What is the Best Wood Filler For Large Holes and Gaps? (2022)

applying wood filler to gaps

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Installing wooden furniture brings a fresh aesthetic to your home. However, with the inevitable wear and tear, there will come a time when these pieces of furniture develop gaps and holes. 

Using the wrong wood filler can further worsen the damage in your furniture. To help you out, our team rounded up the best wood fillers for large holes and gaps with a few tips and tricks for application.

Premium Option
DAP 543 Series 00543 Qt Natural Plastic Wood- X w/ Dryden
Editor’s Choice
Woodwise Powdered wood filler
Budget Option
PC Products PC-Woody Repair Epoxy Paste
DAP 543 Series 00543 Qt Natural Plastic Wood- X w/ Dryden
Woodwise Powdered wood filler
PC Products PC-Woody Repair Epoxy Paste
• Long shelf-life
• Versatile
• Easily stained and painted
• Effortless application
• Budget-friendly
• Eco-friendly
• Easy to apply
• Money-back guarantee
• Resistant to harsh elements
Premium Option
DAP 543 Series 00543 Qt Natural Plastic Wood- X w/ Dryden
DAP 543 Series 00543 Qt Natural Plastic Wood- X w/ Dryden
• Long shelf-life
• Versatile
• Easily stained and painted
Editor’s Choice
Woodwise Powdered wood filler
Woodwise Powdered wood filler
• Effortless application
• Budget-friendly
• Eco-friendly
Budget Option
PC Products PC-Woody Repair Epoxy Paste
PC Products PC-Woody Repair Epoxy Paste
• Easy to apply
• Money-back guarantee
• Resistant to harsh elements

Reviews of the Top Wood Fillers for Large Holes and Gaps

1. Woodwise Powdered wood filler

The Woodwise Powdered Wood Filler is easy on the budget and ecologically sound. You can sand and paint over the surface without the worry of cracks forming on the surface. 

It is also very easy to mix and does not require a complex solvent. The company of powdered wood fillers allows you to make refills to lessen packaging waste. 

It has a long shelf life, so you rest assured that it will still work even if it has been in storage for a long time. You can leave Woodwise powdered wood filler in storage for one year. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. DAP 543 Series 00543 Qt Natural Plastic Wood- X w/ Dryden

The DAP 543 wood filler is made up of real wood fibers making it easy to paint and sand on. It can also easily adhere to concrete, iron, and wood materials. 

Once completely dried down, this filler is harder than the original wood resulting in a stronger and more durable wood. 

It is easy to clean, easy to use, highly durable, and spreads easily. Furthermore, it is resistant to natural elements and can be used for materials found indoors and outdoors. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. PC Products PC-Woody Repair Epoxy Paste

The PC Woody Repair Epoxy Wood Filler can be applied indoors and outdoors. It works excellently to repair missing, deteriorated, and rotting wood. This epoxy paste formula successfully resists outdoor elements such as UV light and fresh and saltwater. 

During our tests, it efficiently filled out large holes. It was able to fill up the hole that formed in the rotten wood we used, and the finish was seamless. 

Since the finish is tan, the paint that was applied to it coated the filler very well. With these features, this is the best wood filler for large holes and gaps if you’re tight on budget.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Goodfilla Water-based Wood & Grain Filler in Walnut

The Goodfilla Water-based Filler is an excellent wood grain filler that saves you time and money. It is easy to use and produces consistently excellent results. 

This wood filler has good adhesion to surfaces. It does not crack or shrink and does not contain any toxic ingredient. You will only need one coat to achieve a flawless finish. That said, you can rely on it for either big or small projects. 

The formula is easy to use and is specifically designed for woodworking professionals and early career workers. Goodfella allows unlimited shelf life since it easily reconstitutes upon adding water. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Famowood Latex Wood Filler

The Famowood latex wood filler gives a wonderful finish with minimal effort. It can be drilled, planed, and sanded. It can also be painted and stained to match the wood grains you are working on. 

It completely dries after approximately 15 minutes upon application. The formula is solvent free and is considered by many as a professional quality filler. 

