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How Long Does It Take For Wood Filler To Dry?

You may be tasked to fix holes when repairing furniture and other wooden items. Making your wood surfaces appear their best requires filling in damaged areas with wood filler. So, understanding how quickly wood filler dries is crucial since it can significantly affect how long your project lasts. We've researched the answer to deliver you the correct information.

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How long wood filler takes to dry depends on the depth of the application. Shallow repairs typically require 30 minutes to 2 hours to dry. Deeper repairs can require 2 to 6 hours to dry.

In this post, we will tackle the types of wood filler, how to properly apply it, its difference from wood putty, and how you can dry it faster. Keep reading to learn all the pertinent information.

man using putty knife to apply wood filler unto screw holes. How Long Does It Take For Wood Filler To Dry

Types Of Wood Filler

The surface of the wood can become dented and damaged by various things. Wood fillers are commonly used to cover uneven wood surfaces. It raises these low sections to the same level as the surrounding areas, resulting in uniformity and flat wood.

Determining the sort of top-coat product you intend to use can help you decide whether to use a water- or solvent-based filler. Water-based top coats match water-based fillers, while solvent-based top coats match solvent-based fillers. Here are the two types of wood filler:

woodwork. Putty knife in man's hand. DIY worker applying filler to the wood. Removing holes from a wood surface

1. Water-Based Wood Filler

Water-based fillers work to fix holes in wood. This filler is significantly healthier for the environment because it doesn't contain harmful chemicals.

Some water-based wood fillers may be easily diluted with water, resulting in a thinner filler, making them more adaptable. Water-based filler also possesses a mild odor due to its composition having little to no volatile organic molecules.

Water-based wood fillers offer several advantages in addition to cleanup. First, you can use water alone to clean water-based fillers. Also, there is no risk if you get it on your skin. However, you should remove it immediately because you don't want it to dry on you.

Water-based fillers often dry in 30 minutes to 6 hours. This filler dries more quickly, so you won't have to wait a long time to paint or refinish your wood.

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2. Solvent-Based Wood Filler

Wood fillers with solvent bases have been around for a while. However, solvent-based fillers are utilized less and less as water-based fillers have become more popular.

Solvent-based fillers are more expensive than water-based fillers because they are better suited to exterior wood projects because of their resistance to high heat, water, and cold. This filler is a good choice if you need more structural strength to cover more extensive fractures or gaps.

Vinyl or epoxy are included in solvent-based fillers. They smell worse because they contain more volatile organic compounds. Because they are chemical-based, you must clean solvent-based fillers with acetone. They also release gases that might be harmful to humans.

Both cans and tubes are used for packaging epoxy filling. Although applying this filler can be a little messy, you must be careful since you can't easily sand it after it dries.

The typical cure period for epoxy is 7 days. The process takes longer in environments that are colder and less humid. Whatever the dry period, you must give the resin enough time to cure before being sanded completely.

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How To Apply Wood Filler

Utilizing wood filler may be one of the simplest methods that one can use to conceal wood surface defects. Here are the steps on how to apply it:

repair wooden floor, wood filler.

1. Choose A Wood Filler

Both water-based and solvent-based wood fillers can be stained. Ensure the wood filler you choose is appropriate for the damaged area of your home.

2. Smooth The Surface

You need to sand the wood surface you will be fixing.

DIY worker applying filler to the wood. Removing holes from a wood surface.

3. Apply Wood Filler

Apply wood filler to each crack or hole you want to restore. Then, carefully scrape off the excess.

4. Wipe Off Excess

Using a piece of dry cloth, wipe any leftover filler.

5. Let It Dry

Wait at least 30 minutes to 2 hours for the wood filler to bind and dry. On larger holes, you might need to apply wood filler multiple times. This may also increase the time it takes for the wood filler to dry.

A handyman using a piece of sandpaper to smoothen out the edge of a wall cabinet prior to painting

6. Use Sandpaper

You should smooth the wood filler. Hand-sand the filled area with sandpaper to get rid of excess wood filler surrounding the hole. You can truly make your wood look brand new again by helping to smooth out the edges.

Person working, rubbing oiling with linseed oil natural wooden kitchen countertop before using

7. Clean Surface

Problems during staining or finishing can be caused by sanding dust that is left on the surface. Cloth is the most effective option for cleaning dust without making a bigger mess.

How Can I Make Wood Filler Dry Faster?

Here are the various ways to speed up the drying process of wood filler:

1. Warm Air Days

Do your repairs on warmer days. Utilizing warm air shortens the drying process.

2. Thin Layer

Applying thin layers of wood filler rather than thick ones will speed up the drying process.

3. Fan

Installing a fan will improve airflow in the workspace. This will reduce dry times and decrease humidity. You may also use a hairdryer straight to the area you are repairing. Just make sure it's not too hot because it might damage the area.

Click here to see this hairdryer on Amazon.

Can You Remove Wood Filler?

When utilizing any solvents, always remember to put on a pair of gloves. You can easily remove wood filler if it is still wet by using rubbing alcohol and scraping it off.

The wood filler will remain firmly attached to the wood surrounding it once it has dried and won't shrink with time or with weather changes. If the filler is super dry, use sharp tools to remove it from the holes. A drill with a drill bit is adequate for larger holes.

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Can I Paint Over Wood Filler?

You may apply a coat of paint to cover the wood filler. To prevent mixing the filler and paint, ensure it is completely dry first. Further preparation is needed to obtain a good appearance because the wood filler is not porous like wood is.

What's The Difference Between Wood Filler And Wood Putty?

Even the most skilled woodworker encounters open joints or holes in their creations. Wood putty and wood filler are valuable items to have on hand when it comes to hiding unattractive flaws in the wood. Wood putty or wood filler are two materials with similar names, but they have important distinctions.

Wood putties are moderately flexible materials that retain flexibility even after drying. In contrast, wood fillers often consist of pulverized wood byproducts trapped in some binder that dries rock hard.

Wood putties, which come in various hues to complement wood finishes, are frequently applied to finished wood. However, wood putties typically don't harden as quickly as wood fillers.

As previously indicated, wood putty is frequently used to hide minor flaws caused by nails and other small objects. It will contract with the wood during changes in humidity and temperature because of its malleable nature.

Wood filler is used for indoor applications where wood expanding and contracting is less of a concern because it lacks the flexibility and pliability of wood putty.

Compared to wood putty, a wood filler can be used to fix various issues, such as wood rot, holes made by nails or screws, and minor gaps between joints. Additionally, wood filler is available in external formulas that are made to withstand variations in temperature and humidity without cracking.

Click here to see this wood putty on Amazon.

Putty knife in man's hand. DIY worker applying filler to the wood. Removing holes from a wood surface. How Long Does It Take For Wood Filler To Dry

In Closing

Wood filler is used to fill surfaces and visually add structural stability, but it does not strengthen a junction the same way wood glue or metal connectors do.

Don't forget to examine the condition of your older wood filler before applying. If any portions of the wood filler have a foul smell and are dry, discard them immediately.

To make the wood filler blend in better with the wood finish, experienced woodworkers occasionally pre-color it before applying it. Before using the wet filler, you can blend wood stain in.

Before you go, be sure to take a look at these other posts:

How To Fix Wood Floor Gaps

How To Fix Holes In Plywood Walls