best wood filler for screw holes

Top 10 Best Exterior Wood Filler of 2020

Cracks, holes, rots, devotes, these are common in woods. And wood fillers are indeed a great solution to get rid of them. Filler allows you to repair the wood and paint on it perfectly which is why they are extremely popular among woodworkers. Having that said, not every wood filler will get your job done perfectly. To get the best out of it, first, you need to find the right one, since there are a lot of types and models available.

It gets frustrating for beginners to choose one from the large array of choices. You cannot run away from that struggle unless someone experienced does the work for you. If you want to stay away from that frustration and still get your hands on the best exterior wood fillers, this is the guide.

We have come up with 10 best wood fillers for exterior use. All of them are top-rated and users are getting the best results from these, so your investment won’t go wrong with these wood fillers.

Go through the reviews!

Our 5 Favorite Exterior Wood Filler

Best Exterior Wood Fillers Reviewed

1. PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste

Starting with our top pick, the PC products wood repair epoxy paste, one of the finest and top-rated wood fillers available in the market right now. It is UV light, shrinkage, mildew, dry rot, and water-resistant (both freshwater and saltwater). So it is one of the best exterior wood filler. Though it is specially designed for use in outdoor woods but it performs equally good on indoor wood repairs as well.

It doesn’t come mixed, you will have to mix it and make the paste since it comes in two parts. However, be very careful when mixing these two parts, both need to be in an equal amount, not more or less. And ensure you mix them well, otherwise, it will be a waste. It is a high tack wood repair formula, so after filling the wood, it wouldn’t drip.

When using wood fillers, you have to take the temperature into account as well for better results. The appropriate temperature for applying this wood filler is 35 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the filler is dried and hardened fully, you can stain, paint, sand over it like a wood piece.

It is a long-lasting wood filler, the manufacturer has used real wood dust in the construction. Doesn’t matter how bad the hole or crack, this PC products wood repair epoxy paste will get the work done. Just make sure you know how to mix and apply properly.

The Pros

  • It lasts long.
  • Resistant to water, IV ray, shrinkage, mildew.
  • Hardtack epoxy paste.
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.

The Con

  • Little hard to mix it properly.

2. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

This one is an extremely versatile wood filler, the FamoWood 40022126 latex wood filler. It comes in different colors which nicely matches the wood tone. If you manage to pick the right color for the wood, then you won’t need to do any sanding or extra painting. Not only color what it offers, but there are also some other features as well which makes this wood filler worthy of investment.

It is a solvent-free filler so it doesn’t contain any rough or smelly chemical which is good both for the wood and the user. Almost every filler now comes with harsh chemicals that are bad for raw wood, that’s why the manufacturer suggests to varnish the spot before filling it. However, you won’t have to be worried about anything with this very wood filler.

There is one drawback of solvent-free fillers and that is short storage life. One of the main reasons behind adding solvent to the fillers is to increase the storage life. Without it, filler gets dry pretty fast. So if you are picking a solvent-free filler make sure to get the needed amount, otherwise the remaining filler will get wasted. Though there is a chemical that can help to restore but still, it is better not to rely on that.

Once the filler gets harden on the applied area, it becomes hard as wood. And the best part is, it is shrinkage, cracking, and water-resistant. Plus, it lasts extremely long doesn’t matter how bad is the environment. Besides outdoor use, it can be used on indoor wood repair as well, the performance is the same.

However, according to some user this filler doesn’t stain well, it is the coloration the causes the issue. It makes ugly spots that are extremely visible. So keep this in mind before purchasing this one.

The Pros

  • It comes in different colors.
  • Shrinkage, crack, and water-resistant.
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.
  • No foul smell and harsh chemicals.
  • Long-lasting filler.

The Cons

  • Short storage life.
  • Doesn’t stain well.

3. Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler 

Though this Bondo Home Solution Wood filler is specially developed for rotten woods but it performs outstandingly in every wood type. It is a two-part solution, cream hardener, and the filler emulsion. Mix it properly and fill the crack or hole, it works like magic.

The best part of using this filler is the drying time. It dried within just 15 minutes and gives a light brown tan tone within that time. And after 15-20 minutes, you can sand it, or paint is like wood. Some fillers take hours to get dried properly.

