Best Wood Filler for Staining – [The Ultimate Guide]

There are different types of wood fillers, some are good for raw wood and some not. Some fillers are best to apply over the stain or paint, some are not. So if you want to get the best out of the filler you have to make sure you choose the right one. Fillers that are designed for applying after staining, cannot be applied before staining in the raw wood. They carry rough chemical which could be damaging to wood.

Choosing the wrong filler wouldn’t give you the service you need, so it is extremely important that you learn and get your hands on the right wood filler. However, if you a beginner or struggling to pick a suitable one, don’t worry, we have aligned a list of 7 best wood filler for staining.

Reviewed them thoroughly, so that you learn each and everything about these.

Our 3 Favorite Wood Filler for Staining

  1. Minwax 42853000 16-ounch Stainable Wood Filler
  2. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler
  3. Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler

Top 7 Best Wood Filler for Staining Reviewed

1. Minwax 42853000 16-ounch Stainable Wood Filler

Minwax has been around for really long and this Minwax 4285300 stainable wood filler is a well-deserved one. Will fill and seal all the holes, cracks, and small gouges very easily. Though it is advertised to be suitable for using with Minwax stains but it works pretty fine with other stains as well.

With this very filler, you can use both oil-based and water-based stain. Not only that, this one is suitable with paint as well. This makes it a great filler for siding or paneling the needs little sprucing. The way this filler is developed it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor. The thing that makes it suitable for outdoors is its resistance. It is water and UV ray resistant, so it lasts long outside. Plus, it is shrink-resistant as well.

There are fillers that take really long to get dried completely but this one is completely different. It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to get dried fully. And once it is dried properly, you can sand it properly, it can hold on to nails and screws pretty well. In other words, after drying, it acts as a complete wood.

Using this filler is pretty easy as well. However, for a satisfying result, you would want to get rid of all the dirt and debris. And one more thing you would want to make sure is, the filler shouldn’t accumulate dirt, it dries fast and will look extremely bad. Another thing, if the hole is deep then this filler might not work, since it is very sticky and dries faster, it might not be able to reach deeper. So you better use this for small holes and cracks.

The Pros

  • Extremely durable and long-lasting.
  • Very easy to apply.
  • Can be sanded and polished pretty well.
  • Shrink-resistant.
  • Best for both indoor and outdoor.

The Con

  • Not for deep holes.

2. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

In the second place, we have the Famo Wood 40022126 wood filler, another top of the line wood filler for both indoor and outdoor. It is a solvent-free latex-based formula and once dried completely it makes great bonds so you can sand, polish, or do whatever you want. It holds on nails and screws pretty impressively as well, after drying it acts as a true wood piece. It is shrink-resistant and crack-resistant as well, so if you are worried about a small lifespan, then don’t, it will last really long if applied properly.

There is no doubt that it is a top-notch wood filler but you cannot use it in filling deep holes and cracks. It is pretty thick and dries fast, within 15 to 20 minutes. Because of the thickness, the filler cannot penetrate deeper within 15 minutes, and before it reaches the depth it gets dried fully. So avoid this one if you are about to fill deep holes or cracks. Another disadvantage of this very filler is, because of the thickness it is a little hard to spread this filler.

As we have mentioned before, just make sure this filler is dried fully and then sanding, drilling, staining, sawing, staining, nailing, you can do everything you would do to a wood piece. In some cases, you can do curving to decorate like a wood piece as well. You can clean it with soapy water, it wouldn’t soak water, so it won’t cause any bad.

Buy this filler in the needed amount, it cannot be stored since it dries pretty fast. Few people have complained that opening the lid is a little tough, however, we don’t think that is a major issue. Overall, this is a nice filler for the job.

The Pros

  • It is a solvent-free filler.
  • Drying doesn’t take more than 20 minutes.
  • Shrink and crack-resistant.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor.
  • Allows sanding, drilling, nailing, screwing, etc.