This latex wood filler can be utilized for furniture or wood surfaces indoors and outdoors. It is highly recommended that you will proceed to paint over it. However, since this is a latex filler, you will need more to fill up large holes.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Elmer's Carpenter’s Wood Filler

Elmer’s is known for its white wood glue, but their wood filler is as easy to work with, too. It has a smooth finish that dries fast and can be sanded over like a wood putty. 

It is also paintable and can be used as a filler for plywood edges and other hard-to-reach areas. The glue comes in a resealable tube and comes in handy for small jobs. 

The Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler is water-based and great for beginners. One downside is that this product needs time to sit before staining it.

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What We Don't Like

7. Bondo All-Purpose Wood Putty

The Bondo All-Purpose Wood Putty is a two-part product that utilizes a ‘hardener’ to initiate the curing process. This product can easily bond to a wide range of surfaces and will not shrink and crack over time. 

It cures fast and can be painted, stained, and sanded. This short curing time is one of its advantages. Furthermore, it is waterproof. 

Make sure to mix it well and apply it by using a plastic spreader. Protect your hands by wearing a pair of gloves. This item is a wonderful addition to your DIY kit.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

8. Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler

The Aqua Coat Wood Filler is designed for filling holes for your cabinetry. This wood grain filler is water-based and has a gel-like consistency. It can definitely come in handy because it can easily be applied on various surfaces. 

The formula is easy to work with, and you’ll mostly need a small amount to apply. Furthermore, it is also non-combustible, non-flammable, and eco-friendly. Once the filler is set, you can lightly sand the surface. 

It takes approximately 40 minutes to an hour to completely set. Make sure to set enough time before sanding it. It is best to make 2-3 coats to get excellent results. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Wood Fillers for Large Gaps Buyer’s Guide

These best wood fillers are our tried and tested picks for efficiently repairing large holes and gaps in your furniture or surfaces. While they are all versatile, you need to consider a few things when buying this product type of product. 

Depending on your furniture or setup, here are our team’s top considerations for choosing the best wood filler for large holes and gaps:

Amount

The amount of fillers depends on the size of the project. Take into consideration the volume and type of project before buying them. 

A small filler paste tube is enough for small holes, whereas cans of the product are necessary for bigger holes and gaps. 

Packaging

You may also want to consider the material that the product may come in. It may come in squeeze tubes, sticks, tubs, or cans. They come with an applicator in bigger packages such as tubs and cans. 

Read the instructions before application since some fillers must be mixed before using. Tubes, however, have none since the product is only squeezed out.

Tubs or cans are more economical compared to their tube counterparts. Some companies offer to refill the product when necessary as an environmentally conscious decision to save on packaging costs and waste. 

Time It Takes To Dry

It is best to research each product’s drying time before you fix wood gaps and fill holes. Not all wood fillers have the same time frames for drying. It takes approximately 15-30 minutes of curing time for small projects. 

It is highly recommended to completely allow the filler to dry out for a couple of hours. This will allow the product to cure and help you get the best results. 

Paste or Powder

There are pros and cons when using paste or powdered fillers for repair jobs. If you need to repair the hole at once, the paste is your option. It is ready to mix, and you can apply it as you will. 

However, one thing to remember is to apply wood filler as quickly as possible since it tends to dry out quickly. 

Powdered wood fillers allow you ample allowances of time to work with the material. This material does not dry out quickly and can be left idle for a long period. 

Price

Always factor in the budget when buying items for home repairs. If you fix nail holes and small scratches, 16-30 oz canned wood fillers should be enough. 

If you do repair jobs on the regular, it’s best to purchase them in bulk. It can save you money, and you have fillers on stock when a repair is required.

Why You Should Use Wood Fillers For Big Holes and Gaps

Using fillers is an excellent product to use on a wood repair. It can fix large holes and gaps. The best wood fillers result in a natural finish and save you a lot of money. 

Choosing the right wood filler can help you achieve the desired result. It will also help preserve the integrity of your material.

Different Types of Wood Fillers for Large Holes

Different kinds of wood filler options are available in the market. Learning and researching about them is key to helping you fix and repair your house.

Powder

Powdered fillers are equal parts of sawdust and wood shavings which turn into a paste once water is added to the mix. These types of fillers cannot hold out against drilling. 