The mixer of these two-part solutions is malleable which makes it extremely easy to apply. Plus, it comes with a low viscosity index which enables the solution to penetrate deeper into the applied spot. However, having that said, this wood filler isn’t for filling large cracks or holes, it would be able to make a strong bond in large holes and cracks. So make sure to pick this for only small repairs.

It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Rain, UV rays cannot harm it much that is what makes it best for exterior application. The easy to apply feature makes it an extremely suitable filler for the beginners as well.

The Pros

  • Very easy to apply.
  • Durable filler.
  • Dries in 15 minutes.
  • Suitable or both indoor and outdoor.
  • Works in all wood types.

The Cons

  • Not for bigger holes.

4. Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler

Elmer has made its name really popular by its top-notch wood fillers. They have served the market for quite a long and till now they have maintained the quality they are known for. Presenting Elmer’s E892 stainable wood filler, one of the top-rated wool fillers in the market right now. You will find Elmer’s wood fillers in tubes as well, and they are pretty popular as well.

This wood filler has wood fibers that mimic the wood once dried completely. Due to the wood fibers, you can sand it, paint it, drill it like wood. After drying this filler holds screws properly as well. There are a lot of fillers that are not suitable for hard machine sanding, but you can do fast machine sanding on this filler but make sure it is dried and hardened properly.

Unlike some wood fillers, this doesn’t take a couple of hours to get dried properly, it dries faster. It is shrinkage resistant and water-resistant. Plus, UV rays also can’t damage the filler. All of these makes it one of the best wood filler for the exterior. Since it is resistant to water, cleaning gets easy as well. However, though it is advertised to be good at staining but it is not. A lot of users have the same complaint.

The Pros

  • Dries very fast.
  • Durable filler.
  • Very easy to apply.
  • Shrinkage & Water-resistant.
  • Holds nail & Screws.

The Cons

  • Not for staining. 

5. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler

One feature that makes it move a step ahead is the color. This Elmer’s Carpenter Color change wood filler comes with a unique color, purple! This isn’t an ordinary wood color, there is a purple wood which is rare and expensive. However, the purple color of this filler isn’t permanent, it changes. Here comes the interesting part.

Most of the time it happens, people can’t determine whether the filler got dried fully or not. The confusion makes them to wait more than the needed time. And some people who are always in a hurry start sanding or doing other stuff before the filler dried fully. With this filler, you just have to keep an eye on the color. When it is completely dried and ready for further work, the purple color will turn completely into white. This feature eliminates the guesswork completely.

After the filler dried completely, sanding, painting, staining is very easy and simple. Another good thing about this filler is, it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that might damage the raw wood or damage for humans. Plus, it isn’t smelly as well. However, this filler works great in filling small holes and cracks. It cannot bond well in bigger holes or cracks. Lastly, after drying this filler turns into white completely, this is something that some users didn’t like. It actually comes to people’s preferences.

The Pros

  • The color shows when it is ready to be sanded.
  • Inexpensive price.
  • Doesn’t contain any harmful chemical.
  • Isn’t smelly.
  • Easy to stain, clean, paint.

The Cons

  • Not very strong.
  • Not for filling big holes or cracks.

6. Elmer’s Product P9892 Probond Wood filler

If you are looking for a cheap wood filler, you might be interested in this Elmer’s product P9892 Probond Wood filler. It is an extremely low priced filler though that doesn’t reflect on its performance. Once dried it becomes really hard, if used well under the right temperature and it is dried properly, sometimes it becomes harder than the wood. The best use of this filler is when it needs to be curved. Since it gets hard like wood, you can easily do curving and decorate like a wood. This is something that very few wood filler offers.

The manufacturer has used wood grain in the construction of this filler and that is exactly why it acts like wood. However, once applied properly, this filler can last for years. It is very durable and long-lasting. Another reason why this filler makes a highly strong bond is the adhesive properties in it.

We already know Elmer’s is one of the best glue manufacturers and they used some properties in this filler that makes it sticky and hence allows it to form a bond that lasts for years. There is a major drawback as well, because of the stickiness, the filler cant reaches deep inside the hole. So if you need to fill a deep hole, do not choose this filler, it cannot penetrate deep. Another flaw of this filler is the lid.

