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How To Fill Holes In Wood [Even Without Wood Filler]

When you work with old wood, you'll likely need to make repairs, such as filling significant holes caused by decay. But don't worry! Instead of throwing away anything made of wood with substantial holes, you may patch those holes even without using wood filler. We have the answers below!

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If you see holes and flaws in a wood surface, putty is the best alternative to filler. Here are the steps to apply wood putty to the gaps in your wood:

  1. Clean the hole
  2. Prepare wood putty
  3. Apply wood putty
  4. Smoothen the surface
  5. Let it dry
  6. Sand the surface
  7. Apply stain

Since wood is highly durable, you can quickly repair any wooden item using a simple trick. We will discuss the alternative to wood filler and how to cover holes in wood even without wood filler. Continue reading to find out how to get your project finished!

Aged wood background, peeling red paint, hole, old wooden rotten timber - How To Fill Holes In Wood [Even Without Wood Filler]

What To Do If Your Wood Surface Has Holes

Wood putty is the best alternative for wood filler. This is one of the simplest methods for patching holes in wood. You can efficiently repair all varieties of wood with this patching paste.

You can apply it to fill in holes when wood needs to be visible in a room because it has a color resembling that of wood. Wood putty is the finest choice for minor fixes, such as screw holes that need to be filled in a noticeable area.

Due to the structure's exceptional flexibility, it exhibits remarkable shock resistance without ever collapsing. In addition, it consists of water-based and oil-based compounds that remain pliable for several hours.

Wood putty is similar to wood filler but for its thicker density. Because of this, wood putty works best for large holes that don't need the filler to extend into fractures.

Furthermore, it is waterproof and can produce a very tight bond. Therefore, it is excellent for use both inside and outside.

See this Seisso water-based wood putty on Amazon.

How To Fill The Holes In Your Wood

Preparation woodwork. Close-up details Putty knife in man's hand. DIY worker applying filler to the wood. Removing holes from a wood surface. Application of putty.

You can use wood putty to patch holes without causing them to expand, contract, or crack with temperature changes. The application is quite simple, both inside and outside.

Below are the steps for filling the holes with wood putty:

1. Clean The Hole

Apply wood care oil to the product. Wood processing for durability concept

You must first prepare the wooden component before using a wood paste to plug a hole. The wooden spot must be dry, clean, and devoid of anything that can prevent adhesion.

Cleaning out the hole of any debris is the first step. If the hole is deep, enlarge it with a chisel or other instrument so that putty will fill it.

Remove rotten wood by carefully scraping the affected area. If it is oily, you can use an industrial degreaser. It makes the upcoming treatment's penetration easier.

It is essential to rinse any product, grease, or dirt traces thoroughly.

See this Oil Eater cleaner degreaser on Amazon.

2. Prepare Wood Putty

A building bucket filled with thick white mortar. Bucket with thick putty. White acrylic glazing putty stirred in a bucket. Thick texture.

Combine the wood putty as directed on the packaging. Mix it with water to create a thick paste if it is a powder.

View this Donald Durhams powdered putty on Amazon.

You may also use ready-made commercial wood putty, readily available in the market.

See this Minwax white wood putty on Amazon.

3. Apply Wood Putty

Preparation woodwork. Close-up putty cans in man's hand. DIY worker applying filler to the wood. Removing holes from a wood surface. Application of putty.

Fill the hole using a putty knife to spread it out, so there is no visible lump.

Since wood putty is so pliable and denser than wood filler, it is often applied with a putty knife. More exposed wood will allow the wood putty to adhere much better if that layer is removed.

View this putty knife on Amazon.

It works best for wide holes and can be used if the hole goes through the wood and forms a very tight connection. It is weatherproof, which makes it perfect for outdoor use.

4. Smoothen The Surface

Preparation woodwork. Close-up details Putty knife in man's hand. DIY worker applying filler to the wood. Removing holes from a wood surface. Application of putty.

After filling the hole, use the putty knife to smooth the putty's surface. Scrape off any extra putty with a knife and throw it away.

5. Let It Dry

Allow enough time for the filling paste to dry thoroughly. Wood putty might take up to 72 hours to dry, depending on the weather, formula, and repair size.

Because it can take a while to dry, this seeming drawback makes wood putty an excellent choice for outdoor work. After fully curing, this wood paste acts just like wood. So, it does not need sealing.

6. Sand The Surface

Carpentry work, detail of a young caucasian woman with her nails done sanding wood, using an electric sander.

Use an electric sander or fine-grit sandpaper to remove any extra wood filler once it has thoroughly dried and solidified.

Click here to see this electric sander on Amazon.

7. Apply Stain

applying a coat of teak oil to the surface of a patio table top

You can apply stains or finishing agents to blend wood putty with the surrounding wood after restoration and give it a fresh, smooth finish.

These pastes are blended to generate intermediate tones. Like natural wood, it can be worked with, shaped, stained, and sanded. It continues to be suitable for use on all common wood species.

See this Ready Seal wood stain on Amazon.

Should You Fill Holes In Wood?

Aged wood background, peeling red paint, hole, old wooden rotten timber

Holes in your wood could result in accidents. Therefore, covering significant damage on a wooden indoor construction is ideal.

If you need to fix a structural flaw, you can use wood putty to fill a hole in the wood. It works like natural wood.

Can You Use Wood Glue As A Filler?

Gluing boards in a carpentry workshop. Connecting with dowels and glue. Manufacturing of furniture boards and countertops.

You can use wood glue as a filler. Given that it is invisible when it dries, it works well for filling holes and fissures in wood.

Click here to see this Apel wood glue on Amazon.

Wood glue consists of polyvinyl acetate that works well to hold pieces together. Polyurethane glue, which dries via chemical reaction when it comes into touch with moisture, is the other popular wood glue.

Even though it tends to expand as it dries, this wood glue is remarkably water-resistant.

View this Gorilla polyurethane glue on Amazon.

First, fill the crack or hole with the mixture, let it dry for 24 hours, and then sand it. You may opt to paint or stain after filing.

Can You Use Toothpaste To Fill Holes In Wood?

Some caulking or spackle would be the specific solutions, but perhaps you don't have these materials on hand. It is technically conceivable to use toothpaste to cover nail holes in walls.

You can't believe how well toothpaste works. It is a fantastic substitute for spackling and is ideal for holes less than 1/4 inch in diameter.

Check out this Crest white toothpaste on Amazon.

If you don't want to go to the trouble of applying the paste, squeeze some of it into the hole, then use a flat object to flatten it.

Wait for the toothpaste to dry, which could take a few hours, depending on the environment. Toothpaste hardens into a highly brittle surface when it dries.

Additionally, it can withstand a little wetness after the toothpaste dries completely. Do bear in mind that toothpaste only fills tiny holes.

You can crush some aspirin into a powder and combine it with toothpaste to make a paste to prevent cracking.

See these Gericare aspirin tablets on Amazon.

You may wonder how long toothpaste will last. Depending on your environment, the toothpaste applied to a patch should get at least three to four years.

So, although it might not last as long as genuine caulking or spackle, it will still work for a few years.

In Closing

You know the best alternative for filling holes if you do not have wood filler.

The simple steps to follow are: cleaning the spot, applying wood putty, removing the excess paste, and giving ample time to dry, sand the surface, and stain for a smooth finish.

We hope you have found the answers to your queries regarding filling holes.

Before you go, make sure to check out these other posts:

How To Fix Holes In Hardwood Floor – Large And Small!

How Long Does It Take For Wood Filler To Dry?

8 Best Wood Fillers For Large Holes