How To Make Wood Filler Look Like Wood

Ever wonder what would you do if your wood furniture developed holes or cracks? Maybe you are afraid that adding wood filler to the holes will ruin the elegance of the wood. Don't worry! After careful research, we have put together the following steps and information to help you achieve the perfect-colored wood filler for your wood.  

If you want your wood filler to look like wood,  you can opt to do the following:

  1. Make sure that the wood filler is the same color as the wood.
  2. Use sawdust from scrap or buy some that matches the color of the wood.
  3. Mix the materials and do the sanding.
  4. Choose a wood stain and apply it to the wood

If you are considering using sawdust as wood filler and are curious as to the "how's" and other methods of making wood fillers match your wood, then buckle up as we provide you with helpful information for your convenience.

Processed wood planks. Carpenter hand work the wood with the rotary tool, How To Make Wood Filler Look Like Wood

Steps To Make Wood Filler Look Like Wood

Here are easy steps to achieve the right look with wood filler for your project. This guide is the easiest and most effective way to achieve your goal. Materials for these steps are readily accessible and budget friendly.

1. Make sure that the wood filler is the same color as the wood

This will help you assure the color-matching process. Also, take extra precautions in choosing a wood filler. You should make sure that the wood filler is clean and will absorb the stain properly.

2. Use sawdust from scrap or buy one that matches the color of the wood

Buying a ready-made wood filler in stores will help you minimize labor and is time-efficient. But if you don't have the means to do so, you can always opt to use DIY sawdust wood filler. We'll delve into this DIY in the next section.

Check out this wood and grain filler on Amazon.

3. Mix the materials and do the sanding

If you have a wood filler and sawdust available, then you can mix both with wood glue. This will help to further strengthen the mold. Wait for 24 hours until it becomes dry. Only then should you use it and apply it to the wood.

For more detailed information, check out this post: How long does it take for a wood filler to dry? 

After putting it on the wood, it is important to sand it so that the filler and wood will be level.

4. Choose a wood stain and apply it to the wood

In this step, it is important to use a stain that will complement the wood filler and the wood. This will enhance the wood and is a key step in making sure that the wood filler looks the same as the wood. It is also important to use a brush that best fits the size of the wood.

You don't have to worry if you apply too much stain. You can always apply a regular thinner or mix the stain with mineral spirits.

You can also try mixing water with the stain and testing the stain on a piece of spare wood with filler on it. It is worth noting that it’s better to have a stain that’s too light as opposed to too dark. 

How To Use Sawdust as Wood Filler

Handful of sawdust over a sawdust

If a store-bought wood filler isn't available to you, try using sawdust from the same wood as your filler. This hack is convenient and will bring out your inner resourcefulness as you proceed with these steps:

1. Clean the wood and sand a part of the wood

This will help you make sure that the wood you are using is free from defects. You should work in a clean, well-ventilated area for this step. Make sure to also wear a mask to avoid inhaling sawdust, which might cause lung irritation. 

After preparing the aforementioned, use a sander to scrape pieces of wood which will then turn into sawdust. The usual sander can be used for this but it might be better to use a power sander.

Check out this power sander on Amazon.

2. Create a mixture

The mixture is a very important component in your wood filler, as it will be considered a binding agent. This should be a mixture of both the sawdust and the carpenter's glue or any other furniture glue. Continue adding and mixing both the sawdust and the glue until you reach a putty-like consistency.

Check out this carpenter's wood glue on Amazon.

3. Apply the filler to the wood

Once the desired putty-like consistency has been reached, scoop the filler and spread it into the holes of the wood you want to fill. Make sure to spread an extra layer of the filler on the whole wood to reach that wood-like finish.

4. Let it dry, sand it again, and apply a wood stain

Lastly, let it dry, After it has been dried, sand the wood again to avoid lumps and to make sure that you did not miss any holes in the wood. You can now apply a coat of wood stain or paint. Applying the wood stain is an important factor to achieve that elegant wood finish.

Check out this cedar finish exterior stain and sealer on Amazon.

Homemade Wood Filler Without Sawdust

Sealing cracks in old garden table with wood filler and covered with acrylic putty

If you don't have any available wood to spare to make sawdust, you can use alternative materials and still make it look like wood-finish. Below are some steps and materials needed:

  1. Gather the following: cornstarch, petroleum jelly, and wood glue.
  2. Pour the cornstarch into a bowl, followed by the wood glue. Don't add the petroleum jelly yet. Make sure that the mixture ratio is 1:1.
  3. Mix the ingredients until you reached a dough-like consistency.
  4. After reaching the desired consistency, only then you can add the petroleum jelly to the compound. This will help in making sure that the DIY wood filler is not sticky.
  5. Wrap the finished wood filler for at least 24 hours and only then will you be able to use it.
  6. After adding the mixture to the wood, finish off by adding a wood stain.

How Do You Remove Wood Filler From Wood?

If for some reason you decide to remove the wood filler from the wood and redo your project, you can try the most common method: removing it using a hammer and a drill. But there are also other ways for you to remove it:

1. Use a saw

Carpenter using circular saw for cutting wooden boards with hand power tools

In using a saw, it means that you only want to remove the wood filler on the surface.  A saw is a piece of easy equipment to use in the aforementioned area as it can remove even those in the sealant surface area.

Read through this post for more insight: How To Repair And Smooth A Splintered Wood Deck

In using an electric saw, you need to take extra caution with its power. You should wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying woods, just in case. You should also use a miter box or a crosscut sled to help guide the saw.

In using a jigsaw, you can just simply cut the part of the wood where you want the wood filler to be removed. Remember to also take extra caution to avoid any injury.

3. Use a Dremel tool

A Dremel tool can be used for removing wood fillers that are located on the surface area. To use this, you must start by attaching the cutting wheel to the tool. After that you lower it onto the filler material. Once done, you can rotate the wheel around the wood to make sure that the filler is gone.

Carpenter hand work the wood with the rotary tool

4. Use a hammer and a chisel

Using a hammer and chisel is somewhat considered the last step in removing wood filler. Upon cutting or scraping off the wood filler, you can use these two in order to fully remove the leftover. After which, you can use a scraper to level the wood.


Processed wood planks

For you to achieve a wood-like finish for your wood filler, you must consider the materials to be used and where you will be using them. Remember that if a hardware store is not available near your location, you can always resort to homemade wood filling or DIY.

Take note that the primary factor in achieving your goal is for you to use a wood filler that is almost, if not the same, color as your wood. Pair it with a stain of the same color, and everything will turn out as expected.

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