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Best Wood Filler 2021 – Top Picks + Buying Guide

In this article, we’ll pick the best wood filler for 2021, along with a buyer’s guide to help you pick the right filler or putty.

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Best Wood Filler for 2021 – Updated by Burbro Editors on February 3rd, 2021

When you’re repairing wood that’s broken, rotten, or has holes in it, then you’ll want to use a wood filler to repair the wood. A good wood filler will fill any holes and cracks while adding strength to the wood and creating a new finish that can be painted or stained.

If you’re looking at wood fillers, you’ll notice that there are many wood fillers to choose from; however, it doesn’t mean that they’re quality fillers. Some fillers are designed better than others, and some will cause more problems than they solve.

In this review, we’ll be looking at the best wood fillers for 2021. We’ll also provide a comprehensive buying guide so that you can learn how to choose the right filler for your project. We’ll also provide some tips that you can use to help you use the filler effectively.

Best Wood Filler of 2021

We have reviewed the best wood fillers and compiled the top products into a list so that you can quickly find the right filler for your project. While we’ll be reviewing the products in-depth, we’ve created a quick list to help you find the products you need for your woodworking project.


This is a product image in our Best Wood Filler 2021 article. It is a photo of a bucket of FamoWood Latex Filler overlaid on a minimalistic white background with a Burbro logo.

1. FamoWood Latex Wood Filler

The Best Wood Filler for Interior and Exterior Use.

If you need a filler that you can use outdoors or indoors, then you’ll want to look at the FamoWood Latex Filler. This filler has a low odour, making it perfect for indoor use and dries fast, making an excellent exterior wood filler. The FamoWood Latex filler can dry in 15 minutes, making your projects go faster because you don’t need to wait for the filler to dry. It also won’t shrink or crack after the filler has set, ideal for all woodworking projects. One of the benefits of using the FamoWood Latex Filler is that it’s stainable and paintable, which means that you can use it for finishing woodwork. You can also drill through the filler without affecting the integrity of the repaired wood.

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This is a photo of a tube of Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler overlaid on a minimalistic white background with a Burbro logo.

2. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler

The Best Wood Filler for Trim and Floors.

When you have small repairs that need to be done, you’ll want small fillers that are easy to apply. One of the best wood fillers for small repairs, flooring and trim is Elmer’s Carpenter’s Filler. The Elmer’s Carpenter’s Filler is an indoor wood filler that you can use for small wood repairs. This filler will harden up fast, but it will require 12 to 24 hours for the filler to harden and cure so that it’s solid to walk on. Once the Elmer’s Filler has dried completely, you’ll be able to paint, sand and use stains on the repaired wood. This filler is also resistant to shrinkage and cracks, no matter how much tear and wear you place on the repaired wood.

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This is a photo of a bottle of Bondo Wood Filler overlaid on a minimalistic white background with a Burbro logo.

3. Bondo Wood Filler

One of the Best Stainable Wood Fillers.

Another filler that you may want to look at is the Bondo Wood Filler. This filler is designed to dry quickly and can be stained once it’s dry. This makes it ideal for use on furniture, cabinets, flooring or other woodworking projects that’ll require wood staining. The Bondo Wood Filler is designed to restore and replace any wood that’s rotted or worn out. You can use this filler on window frames, flooring, chairs, desks, cabinets, shutters, fences and wooden doors. With the Bondo Wood Filler, you won’t need to wait for a long dry time because this wood will dry within 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of drying, the Bondo filler will be hard enough for you to begin sanding the repaired wood. The Bondo filler is great for almost all projects because it creates a surface that can be used for almost any purpose. Once it’s dried, you can use the repaired wood for painting, sanding, drilling, planing the wood, routering or sawing through the wood without chipping, cracking or shrinking.

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This is a photo of a bucket of DAP Wood Filler overlaid on a minimalistic white background with a Burbro logo.

4. DAP Wood Filler

An Excellent Wood Filler for Large Holes.

When you have large holes in wood, you’ll need a filler that’s stronger and resists cracking or shrinking. One of the best wood fillers for large holes is the DAP filler, which is a plastic filler that acts like wood. The DAP Wood Filler is a natural filler that’s 3x stronger than the traditional fillers, making it perfect for filling large holes. This filler can be stained with wood stains and painted over once it has dried completely. With the DAP wood filler, you’ll be able to fix large holes, gouges and cracks. You can also use nails and screws on the repaired wood without worrying about the wood cracking or splitting.

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This is a photo of a bucket of Elmer’s ProBond Wood Filler overlaid on a minimalistic white background with a Burbro logo.

5. Elmer’s ProBond Wood Filler

One of the Best Wood Fillers for Painting.