Furthermore, they lack structural integrity since they are made of wood particles. The powdered type can be used as a wood filler for large holes.

Latex

Latex fillers are perfect for covering and filling holes and refinishing wood cabinets and wooden trim. However, latex fillers are mainly used for cover-ups since they do not possess structural integrity. Latex fillers are also a good wood filler for filling large holes. These latex fillers can be used for outdoor locations. 

Epoxy

Epoxy wood fillers are generally more durable since they can firmly bind on the wood surface than other fillers. It is one of the best choices when considering big repairs. It is highly malleable, and you can mold it in any form [1]. Since it comes in two parts, incorporate them together before use. 

These are also resistant to dirt and moisture. They are highly recommended for outdoor use since they can serve as protection against various elements. They usually require 24 hours to completely dry.

Spackling Paste

A Spackling paste is a putty comprised of gypsum plaster composed of calcium sulfate and glue. It is good for repairing minor cracks and results in a hard and consistent smooth finish. It is composed of authentic wood and thus accepts paint well. 

It is recommended to use spackling paste for indoor repairs, especially since gypsum wood fillers are highly susceptible to humidity. Also, since they are susceptible to humidity, they tend to shrink and do not stain well.

Acrylic Caulk with Silicone

An acrylic caulk with silicone filler is moisture-resistant and is one of the best fillers for large wood holes. Also, it is the best exterior wood filler for large holes. It is highly pliant and adheres to a wood surface easily. 

Furthermore, it offers different wood grain colors to match real wood species and the wood tone you will be working on. Acrylic caulk is very convenient and can be applied from a tube.

Polyester Paste

A polyester paste is mainly used to repair holes but may also fill in gaps and wood holes. It can withstand sanding and drilling. However, a polyester paste is less flexible when molded on the surface and requires a wood hardener and resin.

Wood Putty

A cellulose wood putty is a wonderful option for repairing large holes and gaps in the wood since it does not shrink. Furthermore, it sands flat and allows paint like real wood. Using a wood putty can result in a natural wood finish. 

What’s the Difference Between Filler, Epoxy, and Putty?

There are different types of fillers for you to choose from. A filler, epoxy, and putty can make repairing and filling large holes, gaps, and cracks around your home easy. 

Knowing and understanding the differences among these products will help you choose the best wood filler suited for your project. 

  1. Fillers are substances normally used to fix wooden surfaces and pieces of furniture. They are also popularly used for filling holes and are normally produced as water based wood fillers. Furthermore, they are quick to dry, good for porous surfaces, and can be sanded down on unfinished wood. 
  2. Epoxy is a specific type of wood filler that comes in 2-parts. These two parts are the powdered form and the hardener. This is known to be the strongest among all the fillers. It sets very hard and further prevents cracks from increasing. However, once it dries down, it results in a plastic appearance which requires a paint job. Using epoxy fillers to fix your gaps will help create a strong seal resistant to several elements.
  3. Putty has natural and real wood fibers as part of its composition. Putty can be used on projects exposed to different environments. They resist shrinking and greatly adhere to different surfaces. This filler is discouraged from being used on raw wood. 

How to Make a DIY Wood Filler

Creating your very own wood filler is easy. Many people have resorted to this old-school method of a DIY wood filler. You just need a few items, including sawdust mixed with glue or water. 

sawdust

These items will help you make your homemade wood filler. Mix these items thoroughly until you achieve a paste-like consistency. 

It is good to remember to use the same wood species as the damaged one for the sawdust. This will help you match the wood filler to the wood surfaces. Now that you are set to create your wood filler, you can carry on with your home repairs and projects.

The mixture will require several applications to get the desired result. It can dry easily and can be sanded as well. However, one downside to homemade fillers is that they are shrinking and will not stain but can be painted on.

How to Fill Large Holes and Gaps with Wood Filler

Before taking on the project, ensure a list of materials and tools needed. Follow these instructions on effectively and efficiently filling large gaps in wood quickly.

