Maintaining your deck can take a lot of work. Even if you don’t use it often, chips and splits still show up, and you’ll need wood filler to avoid getting feet or skin caught up.
You probably don’t have the time for trial and error, so our team has done it for you. Here are the eight best wood fillers for decks.
Reviews of the Best Wood Fillers for Decks
1. PC Products Wood Repair Epoxy
This PC Products Wood Repair Epoxy is our best pick because it’s flexible but durable at the same time. It’s a two-part wood filler that is used to repair holes, chips, or rotted wood. It has a high-tack factor that works to reduce sags and dripping when it’s wet, which makes a better finish when hardened.
This product is resistant to rot, mildew, saltwater, freshwater, UV light, and even insect and rodent damage. Its service temperature range is between -20°F to over 200°F, making it the ideal choice for deck repairs both indoors and outdoors.
2. DAP Latex Plastic Wood Filler
The DAP Latex Wood Filler is our experts’ pick for people in places with occasional harsh weather. This is a solvent-based formula that’s made for heavy-duty surface filling as it provides a repair that is 3x stronger than real wood.
This formula is fast-acting, so you will need to apply it quickly. This means that you do not have to worry about it washing off if it is raining and the filler is not dry. While this product is resistant to weather, it can be used indoors and outdoors. The tub will keep the filler soft until you need it.
3. Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound
This Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound is also a temperature-resistant product that works best on exterior wood. One of the reasons why our experts chose this product as one of our top three best wood fillers for decks is its size. It is a two-part product, and each part has 32 ounces worth of wood filler, enough for a good while.
This product is also very easy to mold, which makes it great for jagged corners and holes. It takes only about an hour to completely dry. However, while it can be painted and sanded to your satisfaction, it cannot be stained.
4. Elmer's Color Change Wood Filler
This Elmer’s Color Change Wood Filler product comes in a tub. This product was chosen as one of our best wood fillers for decks because it is purple. This makes it impossible to miss, which is great if you live with other people and have to warn them about the wet filler.
It also helps to avoid missing a spot as you use the filler — the color changes as it dries and eventually blends with the wood. You can still paint or stain it if you want. The formula resists cracking and shrinking as it dries and is a non-toxic, solvent-free formula.
5. FamowWood Latex Wood Filler
This wood repair epoxy product works well as an exterior wood filler which is why our team made it one of our best wood fillers. The FamowWood Latex Wood Filler formula has a viscous consistency that only requires you, your wood putty knife, and the hole in your wood surface.
This product doesn’t crack or shrink, making it ideal for fixing large holes and splits. However, you will have to move fast if you want to apply it before it dries in 15 minutes. You can use this product both indoors and outdoors. Also, it comes in 11 colors. You can pick one closest to your deck’s natural tint.
6. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler
Minwax’s water-based wood filler comes in six colors and eighteen sizes. It has earned its stripes as the best wood filler for decks by being able to endure harsh weather conditions and drying in only 15 minutes.
The Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler works well for repairing small splits, gouges, and holes. Also, it can take the strain — you can sand, paint, stain, and drill into this filler without worrying about cracks or splits.
But to ensure the best finish, Minwax has made this product a companion to its wood stain. However, you can use other water-based or oil-based wood stains to ensure a clean finish.
7. Gork's GoodFilla
Gork’s GoodFilla is one of the best water-based fillers for decks. This product is a filler, but it can also be a wood grain filler, primer, knot filler, and more. It’s available in five sizes and 12 colors, and if you’re still not satisfied, you can mix it with any dye, stain, or tint.
You can freeze and thaw this product, and if you find that it’s dry, it can be reconstituted with water. Its consistency makes it easy to apply across large holes. It is made with non-toxic materials, which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
Wood Filler for Decks Buyer's Guide
Our experts have put together a buyer’s guide that will help you get the best product for the job.
The amount of wood filler that you need depends on what you have to fill. Fillers come in lots of sizes. There are 3.5oz., 7oz., 16oz., 32oz., and many more. Depending on the size and depth of your hole, you may have to look for smaller sizes or bigger sizes to repair it.
Packaging can get really serious when it comes to fillers. Bad packaging can make the product gain multiple horrible ratings and reviews. Good packaging can serve to enhance the product’s use and appeal.
There is one main reason for the importance of packaging: good packaging’s use is to protect the wood filler. And this protection is important because the filler wood can turn hard if the air is let in. If your wood filler has a container that can allow air to be let in, then you might have a tragic story like receiving oxidized wood filler.
Wood fillers are usually packaged in squeeze tubes, tubs, or sticks. Some wood fillers are two-part that need mixing before applying. This means that you will have to take extra care that the ratios are correct especially if they’re made with epoxy.
Stick fillers work well to fill small scratches and cracks. Squeeze tubes require you to squeeze out the filler into the hole, scratch or gouge, then use your knife to smooth it over. However, usually, only a small amount is used to fill cracks and holes.
Tubs are the best wood fillers for a surface that has a lot of damage, and they’re easy to apply. You can simply scoop it out and fill it where necessary.
