with the thin applicator making it easy to put the filler into tiny holes.
The tube design makes it easy to handle in one hand but can also be a disadvantage as the cover does not produce an airtight tube after the first usage. However, since it is a small tube, you’ll find it easy to finish as it can quickly dry up when stored.
- Sticky textures help it bond well with the wood
- Good for small holes
- Accepts any stain
- Easy-to-use tube and applicator
- It can be cleaned easily with water
- Affordable for small usage
- Poor shelf life as it dries quickly after opening for the first time
- Expensive for large projects
8. Elmer’s E913 Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler
Elmer’s E913 is a water-based, beginner-friendly wood filler for repairing holes in your wooden projects. It is usable only indoors but can comfortably handle all interior repairs.
This color-changing wood filler removes doubt and changes colors to help you understand its present condition. In addition, it changes its color when it is dried to help you know when to start sanding or painting.
Even though the mixture can be slightly thick, it packs well, and I’ll fill the hole properly. It is quick drying for shallow repairs and can take from 15 minutes up to 8 hours for deeper gouges to dry.
When the filler is completely dry and its color has changed, you can sand, stain, and paint the wood filler.
Its non-toxic nature allows you to use it freely without fear of inhaling a dangerous substance. Beginners will find this product relatively easy to use once they overcome its thick nature.
- The non-toxic nature makes using it less dangerous
- Quick drying for light projects
- Changes color to indicate its current state
- Beginner friendly
- Minimal shrinking
- Only suitable for indoor use
- It can be a little too thick
Things to Consider Before Buying Wood Fillers
As mentioned earlier, there is no one size fit, and there may be a better solution to the best wood filler. In addition, varying cases will prefer a different wood filler option. Therefore, instead of choosing from the list, you can do your finding for your specific case. Here are things to consider as a wood filler buyer:
The color of the wood filler is an important factor to consider when choosing the best one for your case. There are clear fillers and white and colored options you can choose from for your repairs.
If you intend to stain after application, go for a white or colored filler in a shade lighter than the stain or paint you want to use.
In the case where you don’t intend to stain or paint, it is necessary to choose a matching wood filler color that will blend with the finish or wood.
Many often need to pay more attention to packaging when buying a suitable wood filler, but they cannot be more wrong. Wood fillers come in different packing like tubs, squeeze tubes, sticks, and more.
Squeeze tubes are easier to use as you can press the tube and apply the filler directly inside the crack. Sticks also share similarities; however, it does not apply directly to the crack.
Therefore, sticks and squeeze tubes are not cost-effective when handling large projects. Tubs are the most cost effective for large projects as they are large and contain a lot of fillers.
3. Project Environment
You have to determine where the projection you want to repair will be. Will it be an indoor or outdoor project? Wood fillers are divided into indoor and indoor/outdoor usage.
Choose indoor wood fillers if the project will remain indoors, away from harsh weather. Exterior projects will require wood fillers that can withstand some tough weather.
Are you filling holes or smoothening open grains? This question helps you approach the purpose better.
Wood fillers have specific purposes; some focus on smoothening grainy wood pores, while others focus on filling gouges and holes. Choose the type you want to buy due to the kind of problem you’ll be solving.
The consistency of a wood filler is the texture and can be thick or thin, with more specific cases introducing sticky wood fillers. Thick fillers are more suitable for filling holes, while thinner fillers will fill open grains.
FAQ’s For Wood Fillers
Most wood fillers are paintable and stainable, depending on their composition and structure.
Some questions about wood fillers are recurring, with many needing help grasping specific parts. Here is a combination of some of the most commonly asked questions about wood fillers and their answers:
Most wood fillers are paintable and stainable, depending on their composition and structure.
Wood putty happens at the end of the project and does not require staining since they come in several hues. On the other hand, wood fillers are used before the project is completed and are usually sandable, stainable, and paintable.
There are wood fillers that can handle both interior and exterior projects and are mainly designated on their packs. You can use these fillers to repair outdoor projects.
Wood fillers help to repair holes in wood before you complete the project and allow for sanding, staining, and painting. Getting a suitable filler that can cover the hole, and stand the test of time and weather, while also looking great requires effort.