Whether you need to sand, paint or stain the wood once you’re finished filling the holes, Elmer’s ProBond filler has you covered. This filler is an excellent choice for anyone that’s sanding down wood, painting, or using stains on the repaired wood. The Elmer’s ProBond Filler will dry quickly and can be sanded shortly after the filler has dried. This makes your projects go faster because you won’t need to wait around for the filler to finish drying. With Elmer’s ProBond Filler, you won’t need to worry about the wood cracking or shrinking. You can also use a drill, router, sander, and saw on the wood without splitting or breaking apart.

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This is a photo of a bottle of Minwax wood filler overlaid on a minimalistic white background with a Burbro logo.

6. Minwax Wood Filler

One of the Best Wood Fillers for Decks.

If your deck is beginning to age, but you don’t want to build a new deck, then you can use fillers to repair any cracks, holes and splinters in your deck. One of the best wood fillers for decks is the Minwax Wood Filler. The Minwax wood filler can be used for interior and exterior woods, making it ideal for all projects. It can also permanently repair wood that’s rotted or damaged, which is why it’s great for fixing decks. Once the Minwax filler has dried, you can sand it down, paint over it or use stains to finish off the wood. You can also use wood glues, nails, screws and bolts through the repaired wood without the wood breaking apart.

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This is a cover photo for our Wood Filler Buying Guide 2021. It shows a person applying wood filler to a cabinet door with a spatula. They are wearing a plaid shirt and there is a bucket of wood filler placed on the table. There is a blurry garage background behind the person.

Wood Filler Buying Guide

We want you to help you find the best wood filler for your project, so we’ve created a comprehensive buying guide that you can use to help you find the right product for your project.

If you’re new to using fillers, you may find this buyer’s guide to be helpful. We’ll show you the various features to look at when choosing a filler and provide tips that you can use while applying the filler.

Benefits of Using Wood Filler

The main reason that people use filler is that it’s cheaper than replacing the wood on their decks, floors, windows, cabinets and door frames. With wood filler, you can quickly repair the wood and make it stronger, while making the wood look young once again.

Almost all wood putties are designed so that you can drill through the repaired wood, sand the wood and even use routers or saws on the wood. This is because the wood filler is stronger once it’s dried, and it’ll hold without cracking or shrinking.

How to Choose the Best Wood Filler

In this section, we’ll show you some of the features you should look for when buying fillers. Various types of fillers are intended for different projects, and we want you to find the right filler for your project.

Here are the key features to consider when choosing wood putties.

1. The Type of Wood Repair

The fillers are used to repair wood that has been broken down, rotted, splintered or damaged. If you’re going to choose the right filler for your project, you’ll need to know what project you’ll be using the filler for so that you can choose a product that’s well suited for your needs.

Here’s how to determine how you’ll be using the fillers.

  • Large Holes – If you’re repairing large holes, you’ll want to use a filler that’s stronger than other fillers. This is because you’ll need more strength to cover the extra area to ensure that the repaired wood doesn’t crack or break.
  • Furniture Repair – One of the reasons people use filler is to repair their broken furniture. When you’re repairing wooden furniture, you’ll want to use a wood putty that can be painted over or stained. You’ll also want a filler that’s designed to be sanded so that you can smooth the surface of the furniture once you’re finished fixing the furniture.
  • Rotten / Cracked Wood – If you’re repairing wood that is rotten or has splinters and cracks, then you’ll want to use a filler. If the wood is meant for outdoors and exposed to the elements, you’ll need to use a wood filler that is meant for outdoor use. You can quickly fill these holes with putty and then sand down the surface and apply paint or stains to create a smooth surface.
  • Holes and Divots – One of the reasons people use fillers to fix holes and divots in the wood. For holes and divots, you’ll want to use a filler that doesn’t crack or shrink. You’ll also want a sandable filler so that you can create a smooth surface once you’re finished fixing the wood.

There are many uses for fillers, but these are some of the most common uses for fillers. If you’re working with wood, you can use putty to fix gaps, holes, cracks, and repair most wood types.

2. Solvent-Based or Water-Based Wood Fillers

When you’re choosing a type of filler for your project, you’ll also need to decide if you want to use solvent-based putty or a water-based putty for your woodworking project.

Here’s the difference between solvent and water-based wood fillers.

  • Solvent-Based Wood Fillers – The solvent-based fillers are made from vinyl or epoxy, and they usually have more fumes. However, they’re much stronger and are excellent for exterior use. This is because they’re resistant to cracking, shrinking, humidity, heat and cold. The solvent-based wood fillers will require more time to dry, and you’ll need a solvent to remove them unless you sand them down.
  • Water-Based Wood Fillers – Water-based fillers are usually designed with wood fibres, cellulose, and gypsum to create a solid, organic compound. The water-based fillers can be diluted in water to make a very thin water filler, and they only require about 15 minutes to dry. The water-based fillers are designed for interior use and are cheaper than solvent-based wood fillers.