It comes completely airtight which is a great thing. But if somehow even a little amount of filler solution comes on the lip of the container, it doesn’t remain airtight anymore. And if air gets inside, the solution will get harden inside the container. And doesn’t matter how much you try, it is very hard to keep the lip of the container safe from the filler.

The Pros

  • Extremely low price.
  • Highly durable filler.
  • Lasts very long.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Dries quite faster.

The Cons

  • Not for large holes.

7. Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer

And here comes the last one, the Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer. Rotted woods are a very common issue that homeowners often face and this one is the solution for that. It forms a solid base over the rotted wood and stops further rotting. And when the solution dries properly, you can sand, stain, paint on that pretty easily. Having that said, it cannot be used to fill holes, it cannot penetrate that deep and it won’t hold longer.

It is water-resistant, so do not worry about using this one exterior wood items. Water cleaning is also pretty easy. Lastly, though it is advertised to get dried within 2-hour but according to the users, it takes longer to get dried properly.

The Pros

  • Easy to apply.
  • Comes at a low price.
  • Forms strong bond.
  • Can be sanded, stained, and painted.

The Cons

  • Takes long to dry.

8. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler

We know how irritating it is when fillers take 24 or more hours to get dried properly. We have the Minwax 42853000 wood filler for those who don’t like waiting for a day or two. This very wood filler dries extremely fast, within 15-minutes after applying it will get harden.

It is undoubtedly one of the top-performing wood fillers of the market right now. Comes with impeccable bonding power and the surface can be colored very easily. If you are looking for a filler to fix issues permanently, this Minwax model suits pretty well. Rebuilding or restoration of any hardwood items is effortless with this very filler. Nail holes, cracks, knot holes, small gouges, etc. this filler does an excellent job in filling these.

Once the filler is dried properly, you can sand, paint, put nails and screws as well. It holds nails or screws just like wood. Plus, this filler is suitable for using on both indoor and outdoor. It is crack and shrinkage-resistant, so don’t worry about the filler breaking off. It is compatible with oil or water-based wood stains.

However, there is a downside of this wood filler which is you cannot take much time when preparing it, it will start getting hard and that will result in not being able to fill the holes properly. Though the manufacturer says it dries within 15-minutes but few users have noticed this filler dries even faster.

Fast-drying is both a good thing and also a bad thing. But if you prepare filler for small holes filling, then you shouldn’t have any problem. Because when you prepare a large amount of filler, it obviously takes time in mixing, and hence, fillers start to get hard.

The Pros

  • Crack & Shrinkage-resistant filler.
  • Dries within 15-minutes.
  • Very easy to apply.
  • Holds nails and screws securely.
  • Can be sanded or colored easily.
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.

The Cons

  • Gets harden if mixing takes time.
  • Small storage life.

9. Carpenter’s Wood Filler

Like we said in the previous review, fast-drying fillers are good but at the same time, they are bad as well. When you are preparing filler to fill up large holes or crack or a lot of small holes, obviously the mixing process will take time since the amount is high. And if the filler is fast drying, then you are in trouble because as you mix it might start getting dry. So if you are looking for a filler to fill in big holes or cracks, never opt for fast drying.

Then which one you should opt for? Something like the Carpenter’s E849D8 wood filler. We know it is irritating to wait for 24 or 45 hours to get the filler fried but that is a benefit also since you get to mix the solvent and filler well and apply with ease. And the wait will worth it.

However, this filler is an interior filler, so do not even think of applying it outsize. It is advertised to be crack and shrinkage-resistant just how an ideal filler should be but few users have noticed little cracks and shrinkage. Very easy to apply and it makes a very strong bond.

The Pros

  • Easy to mix and apply.
  • Forms a strong bond.
  • Easy to sand or paint.
  • Good storage life.
  • Holds nails, screws nicely.

The Con

  • Few users have seen it cracking and shrinking.

10. DAP INC 18741 Platinum 16OZ Patch Filler

Here comes a very easy to use wood filler, the DAP INC 18741 Platinum patch filler. Though this is mainly used as wood filler but works incredibly well in Fiber cement, PVC, Composite, Metal, and other materials as well. It is super easy to apply, completely effortless. And once it dries properly, you can sand it or paint it like wood.

