Wood Putty vs. Wood Filler: What’s the Difference?


When restoring an older residence, you’re apt to find many dings and dents within the woodwork. Even hardwoods like oak or walnut endure harm over time. So as to make a powerful restore that lasts, it’s necessary to make use of the suitable product. The flawed one can simply lead to extra harm than you at the moment have.

So the query is: Do you have to attain for the wooden filler or the wooden putty to repair that crack within the baseboard? And what in regards to the trim across the basement door? Study when to make use of the suitable one to restore and protect the attractive wooden in your house.

What’s wooden filler?

Often, a wooden filler is a combination of wooden fibers, corresponding to sawdust, and a binder that hardens. The binder is both water or petroleum-based. A water-based filler is dry, and you might want so as to add a little bit of water to attain the specified consistency. A petroleum-based wooden filler has a smoother texture, making it simpler to work with. Nonetheless, petroleum-based fillers would require a chemical solvent for clean-up, whereas water-based filler cleans up with cleaning soap and water.

What’s wooden filler used for?

Since wooden fillers aren’t tinted and don’t readily adhere to some finishes, they’re beneficial for unfinished wooden in your house’s inside that you simply plan to stain or paint. Nonetheless, if you happen to plan to depart the piece of wooden pure and simply apply a transparent coat, you possibly can tint wooden filler with a wooden dye to match that pure coloration. Since wooden filler dries arduous and doesn’t flex with the enlargement and contraction of wooden throughout temperature modifications, it isn’t appropriate for exterior functions.

Listed here are a couple of examples of the perfect makes use of for wooden filler:

  • Restore dents, gashes, and gouges in unfinished furnishings.
  • Repair holes in wooden flooring.
  • Cowl scratches or cracks in unfinished trim earlier than putting in.

The professionals and cons of wooden filler


  • Wooden filler is sandable.
  • You possibly can paint or stain wooden filler.
  • It hardens because it cures.
  • It dries shortly.
  • You possibly can tint it earlier than use.


  • Wooden filler isn’t appropriate for exterior use.
  • Troublesome to stick to stained or painted finishes.

What’s wooden putty?

Wooden putty is an oil-based compound with different pure or plastic substances. It stays pliable, making it most well-liked for woodwork that expands and contracts when topic to humidity, like in a toilet or basement. Nonetheless, wooden putty received’t obtain stain the identical method wooden does and can dry a unique coloration, making the spot noticeable. That’s why it’s beneficial for wooden already stained or varnished.

For that cause, you’ll discover wooden putty in numerous colours, like walnut, pink oak, or cherry, to match the colour of your piece. And, if you happen to don’t discover the right match, you possibly can all the time combine completely different colours to attain the perfect outcomes. Putty sticks, which resemble fats crayons, make easy repairs on furnishings simple. And you may combine them to achieve a greater coloration match.

What’s wooden putty used for?

Realizing when to make use of wooden putty as an alternative of wooden filler helps you accomplish a profitable restoration mission. Listed here are a couple of examples of the perfect makes use of for wooden putty:

  • Restore dents and cracks or fill small holes in completed wooden furnishings, flooring, or inside trim.
  • Patch cracks and holes in woodwork that could be susceptible to increase or contract attributable to publicity to humidity.

The professionals and cons of wooden putty


  • It’s less expensive than wooden filler as a result of it lasts longer. Additionally, if it dries within the container, a couple of drops of acetone will soften it and make it usable once more.
  • It is available in numerous colours to simply match the wooden’s end.
  • As a result of it stays pliable and flexes, it’s excellent for functions the place the wooden expands and contracts together with modifications within the temperature and humidity.


  • Most paints received’t adhere to it and stains won’t coloration correctly.
  • It takes a very long time to dry.
  • It’s not sandable.

Questions that will help you select the suitable product: wooden putty or filler

When searching for the right product to fill the holes in your woodwork, you might get overwhelmed by all of the choices. It’s a good suggestion to arm your self with the main points of your mission beforehand. Should you can reply the next questions, it’s best to be capable to make the suitable resolution simply by studying the product labels.

  • The place is the wooden that you simply want to restore and can or not it’s uncovered to modifications in humidity or temperature?
  • Is the wooden completed or unfinished?
  • Will you paint or stain the wooden after repairing it?
  • Would you like one thing that cleans up with cleaning soap and water?

When restoring an older residence, you need the renovations to face the take a look at of time. Obtain longevity and protect the unique fantastic thing about your woodwork by selecting the right wooden filler or wooden putty for the job.


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