The Cons

  • Hard to spread.
  • Not for deep holes and cracks.

3. Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler

Elmer’s is one of the top-rated glue brands in the world. They have a separate fan base for their top of the line products, they never fail to impress their audience. However, this Elmer’s E892 is not a glue obviously, but a top-quality wood filler that took the brand’s name more ahead. One of the reasons why this very filler is extremely popular is its durability. It forms an incredibly strong bond and lasts for a long time.

It is developed with wood fibers so when the filler dries properly it becomes like a wood. You can do everything you would do with wood, sanding, painting, staining, polishing, curving, screwing, nailing, etc. The filler holds nail and screws very firmly just how a wood holds. Not all filler can withstand fast sanding but this Elmer’s E892 can, thanks to the wood fibers.

You can use this filler in both indoor and outdoor. It is shrinkage-resistant and crack-resistant. Cleaning it is also pretty easy, you can use soapy water. The filler doesn’t absorb water, so it is safe to clean with it. And lastly, it is very sticky and dries pretty quickly.

The Pros

  • Easy to apply.
  • Extremely long-lasting.
  • Can be stained, polishes, fast sanded.
  • Holds nails and screws like wood.
  • Shrinkage and crack-resistant filler.
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor.

The Con

  • The Container doesn’t seal properly.

4. Elmer’s E842L Carpenter’s Interior Wood Filler

Before anything, we want to tell you that if you are looking for a fast dry wood filler, then this E842L isn’t an option for you. It takes more than 10-hours to get dried properly, but professional suggests to leave it for 24-hour for perfect drying. Even after this long dry time why we choose this as one of the best fillers for staining? The only reason is quality. We think if the quality is on point, waiting 24 hours long is worthy.

Holes, scratches, dents, gouges, defects in the wood, or wall, you can repair all of these with this very filler. If it is dried properly it becomes extremely hard, completely like a wood. And then you can stain or paint as you want. Plus, you can stand in your way as well. It holds nail and screws nicely as well, just how a wood piece holds.

It is an interior wood filler, and it is shrinkage and crack-resistant. Very easy to spread and makes a long-lasting bond. It doesn’t contain any solvent and can be cleaned with soapy water.

The Pros

  • Makes long-lasting bonds.
  • Very easy to apply.
  • Best for the interior.
  • Can be sanded, stained, and painted.
  • Crack and shrinkage-resistant.

The Con

  • Takes 24 hours to dry properly.

5. Timbermate Maple/Beech/Pine Hardwood Wood Filler

Here is another effective and quick solution to your cracked wood pieces, the Timbermate wood filler. One of the finest wood fillers out there. It is basically developed for use in interior woods but it sometimes works outdoor as well. It is suitable for different kinds of woods maple, Pine, Beech hardwood, the filler will work great with all of them.

It is a shrink resistant wood filler, crack-resistant as well. Since it is a water-based formula and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals or latex solvents, this can be applied directly to the raw wood, it won’t damage it. Plus, it is safe for humans as well thanks to the non-toxic formula. After 20 minutes of applying it will get dried fully. And once properly dried it forms a very strong bond and lasts a very long time.

When it gets hard, it acts like wood. You can sand, saw, route, paint, stain, drill, everything with it. Moreover, you can screw and nail it as well, it will hold nail and screws like actual wood. However, one downside of this filler is, it cannot be cleaned with water. In fact, water shouldn’t come in contact with this filler. Water softens the filler so it will wear out. So make sure you keep water away.

For applying the filler does not use low-grade steels. The filler can reach with that kind of steel and can turn into black color which might look bad. You better use plastic or stainless steel item to apply the filler. And if in any case the filler turns black, put water on that, wait for a while and remove the entire filler. Or you can wait till it gets hard and then sand it properly so that the color will get off.

