Working with wood can be taxing with many touch-ups and re-dos. Wood filler is a staple material for a woodworker and a must-have for a DIY wood project. With various wood fillers available, you may not be sure what to choose. Don't worry; we've done some digging, so you don't have to.
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Yes, wood filler comes in various colors, from pale to dark and natural to pine. Some colors turn darker when dried. The colors blend with stain and paint that affect the look of your project.
Painting on a wood-filled project is possible. Make sure to smoothen and seal the surface and use quality paint for a well-done job.
Keep reading, as this post will help you discover the different wood filler colors available in the market and their common types. Also, you will learn the steps to apply wood filler properly and how to finish it before painting. That said, let's dive right into this article!
What Colors Does Wood Filler Come In?
Luckily, many wood fillers are made close to the original colors of wood used in most furniture making, though white color is also sometimes available. There is also a multi-purpose wood filler which is easier to use, especially when you need to paint over it.
There are things that you need to think about when painting a wood-filled project. Here is the list of colors from lightest to darkest:
- White oak
- Natural bamboo
- Light oak
- Red oak
- Golden brown
- Heart pine or teak
- Dark bamboo
- Spice brown
- Brazilian Cherry
- Purple heart
How To Apply Paint Over Your Wood Filler
You can generally paint on a wood filler. But buying quality paint and proper paint application will give you a better result. Make sure to wear gloves or any protective gear whenever you need to use machines.
Below are steps on how to apply paint on wood filler:
- Make sure the wood filler is used well and dried.
- Sand it to have an even surface.
- Paint the entire surface.
Base Types For Wood Fillers
When a crack, scratch, or hole needs to fill in your unfinished wood project, wood filler is a handy paste to fix the problem. It's hard when dried and possible to sand.
Different types of wood filler can be used depending on the base to be filled and the woodwork's location. The types of wood fillers and their characteristics are the following:
Water-Based Wood Filler
It is one of the most basic types of wood filler. You will know a product is water-based if water is recommended as a solvent to clean up tools.
It has a brittle-like texture. It is ideal for indoor woodwork and can be suitable to use along with dyes, oils, or oil-based finishes. When it dries up, put little droplets of warm water and mix.
Petroleum-Based Wood Filler
This type of wood filler is convenient because it sands and finishes effortlessly. You should use chemical solvents to clean up after using this. It is ideal for small gaps or holes in your furniture.
However, you can't put a nail or screw in place, and filling in a hole larger than half an inch will leave you with a cracked or dented surface.
Epoxy-Based Wood Filler
Epoxy is the only filler that is also used as an adhesive. It is not shrinkable and challenging to sand. It is suitable for larger holes or gaps due to its structural integrity.
Epoxy is a type of plastic, so it has a plastic look as your output. You can use it indoors and outdoors whenever a larger repair or fix is needed.
Exterior Wood Filler And Caulk
Exterior wood filler is elastomeric or has rubber-like properties. It can expand and contract as the weather changes and is moisture-resistant.
Acrylic latex and butyl caulk can also be painted and adaptable to weather. However, silicone cannot be painted on and is suitable for filling in long cracks on the sides or in-betweens.
Learn more about wood filler application in this post: How To Use Wood Filler On Corners
DIY Wood Filler
Woodworkers use their self-made wood filler to match the kind of wood they are working on. The materials are accessible to create your wood filler.
You will need sawdust from the same wood you're working on and wood glue or binder. Blend the sawdust and binder until the mixture is pasty and you're done.
What Are Some Wood Filling Materials
Wood filler is the paste you need to apply to fill the small gaps in the wood you're working on.
Aside from it, you will need other materials to even the surface, apply the filler smoothly, and with control to pull off polished woodwork.
You will need the following materials:
- Sandpaper or an electric sander to even out the wood surface.
- Wood microfiber cloth to wipe the dust off your wood.
- Tack cloth or rug to wipe dust before finishing for a smooth finish.
- Putty knife so you can work closely with the filler to glaze and fill in wood.
- Paint or stain for a color makeover of your project or to highlight the light-dark tone of your wood.
- Mineral spirits or acetone for non-water-based fillers
Does Wood Filler Contain Harmful Ingredients?
Many wood fillers contain chemicals that can be dangerous to your health. It may cause mild respiratory, eye, and skin irritation. Clean thoroughly with water and use mineral spirits whenever necessary.
Proper usage, disposal, and storage should be observed, especially when you're in contact with the product. Work and store the product in a well-ventilated area.
Tightly seal the item and keep it away from flammables for overall safety.
What's The Difference Between Wood Putty And Wood Filler?
Wood putty is used in furniture repair to cover nail holes and scrapes, while a wood filler is ideal for unfinished woodwork for fill-ins. It is thicker than a filler since it has plastic and chemical solvents.
So, it is not crackable nor shrinkable.
It can't be sanded or stained. You can use it for both interior and exterior applications. When using it, you should always have a putty knife around.
How Do You Paint Wood Filler To Look Like Wood?
Choosing the closest color of wood filler to your wood material solves half the problem. The rest is making sawdust from scrap wood from your project and mixing it well with the wood filler.
We recommend using 180-grit sandpaper to extract fine dust or scoop some from the sawdust made by your electric sander.
How Big Of A Gap Can Wood Filler Fill?
Wood filler can fill a 3/8 inch gap. Using a wood filler to fill a more significant wood gap may cause the filler to crack or call for further repair. Fill huge wood gaps with wood fillers with the aid of epoxy or acrylic caulk.
Ensure it is dry well before sanding or applying a stain or paint over it. Using a homemade wood filler will make the filled-large gap look natural.
Can You Layer Wood Filler?
Yes, but you need to consider the time it needs to dry every time you layer and how thick each layer should be. The regular use of a wood filler is 1/4 to 3/4 inches per layer.
The thicker the layer, the longer time you need to allot waiting for the filler to dry. Take note that if you're using a type of wood filler except water-based ones, it may shrink as it dries.
Why Does My Wood Filler Keep Cracking?
Wood filler cracks because the curing time is not followed. Usually, it takes a few hours for a wood filler to dry, but you can speed up the drying process by keeping the work area warm.
Not enough layers of wood fillers can also create cracks in your wood filler. Make sure to apply multiple layers of thin wood fillers to suffice your filler's needed build or durability.
To Finish Up
There are different shades of wood fillers in the market that you can choose to match your wood material. You can also cover it with paint adding vibrance and mood to your furniture.
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