Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler: Optional Or Unchangeable

Carpentry or woodworking is a profession that costs patience, ingenuity, time, and effort. The interchangeable dual wood putty vs wood filler is a must-have tool for artisans looking to polish their work. 

Unlike digital work, a small-bit mistake can take a fortune. Things that usually happen, such as scratches, holes, etc., can result in imperfects in your workpiece.

Professionals can tell exactly how they are different from the first look. But what if you are a beginner, a student is working on some woodworking project or wants to fix things in the household. How do you know?

Knowing what’s going to happen when you put either of these products in use will benefit you a lot. 

What Makes The Difference?

From seasoned carpentry or woodworking, they can surely tell what’s the difference between wood putty and wood filler only by looking at them.

The biggest difference between wood putty and wood filler that leads to different usages is the ingredients they contain.

Wood putty is one of the chemicals that help fix wood, containing plastic, oil-rich components. On the contrary, wood filler is a more water-based chemical type. 

The environment will play a significant role in distinguishing these two products. Wood putty is more susceptible to the elements than the other.

This distinction also explains why wood putty requires much more time to dry compared to the other product. 

Wood Putty

wood putty vs wood filler

Wood putty, also go by the name plastic wood, is a filling paste that fills gaps like nail holes when performing on a workpiece. It contains a wide range of substances, mainly wood dust mixed with binder and diluent. 

The product will provide you with the most natural-colored camouflage that effortlessly mixes with your surface to disguise the flaw with such components. 

Pore fillers for larger smooth surfaces, including such floorboards or desks, are often made with silica instead of or in conjunction with wood dust.

The application usually involves mixing it with water to create a clay-like substance. Because the chemical takes quite some time to dry, it is ideal to apply it on finished surfaces. 

If you use the product on raw wood, it may do some damage, so be sure to wash it out if any chemical remains and sand it down to have a smooth surface afterward.

Wood Filler

wood putty vs wood filler

Raw wood does not always have flawless surfaces. It always has defects like pores, holes, scrapes, scratches. So having a wood filler by your side to smooth surfaces and mend wood flaws will be of great help. 

Compared to wood putty, a wide variety of wood filler is water-based, so if you want yours to be thicker, it’s best to go with solvent-based filler. 

Most wood fillers are neutral in color. Thus, in case your project is in a particular hue, you may tint the filler with whatever color you want to match, and don’t forget to sand it to bring out a smooth surface and remove wood grains. 

Following are typical wood filler types on the current market:

To bring out the best look on the wood surface, choosing the perfect types of wood filler is essential. There are primarily three varieties to select from depending on the surface conditions.


Specially designed to work on unfinished workpieces. For the greatest results, you should sand down areas where you are going to apply epoxy. If you use this sort of wood filler, make sure to add a sealer to keep it from becoming crumbly or brittle.


The most popular among the wood fillers are undoubtedly latex versions. Because they are water-based and won’t cause any problems afterward, they are utilized in a wide range of products. 

Latex is commonly used with raw wood to fill up pores or cracks before they become unfixable. 


People often use this sort of wood filler to repair the construction of furniture. Polyurethane helps seal the piece’s external surface, protecting it from humidity, moisture, and other environmental factors.

How Do Wood Putty And Wood Filler Counterbalance Each Other?

People will have their way of using the duel in different situations from the differences between the ingredients. 

To summarize, we will outline the benefits and drawbacks of each option and leave it up to you to decide which is best for you.

Wood Putty

wood putty vs wood filler

Impressive Durability

One of the initial advantages of wood putty is how long it lasts. Even a little container can offer an incredible lifespan. As a result, it is a less expensive option out of the two. 

It will become harder over time. A few drops of acetone will suffice to return it to its former condition.

Adhesive Properties

Because wood putty has adhesive capabilities, you won’t always need to employ a seal. This benefit, meanwhile, would only work on oil-based finishes. 

Best For Outdoor Furniture

As opposed to wood filler, it resists shrinkage and is much more resistant to the effects of environmental conditions, making it the finest solution for your outdoor furniture.

Longer Drying Time

Most types of wood putty take longer to dry than wood fillers. The biggest drawback is that a light-colored wood putty might gather dust and discolor.

Wood Filler

Fairly Fast Drying

First and foremost, wood filler begins to dry around ten minutes after application and should take no more than 24 hours to completely dry in most cases. 

Various Types

The greater the variety of the wood filler, the more surfaces you can work with without breaking a sweat. There is no reason why you can’t handle any situation using latex, epoxy, or polyurethane.

High Flexibility 

The availability of numerous types of wood filler renders it more adaptable than wood putty. And there are many applications for it when constructing indoor furniture. Most woodworkers prefer putty over fillers because it is more applicable in a wide range of finishes.

Not Expandable

When exposed to the elements, wood fillers have less capability than wood putty, which is difficult to work with when dealing with outdoor furniture since it is likely to break.

Most Common Question About Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler: Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler For Floors, Which Is Better?

Many individuals state that both two products are ideal for filling cracks, gaps, and nail holes when it comes to the floor. What incredible things these two products are incapable of! 

Put wood putty vs wood filler for hardwood floors to the test. Will it be the same, or will one product offer greater benefits than the other?

First, wood putty is a helpful design to fill small holes and slight gaps in hardwood floors. Because the compound contains wood dust, the color it produces has the finest appearance. 

The biggest disadvantage is wood putty requires a long time to dry, so it will pick up dust readily and discolor quickly.

When compared to wood putty, the wood filler may have the same effect. However, because the chemicals react differently, the color may differ from that of the floor.

When it comes to minor holes and scratches, it’s not such a problem. But for larger ones, you may want to reconsider since it will seem strange when you look down on the floor, and it is simply like a bizarre array of colors in your house.

Finally, as you can see, every product has its own set of pros and cons. So, before picking which product to use, consider why you intend to use it to achieve the greatest results.

Related article:

Final Thoughts

It’s a tough call between wood putty vs wood filler to determine who deserves to win. In most circumstances, you can use the duel interchangeably since the performance and impact it produces are so comparable. 

Only the differences in their downsides make it difficult for us to decide which is the best to use. So think carefully about the intent you want to employ, and everything will be just fine.

Reference source: Putty Wood Filler HEAD-TO-HEAD | Which Is The Best Wood Filler?

Leave a Comment