When a wood surface has cracks, gaps between joints, or blemishes, a wood filler comes in handy to fill the gaps. You can use wood filler to care for scratches, gouges, chips, and other surface repairs on furniture around your home. For instance, you can quickly repair badly scratched hardwood flooring, gaping holes in a table, and rotted window frames using wood filler by following the proper steps. Let’s learn about wood filler and its benefits in wood projects.
However, you must note that there are various types of wood fillers and the one you use depends on the job. They are:
- Stainable wood fillers so that after applying it, you can stain over it to ensure the repaired section matches the rest of the wood.
- Water-based wood fillers are specifically formulated for use indoors in wood projects like cabinetry, molding, and paneling. It can also be stained or painted. It works wonders in remedying wood surface imperfections and can be easily cleaned.
- Heavy-duty solvent-based wood fillers are suited for exterior wood projects and outdoor use. They perform wonders on exterior siding and trim.
With that in mind, you can select a wood filler that is suitable for your project. Here is how to use a wood filler to ensure that your DIY repair is invisible.
Table of Contents
Prep the surface
The first thing is to prep the surface being repaired by sanding and cleaning it. Remove any chipping paint or loose wood chips, then smooth the rough edges, especially near the surface you wish to restore. Then eliminate all the dust using a moistened tack cloth.
Apply the wood filler
Applying a wood filler requires the use of a putty knife for smooth application. Note that the filler shrinks as it dries, so you should overfill slightly from one point to another. after filling the surface, smooth the filler out using a clean surface of the putty knife.
Let the wood filler dry.
You can check the wood filler manufacturing label on how much time is required for the filler to dry. The drying time also depends on the depth of application. It can take from as little as 15minutes to as much as eight hours.
Sand the filled area
Once it is completely dry, sand the filled area to make it even to the wood surface. There should only be a slight difference when you run your hand over the repaired surface.
Apply a finish
The project is not complete until you apply a wood finish of your choice. The goal of the finish is to make the repair completely unnoticeable. For instance, if you are working on a white baseboard, the secret is to use a white finish to complete the repair.
Stained wood pieces can be challenging to deal with. What you need to do is the first test using scrap wood. Add the wood filler, let it dry, then stain it to see how it turns out. Based on the results, you can use a different stain or use the same color if it turns out well.
Note that wood filler is only for repairing superficial scratches and blemishes but not damages that require replacement. If the damage needs proper repair, a wood filler is not a substitute.