If you’re using the filler outside, then you’ll want to use a solvent-based putty, and if you’re using it for interior use, then you’ll want to choose a water-based wood filler for your woodworking projects.

3. Wood Filler Consistency

You should also look at the filler’s consistency before you choose the right filler for your task. The consistency will play a role in the dry time, application, and how suited the filler is for your project. 

Typically, the wood fillers will come in two consistencies such as:

  • Thicker Wood Fillers – The thicker wood putties are used for larger holes, gaps and divots. When you’re using a thick wood putty, you’ll need a putty knife because the texture is heavier, like peanut butter. A putty knife will make it easier for you to apply the filler and even the surface so that it doesn’t require much sanding.
  • Thin Wood Fillers – The thin wood putties have a texture like cake mix and are quite watery. The thinner wood putties are used for thinner surface repair such as scrapes, small chips and surface damage on wood. A putty knife will still help spread out the wood putty and create a thin surface of wood putty that can be sanded down and painted or stained.

Depending on your project, you’ll need to choose the filler’s consistency for your project. If the wood repair is deep or larger, use thicker wood putties. If the wood repair is shallow or on the surface, use a thinner wood filler.

4. Interior or Exterior Wood Fillers

As you’re choosing a type of filler for your project, you’ll need to figure out if you’ll be using the filler for interior use or exterior use. This will help you find the right filler for your repair project.

Here’s the difference between interior and exterior wood putties.

  • Exterior Wood Fillers – The exterior wood putties are usually made from vinyl or epoxy and are more durable when it comes to the elements. They can withstand heat, cold, humidity and wet weather without shrinking, cracking, or breaking down. They’re usually solvent-based, which means that they’ll have more smell and require more drying time, but they’ll be stronger than water-based wood putties once they’re dried.
  • Interior Wood Fillers  – The interior wood putties are usually water-based and made from wood fibres, cellulose, and gypsum. This creates a solid compound that can be sanded, painted and stained. The interior wood willers will dry quickly, but they’re best used for smaller repairs or damage on the surface and interior wood repair.

When you’re picking a filler for your project, you’ll need to decide if your project will be indoors or outdoors. Once you’ve determined the application area, you can choose a wood filler that’s suited for your project.

5. Additional Features

We’ve covered the basic features that you should look for in a filler. However, there are other features that you may want with your wood filler that can make it easier for you to use on your projects.

Here are some extra features to consider.

  • Wood Staining and Painting – One of the things to look at when choosing wood putties is whether the wood putty can be painted or stained. Once you’re finished with your wood repair, you may want to paint the wood or stain the wood. The package should tell you if the repaired wood can be painted or stained for a clean finish.
  • Packaging – If you have a smaller project, you may want a smaller wood putty tube that doesn’t cost much. However, if you have many repairs, you’ll want to buy a higher quantity in an airtight tub. The airtight container will prevent the wood putty from drying out or spoiling until you use it.
  • Colour – You may also want to choose the right colour of the wood putty if you’re not painting over the wood or staining the wood. This will ensure that the repaired wood looks similar to the original wood’s colour and make sure that the repair is hardly noticed.
  • Putty Knife  – Some large wood putty containers will come with a putty knife that you can use to apply the wood putty. If your package doesn’t come with a putty knife, we recommend using one to help you use the wood putty.

Depending on your project, there may be other specific features that you’d like to have with your filler. However, these are the common features that people look for when they’re buying filler.

Tips for Using Wood Fillers

Once you’ve received your filler, you’ll need to begin applying the filler to your projects. In this section, we’ll provide some tips that will help you use the filler on your projects.

Here are tips that you can use to help you when using wood filler.

  • Use less wood putty on your project because you can always add more wood putty to repair the wood. If you use too much wood putty, you’ll need to work on removing the excess wood putty or sanding it away.
  • When you’re using filler, KEEP THE CONTAINER CLOSED. If the container is open, it’ll begin drying out the wood putty and ruining the wood putty that you need for your projects. 
  • Always let the wood putty dry before you begin using sanders, power tools, paints or wood stains. If the wood putty hasn’t dried, it’ll be soft and weak.
  • Use a putty knife to help you fill any holes or surface damage. A putty knife will help you apply the putty and remove any excess filler from your project.
  • Once dried, scrape away the excess wood putty with your metal putty knife or use a power sander to even out the surface.

Summary

We hope that this article has helped you find the best wood filler in 2021. If you’re new to using wood fillers, you can use our buyer’s guide to help you choose the right filler for your project. Always remember to consider if you’ll be using the filler for interior use or exterior use so that you can pick a filler that’s right for the environment that it’ll be used. 

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Our Burbro Editors make it their goal to curate and publish the best content for our readers. We cover topics ranging from home and garden to tech and gaming and aim to provide the most up-to-date information on our chosen topics.