Comes with great waterproofing ability and moreover, it is UV ray-resistant as well which makes it a suitable choice for outdoor use. However that being said, we don’t recommend this for filling large holes or cracks. If you need to fill small cracks and holes, go with it, otherwise don’t. Lastly, it takes a while to get dried properly which is a good thing but a bad thing as well.

The Pros

  • Can be applied effortlessly.
  • Sand or paint it like a wood piece.
  • Preparing is super easy.
  • Can be used on Composite, PVC, fiber cement, etc.
  • UV and water-resistant.

The Con

  • Takes time to dry.
  • Not for filling big holes and cracks.

How to Choose the Best Exterior Wood Filler?

For picking the ideal wood filler you need to consider a few factors before making the purchase. All of these factors are equally important, so make sure you don’t miss anything.

Ingredient

The manufacturer uses different ingredients in making wood fillers but there is one that you should always look out for. Wood fiber made wood fillers. One issue most people face with some wood fillers is, some are not hard enough to be sanded, and if it is hard, you cannot curve on that.

If you make sure that your wood filler comes with wood grain, that will become the wood after drying. You will be able to sand, stain, paint, curve anything you want. The filler will become a strong part of the wood. Some manufacturer uses adhesive properties in the making, they are very sticky. It has both benefits and flaws.

The best part of fillers that come with adhesive properties is they form a highly strong bond. And when gets dried fully, they become extremely solid. The disadvantage is, they cannot go in a deep hole. And they can’t be stored for a long time. So it depends on your, if you want to fil a small hole, then go for adhesive property fillers, otherwise don’t.

Dry Time 

Some fillers take a few minutes to get dried and there are some which take an hour. We won’t say you should go for fast drying or slow drying. As long as the quality is okay and the filer delivers durability, you shouldn’t stress yourself much about the drying time.

Amount

When you are purchasing wood filler, make sure to buy the needed amount. You might be needing some more filler in the future, some people pick up a large volume and they end up wasting all. Fillers are not a thing that you can store. A little amount of air will make the entire container of filler hard. So if needed you can buy later, but buy the needed amount if you don’t want to waste money.

Color

The wood piece you would be repairing is that something that people will notice? Wood pieces like the table, chair, door, window, etc. These need to look good. So when you are pocking a wood filler, try to pick a suitable color for the item you would be repairing. Otherwise, it will look bad.

Types

Wood filler comes in different types and each serves a different purpose. Knowing all the types are extremely important so that you can choose which one is best for you. We have summarized each of the types so that you can get a clear understanding.

Cellulose-based Fillers

This one is widely used and available. Cellulose-based filler doesn’t come pre-mixed, it comes with powder or paste which are mixable, and you need to mix it. These fillers are suitable in different solvents as well, alcohol-based and water-based. Since they don’t come pre-mixed, they can be easily stored for a long time, just mix the amount you need. And if we talk about the price, due to its wide availability it is pretty inexpensive.

The mixing up process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and after applying when it gets dried properly, you can do sanding, painting, staining, pretty easily. However, it is best for staining.

Gypsum Wood Fillers

These wood fillers contain mineral powders and they are best suited to water-based solvent. With water, they get so solid that breaking it will require extreme effort. It gives a transparent and crystalline look which makes this filler blend with the surroundings.

And since it is transparent the wood color is shown, it looks good as well. Having that said, these fillers get stained pretty soon, so a great layer of paint over it would be the best decision. One more thing, they are not waterproof, so they can’t be used for exteriors, only indoor wood repairing.

Vinyl wood filler

Well, if you are a beginner and need a very easy to apply wood filler, then go for the vinyl-based wood fillers. They are very malleable and easy to apply. Setting then into the hole or crack is super simple but when you put a thick layer of this they often crack. It is one reason why most people don’t go for this filler.

But if you need to do some thin coating over the woods, then hands down vinyl base wood fillers are one of the best. Another perk of using this filler is it is a plastic-based solution and is resistant to water and UV rays which makes it suitable for exterior wood pieces. Though it wouldn’t stain but we would suggest using paint over, just to be on the safer side.

Epoxy wood fillers

Here comes the most popular one, epoxy wood fillers. It is a petroleum-based wood filler that makes highly durable and long-lasting bonds, thanks to its adhesive properties. It can be used as glue as well, it works outstandingly.

