Are you stuck with how to repair minor imperfections in your wood? Is it hard to tell the difference between a wood putty and a filler? Don’t despair—we’ve got all the information you need here! Wood putty and fillers can seem confusing, but their differing properties and uses are actually quite straightforward. In this post, we will break down the key differences between these two products so that you can make an informed decision on which one is best for your intended purpose. Keep reading to learn more about when and why you should use each of them!
Wood Putty – The Flexible Friend
Wood putty is a type of filler that is used to repair and restore damaged or flawed wood surfaces. It is typically made with a blend of wood fibers, binders, and pigments which are combined to create a pliable substance that can be easily applied with a putty knife or spatula. This product can come in a range of colors to match the wood being repaired and create a seamless finish.
Wood putty is applied to the affected area in small amounts and is smoothed out to create a flat and level surface. Once applied, the putty will dry and harden creating a durable repair that can be sanded, stained, or painted to match the surrounding area. It can be used on a variety of surfaces, including furniture, trim, doors, and flooring.
- Flexible and Pliable: Wood putty, known for its pliability, easily molds into any shape. This flexibility makes it an ideal option for dealing with cracks in contoured surfaces such as moldings or intricate carvings.
- Paintable: Once the putty dries, you can paint over it to match the surrounding wood surface. This feature makes blending the putty with the rest of the wood a breeze.
- Water Resistance: Many types of wood putty are designed to resist water, moisture, and rotting. That makes them suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor applications.
- Limited Durability: If not appropriately maintained, wood putty can eventually get brittle and crack.
- Color Matching Issues: Although you can paint over wood putty, finding an exact match for the surrounding wood color can be tricky.
Wood Filler – The Strengthening Solution
Wood filler, on the other hand, is a more robust solution for dealing with imperfections in your woodwork. It’s less pliable than wood putty but offers greater strength and durability once dry.
- Durable: Wood filler possesses a durable composition, making it an excellent choice for heavy-duty repairs in high-traffic areas of your home. It also holds up well against temperature fluctuations and moisture.
- Sandable: Unlike wood putty, which can be difficult to sand, wood filler dries hard and can be sanded down to achieve a smooth, even surface in line with the surrounding wood.
- Stainable: Many wood fillers can be stained and seamlessly blended with the surrounding wood.
- Less Flexible: Wood filler is less flexible and pliable in comparison to wood putty. While it works well for filling nail holes and dents, it may not be the best choice for more detailed or intricate repairs.
- Longer Drying Time: Wood filler typically requires a longer drying time compared to wood putty, so be prepared to wait before sanding and finishing your project.
Which One Is Right for You?
While both products offer their advantages, the wiser choice depends on the specific purpose and application of your reparation. If flexibility is a priority and you’re dealing with moldings or detailed carvings, wood putty might be your go-to choice. On the other hand, if durability and performance under harsh conditions are essential, wood filler may be the better option. Wood filler is also ideal for significant repairs or areas prone to wear and tear.