There are three major types of wood fillers I use. Each has a unique use, from flat surfaces to vertical carvings. Some have shrinkage and some don’t.
Car bondo: Pros, super easy to use you cannot mix up this ratio the more red you add the faster the dry time. This stuff is rock hard and sand-able. There is also minimal shrinkage. Plus I have to confess I just love the smell of it! Cons, this is not always a great option with a vertical surface that is not easy to get flat. This stuff can and will sag while drying. Sometimes tape can help around corners but inevitably you will end up with air pockets or sagging. This just creates another step and another fill when you where almost done with your prep-work. If you are going for a wood stained top like a light oak this color will not match well unless you are going to do a hard wax burn-in on the top or even faux finish that section.
Here is a touch-up done with car bondo.
Epoxy Putty Stick
Tootie Roll: Yup, I know its not called that but honestly I have called it that for years and years and when I talk to other professionals in the field they look at me like I am nuts. Well apparently I like to make my own names for things and once I have a name for it thats, that…… I honestly had to look up what it’s really called! Epoxy Putty Stick to be accurate on the terms 😉 Pros, This comes in a lot of colors personally I like the pine. This stuff is great for profiles you can manipulate however you want and it’s going to stay like that! These are so simple and easy cut a small chunk off and mash between your fingers then put in the area where it needs filling wham! This stuff sands nice and you can use a credit card to scrape smooth while its still wet. This does not sag and has very minimal if no shrinkage.
Cons, this stuff I had a bad run with for a while back in 2010-ish everyone I got was crusting up on the edges. There is a super thin barrier between the outside part and the inside part and if it gets crushed or that barrier wears down it will start to cure making these little hard spots which made my work look like poop. Well, I was told for a long life on these suckers store in a fridge. One of the warehouses I work in is so cold its like working in a fridge and I’ve never had troubles with it there. So maybe that is the key! But beware this stuff smells like a perm straight out of the salon, I used this stuff forgot to wash my hands stopped at a store and the cashier looks at me and says it smells like a perm….. oh nope thats just my dirty hands! So hey wash your hands too!
This was filled using toosite roll but also wood burn-in sticks
All Purpose Wood Filler
Standard wood filler: I always have this stuff on hand, for small things like a nail hole fill, small dent that I am painting over and its on the bottom corner. Pros, Easy to use, drys fairly fast. No need to mix anything with this stuff! Cons, There will be shrinkage its inevitable with this stuff! This is not as hard as the epoxy or bondo but it is hard. If you plan to stain over this its going to look like crap. This stuff is very pores. So it will not stain evenly if you use this on a large surface.
This is what I do with this wood filler.
Other Tools you may need for your wood filling: Pan Scrapers work wonders on leveling out fillers. Also once fillers are dry rasps with different grits work great too! Then of course to clean off all the bits of dust we recommend these dusting cloths. Also our recycle tip is keep cardboard boxes cut them up and use for mixing your car bondo.
* This blog contains affiliate links. Please visit my disclaimer page for more information.