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.

Recap:
  • 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

Tips on Choosing and Using Filler Compounds

Choosing a filler compound depends on what type of surface needs to be filled. Use this guide to filler compounds to pick the best one for the job.

Quick Fixes for Broken Furniture

Furniture inevitably breaks sometimes. Follow these tips for giving pieces a quick fix.

The Basics Of Nontoxic Finishes

Follow these tips to apply nontoxic finishes to wood.

How to Prep Weathered Wood for Painting

With proper prep work, even damaged and weathered wood can be given new life with a fresh coat of paint.

Vanilla Ice Goes Amish Featured Products

Find out more about the products featured in DIY Network's series Vanilla Ice Goes Amish.

Choosing a Finish

Follow this advice for picking out a proper wood finish.

Tips on Choosing the Right Router

Follow these tips from DIY experts and it'll be easy to choose and use a router.

How to Tune Up an Old Bike for Summer Rides

Cruise on all summer long when you follow these tips for maintaining and taking care of your bicycle.

A Roof Over Your Head: Choosing Materials

Check out this information regarding the various types of materials that can be used to cover a roof, as well as which ones might be best for you.

How to Inspect Your Deck to See If It Needs Repair

An annual inspection helps keep decking repair to a minimum.

On TV

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.