Types of Wood Fillers
There are many types of wood fillers, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll be dealing with two main types of outdoor wood fillers.
Solvent-based wood fillers for decks are usually made with epoxy or vinyl/latex with a high volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content. The use of substances like epoxy means that they have a fairly strong odor. Their formula help to resist rot, humidity, water, extreme temperatures and make some of the top outdoor wood fillers. Because of this, epoxy fillers are a little more expensive than other types of formula.
This type of wood filler takes about an hour to dry after application. You will need the help of acetone or turpentine to clean these types of fillers.
Water-based wood fillers have a formula made of cellulose, wood fibers, or gypsum base. Because of this, they have a less noticeable smell and fewer VOCs. These wood fillers are a little more flexible as they come in powder form and can be diluted to the right consistency for water. When dried, they are easy to clean. Just get some soap and water.
However, a water-based wood filler may use a formula that is generally not as durable as solvent-based ones. You can use them to repair both indoor and outdoor wood but they may not hold up well to outdoor conditions.
Color and Consistency
The importance of color for wood fillers is mainly for those who aren’t looking to paint over the fill. Of course, it is also important for others who want a filler that will take coloring or stains well.
To make your deck uniform, you have two wood filler options.
First, you can use a wood filler that comes in a color that comes in shade close to your deck’s natural wood color. This will be a little difficult as most deck wood fillers dry white or gray, and available colors tend to run towards lighter shades. The number of single-family homes with decks is on the rise , and if your deck needs fillers, then it’s probably stained dark with age (as is normal).
Second, you can choose a very stainable wood filler. In this case, you should make sure that the coloring you’re choosing is compatible with the filler you’ve applied.
The consistency of wood fillers can determine the size of the job you can do. Wood fillers usually come with a thick putty-like consistency or fluid and almost runny (like batter). The ones like wood putty work well for filling large holes, voids, and cracks. Because they take longer to cure, you can take more time to apply them over the surface with your putty knife.
Thin fillers work best for any wood repair like filling pores and small cracks. It is possible to have both large and small cracks. In this case, our experts recommend you go with a water-based filler with a thick putty consistency. This is because this putty consistency can be diluted to a thinner consistency for smaller jobs.
Depending on the urgency of your project, you may be able to wait for a longer time or need to hurry. Wood filler drying times are between 15 minutes to several hours. If you need a job done fast, pick a filler that’s quick to dry.
Compatibility with Wood
Not all wood fillers work well with all woods. Applying a product on an incompatible wood type means that it may shrink, crack or wear down quickly.
Fillers that have this distinction work better with either hardwoods or softwoods. Take a good look at all descriptions and reviews to ensure that your wood filler works with the type of wood your deck is made of.
How to Apply Filler to a Wooden Deck
For the best results, start with clearing away the rotten wood. You can use a hard brush to do this. Once it’s all gone, level the wood surface with sandpaper.
Next, you’ll have to clean your deck. If your wood surface is finished, use a deck cleaner. If not, a deck stripper is best. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as closely as possible. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then use your hard brush to scrub the spot. Once you’ve scrubbed thoroughly, rinse off and then allow the wood to dry thoroughly.
Now, get your putty knife out and scoop some filler out of the tub (if a tub wood filler is what you’re using). If your filler is 2 part, you’ll need to carefully measure and mix the 2 part by using the manufacturer’s recommended ratio. Got a tube filler? Squeeze the necessary amount on a paper plate, and mix it with the correct amount of wood hardener.
Once you are done mixing, use the putty knife to apply the filler to your deck’s surface. Press down into the hole. Add more until the filler is a little higher than the deck level.
Look at the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time. If the filler shrinks a bit while it cures, add on more filler and let it cure a little longer. Check within the time range to see if it’s cured completely. When it is, use medium-grit sandpaper to sand the surface until it’s even.
Paint and stain when you’re done sanding as needed.
(Planning a house renovation? Well, you can also start building a floating deck using this guide)
What is the best wood filler for decks?
The best wood filler for decks is the DAP Latex Wood Filler. Its strong resistance against temperatures makes it ideal for exterior use on a deck.
Can you use wood filler on a deck?
Yes, you can use wood filler on a deck. Wood filler is the best solution for cracks, gouges, etc., because all you need to do is get some outdoor filler, apply it, and wait for it to cure before use.
What is the best wood filler for exterior wood?
The best wood filler for exterior wood is the PC Products Wood Repair Epoxy. Good wood fillers for exterior wood have to have a high resistance against high and low temperatures. They also need to be able to take staining and paint to blend in with the surrounding wood and materials.
Our Top Pick for a Wood Filler for Decks: PC Products Wood Repair Epoxy
After several tests, our experts found that the PC Products Wood Repair Epoxy is the best wood filler for decks. This 2 part epoxy filler is a great epoxy wood filler as its resistant to extreme temperatures, rot, freshwater, saltwater, insects, and even rodents. The formula is made from wood to help it blend into your wood grain better. You can expect this filler to last for years.