It doesn’t come pre-mixed, you have to mix it on your own. How better the result would be that depends on how better you mix it and the temperature you apply in. The container should have a suitable temperature range, so make sure to follow.

Mix the amount you will be needing, after mixing you cannot store it, because it dries way too fast. This wood putty filler is weather-resistant, so they can be used both outdoors and indoors. However, since they are very sticky, they cannot be used in filling deep holes.

What are the Uses of Wood Fillers?

Wood fillers are getting used for different things, have a look at most of them.

Filling holes

This is the main purpose of wood fillers, they are developed for this. Wood fillers can go deep, doesn’t matter how deeper the hole is, it would get the job done accurately. However, in this case, you will have to pick the right wood filler, vinyl and epoxy base wood fillers are not good for filling deep holes. Due to the stickiness of the epoxy fillers, they cannot go deep.

There are a lot of fillers who works best for deep filling. However, before using them ensure you sand the applying area with fine grip sandpaper. Get rid of all dust and debris before applying the filler.

Smoothening wood grains

There are different kinds of wood grains ranging from small to large, with wood fillers you can make these grains look so pleasing. It doesn’t require any hard work, just give a thin layer coating over the wood grain by wood filler and the polish that. Polishing will give you a reflecting and smooth finish that will look really good. And then you can add a thin stain as well for making it look even better.

On flooring

If you have a wooden floor and there are little cracks and holes, you can apply wood fillers there as well. However, be sure to not use water-based wood fillers on the floors. Do not apply a thick coating of wood filler on the flooring. Add a thin coating and then polish with a fine-grit sandpaper. Many people add wood stain but stains are not compatible with all the fillers, so make sure you apply depending on the compatibility.

Furniture repairing

This another popular use of wood fillers. Old furniture woods often rots which obviously doesn’t look good. Wood fillers can sort that out effortlessly. Just take off the rotten wood and apply a thick layer of fillers, that’s all. But make sure to use a sustainable wood filler, otherwise, go with a wood hardener.

As glue

Another use of wood fillers is as adhesive. Not all fillers are suitable for this, there are few types of wood fillers that contain high adhesive properties, and that makes it act like glue such as epoxy wood filler. So yes, you can use fillers to bond to wood pieces together.

How to Prepare Wood Filler? 

Buying wood fillers isn’t all, if you want to use it all by yourself, you will need to know how to prepare them. Don’t worry, the process is very simple, all you have to pay attention to is the time. You cannot take much time when preparing wood fillers since they get dried pretty soon.

Moving on!

As you know there are different kinds of wood fillers, epoxy, putty, liquid, these are the most common ones. Each of these kinds serves different purposes, if you have gone through the buying guide section above you must know which kind of filler is best for you. Skipped the buying guide? Go back, it’s a 5-min read, it will be worth it!

Along with the wood filler, you need the right solvent as well. There is two most popular kind of solvents water and alcohol-based solvent. Which solvent you will pick that will depend on the kind of filler you have picked.

And then you will need a putty spatula which will help you to mix it up. Or if you don’t have a putty spatula you can use a small thin sheet of plywood as well.

Take a small amount of filler and add little solvent, and start mixing. You cannot wait, otherwise, it will get hard to mix it up. Here comes the most important part. The mixture should not be too diluted and nor it should be too dry. You will have to bring the right consistency.

On the first go, you might not get the right consistency, though it isn’t a hard job at all. But if you don’t have any prior experience, you can take the help of an expert or any video tutorial which will help you understand better. Make sure the paste you make can penetrate inside the holes or cracks to fill them up and make a strong bond.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fill holes in exterior wood?

It is very simple. If the filler doesn’t come pre-mixed, mix it well, and then under the recommended temperature put the filler inside the hole, don’t forget to use a putty knife for better results.

Can wood filler be used outside?

Surely. There are fillers that are specially designed for use outdoor. They are weather-resistant fillers and can be used indoor as well.

Is there a waterproof wood filler?

Yes, there is! All of the exterior wood fillers are waterproof.

Can I use wood filler on rotted wood?

Yes, you can! Wood fillers are widely used in treating rotten woods.

What can I use instead of wood filler?

You can use wood putty instead of wood filler.

Conclusion

If you want the best result, then using the best exterior wood filler is the must. So do not compromise anything that comes in the way. However, hope you have gone through the reviews and it helps.

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