Materials and Tools

These are the tools you will need:

  1. Putty knife: The knife will help apply the product evenly to the damaged surface. Also, with some pressure applied, the knife can push the filler into the holes to fill it up.
  2. Rags: These will help wipe off excess product from the surface.
  3. Wood filler: The product used to fill and fix the damage on the wood.
  4. 120-grit or fine sandpaper: To achieve a professional and smooth finish on the wood post-application and drying.
  5. Can of spray finish (optional): To achieve a professional finish on the wood post-application and drying.
  6. Paintbrush or Roller: To help paint adhesion to the project.

Step #1: Apply on Dry Wood

For the first step, patience is key. Ensure wooden surfaces dry out and are moisture-free before wood filler application. If you fail to do so, the filler will trap the moisture, which will cause rot, and the filler will fail to do its function. Be patient and wait for the material to dry out completely.

Step #2: Use a Putty Knife

Utilize the putty knife when applying the wood filler on surface defects. Make use of the same knife to push the product into holes and gaps. 

Exert a little pressure when applying the filler using the knife in a crossways fashion. Then proceed to scrape the excess filler along the wood grain. Clean up any additional filler with a rag.

Step #3: Apply Stainable Filler to Prepare for Staining (Optional)

Before continuing this step, check that the wood filler you used can be stained. Most of the latex and solvent-based fillers have wood dust that is stainable. However, epoxy fillers are not stainable, so avoid them if you wish to continue with this optional step.

Step #4: Allow the Surface to Dry, Then Sand

This step requires time and patience for the filler to dry. Once completely dry, use your 12-grit or sandpaper for sanding off any excess filler when it has completely dried off. A file or rasp will help when using epoxy fillers. 

Consider the size of the damage. The bigger the hole, the longer it takes to dry up completely. 

Step #5: Paint or Apply Your Desired Finish

Using a spray can or a paintbrush, you may continue to paint over the filler. Not only does a paint finish cover up any wood repairs done on surfaces, but it also helps protect it and lasts longer. Apply as many layers of paint as you desire.

FAQ

Is it better to use wood filler or caulk?

The option to use wood filler or caulk depends on where it will be used. Caulk is frequently applied or used to fill corners and gaps between materials. On the other hand, fillers are used for damages such as nail holes on flat wooden surfaces.

Can you drill nails and screws into wood fillers?

Answers may vary on whether you can drill nails and screws into fillers. But based on our experience, wood fillers such as epoxy and polyester past can be drilled into. 

However, some wood fillers, such as latex, wood putty, and homemade fillers, are unsuitable for drilling. Before drilling nails and screws, check if the filler has completely dried up. 

Can you fix scratches with wood fillers?

Fillers can be used for minor interior wood defects such as nail holes. Thus, it can also fix scratches. You may apply the filler to the scratched area. 

Proceed to remove the excess once dried up. Smoothen the surface by sanding wood filler to even out the lumps and result in a smooth finish. 

How can I achieve the same color as the wood?

You can achieve the same color as the wood by looking for products that match your wood. You can bring a photograph or a sample of the wood you are working on when you go to your local store to help you match and purchase the correct one. 

Fret not, since many of the products have a range of choices for color. If the desired wood color is unavailable, you may also opt to stain it further to achieve the shade closest to your wood. 

What is the wait time before you sand wood fillers?

The wait time for the wood filler to dry or cure highly depends on the product itself. Never underestimate or overestimate the time needed for the product to dry. Not all fillers dry at the same time. Also, drying and curing time depends on the size of the hole or crack on the wood. 

Using a wood filler for large projects may result in a longer waiting time for drying. A wood filler typically takes approximately 15-20 minutes to dry. Afterward, you may proceed to have a shiny finish by sanding wood filler. 

Wood putty, on the other hand, takes a few hours to a day before it completely dries up. You can also stop wood filler from drying by checking the product before its purchase. 

Our Top Pick For a Wood Filler for Large Holes and Gaps:
Woodwise Powdered Wood Filler

The best wood filler for large holes and gaps is the Woodwise Powdered Wood Filler. It is formulated to repair damaged surfaces that can be painted later on. It is also consistent in its drying time and successfully fills and repairs damages on wood. It is recommended for both indoor and outdoor applications. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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