Wood-Filler Basics

Learn some basic information about wood fillers and related products for your DIY projects.
for stain, make sure filler is labeled stainable

for stain, make sure filler is labeled stainable

Figure C

Figure C

for stain, make sure filler is labeled stainable

for stain, make sure filler is labeled stainable

Figure C

Figure C

  • One of the most useful products for simple wood-repairs is a simple wood-filler. Once dry, this filler can be sanded and painted.
  • For a nice wood project, solvent-based wood patches or fillers are recommended. Some of these products are made with actual wood material, so they stain like real wood.

  • If you're going to be staining your project, make sure that the filler you use states on the label that it is stainable. Some fillers, though not stainable, are pre-tinted so you can select one that matches the wood you're working with.
  • For larger holes or gouges, you may need to used one of the plastic-based fillers. For replacing a section that has rotted, use a rotted-wood stabilizer.
  • Aside from wood fillers, you'll need to decide what type of wood-stain to use. Oil-based stains provide a great look, but cleanup can be messy. Water-based stains are simpler to use, but are typically not as durable as oil-based.
  • Gel-stains are a good choice for beginner projects as they are relatively simple to use and forgiving in their application.
  • For small touch-ups, consider using a wood-finish pen.

  • Choose a product based on the type of project.
  • Use wood filler for large holes.
  • Use stain pens for small touch-ups.

Keep Reading

Next Up

8 Essential Wood Refinishing Tools and Supplies

A refinishing expert provides the lowdown on the basic products you'll need for your next refinishing project.

Siding Basics

Siding refers to any kind of material that is placed on the exterior of a home. Learn about the basics and the different types available for your home.

Sandpaper Basics

Power sanders are great for smoothing large surfaces, but for sanding tough areas, a sheet of sandpaper is best. Here's a guide on how to choose the best sandpaper for any project.

Roofing Component Basics

Roofing terminology can be a bit overwhelming. DIY Network offers basic roofing definitions that will help get your project off on the right foot.

Insulation Basics

Learn how insulation works and why it's important for your home.

Paint Stripper Basics

Whether it's removing paint from baseboards and trim, or removing the varnish from furniture, chemical strippers can help you do the job.

Rotary-Tool Basics

Rotary tools accept a variety of attachments, which enable the handheld tool to be used for sanding, polishing, carving and more. Find out which attachment you need to help get the job done.

Deck Framing Basics

Framing up your deck is one of the most satisfying parts of deck construction. Here are tips and advice to make it all go smoothly.

Home Theater Design Basics

Learn how to lay out a home theater and what materials you should use in order to get the best the visual and sound quality.

The Basics on Drains, Traps and Vents

Drains and proper drainage are important parts of any home. Learn about the different types of drains, traps and vents, and how they work in a typical house.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.