The Pros

  • Forms extremely durable and long-lasting bond.
  • Very easy to apply.
  • Comes at an affordable price.
  • Doesn’t contain any toxic chemical.
  • Latex and solvents free totally.
  • Dries extremely fasts, within 20 minutes.
  • Acts like an actual wood piece.

The Con

  • Water softens this filler.

6. Aqua Coat, Best Wood Grain Filler.

From dyers to the professional woodworkers, this very Aqua Coat wood grain filler is suitable for everyone. It works on different kinds of wood, mahogany, walnut, porous, ash wood, works pretty fine in all of these. With this very filler, you can seal the pore in tabletops, vanities, pianos, guitars, furniture, cabinets, chairs, tables, etc. After the filler dries you can sand, paint or polish like a wood piece.

It is a non-odor, non-flammable, non-combustible, low VOC wood filler formula, and it is water-based as well. Doesn’t contain any chemical that is harmful to raw wood. Once the filler gets dried properly that can be sanded very easily, cleaning with water is also allowed since water doesn’t harm the filler, and lastly, this filler is extremely environment-friendly. This filler dries pretty fast.

As we mentioned, this filler doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals so you won’t have to stain it before applying. You can apply directly to the wood. One benefit of this is, you can achieve a great finish. Plus, the filler absorbs less topcoat which is both time and money-saving.

Applying the filler isn’t a complex job, you use an unused credit card, a knife or blade, or putty knife to seal the pores. However, after sanding apply 2 -3 coats, it is recommended by the manufacturer. Once the filler is dried completely, it becomes like wood, and it lasts really long.

The Pros

  • Very easy to fill pores.
  • Extremely long-lasting.
  • Dries pretty fast.
  • No harmful chemicals.
  • Works well in different kinds of wood.

The Con

  • Suitable small pores.

7. Elmer’s Product P9892 Probond Wood filler

Ending the list with another top-notch wood filler, Elmer’s Product P9892. There is a lot to talk about this very filler. The most attractive one is its price. It comes at an extremely low price but that doesn’t reflect on the performance. It performs like expensive wood fillers. However, that being said, this is not for filling deep holes, it cannot penetrate deep. And not for large holes as well. Pick this when you have to fill small holes and cracks.

It is a fast-drying wood filler, should dry completely within 30-minutes maximum. And once it is dried properly it will become very hard. Harder than the surrounding wood. You can do anything you would do with a wood piece. Sanding, polishing, painting, sanding, drilling. It holds nails and screws pretty finely as well. And the hardness makes it suitable for curving as well, you can decorate it like wood. It wouldn’t break.

The reason why this filler is extremely strong is that it contains wood grains. Plus, this filler contains adhesive properties which makes it extremely sticky. So when it dries it becomes harder than wood. And because of the wood grain, it can be curved properly as well. When you are picking this filler, make sure you purchase the amount you need. The package seals pretty well but if somehow the filler gets into the lip of the container, it wouldn’t seal. As a result, all the remaining filler will get hard inside the container.

The Pros

  • Extremely durable filler.
  • Becomes hard like wood.
  • Holds nail and screws securely.
  • Very easy to apply.
  • Comes at an affordable price.
  • Dries pretty fast.

The Cons

  • Not for storage.
  • Not for filling deep holes.

How to Choose the Best Wood Filler for Staining?

If you want to make sure you get your hands on the right wood filler, then there are few factors that can help you achieve that. Below we have broadly explained each of those factors, all you have to make sure is you consider those right before you purchase a wood filler.


Wood fillers are used in different tasks. The basic purpose of all fillers is to fill, but there are some which are not suitable for all kind of woods. Some cannot feel holes, some cannot fill cracks. So you have to pick a filler that will serve your purpose best. For example, if you need a filler for filling small cracks, not all filler will do that properly, there are few specific fillers which are best for that. Go to the review section of the filler you are thinking of a purchase, the reviews should you give you enough idea about that filler.


The thickness of the filler matters a lot, though a lot of people ignore that. When the filler is thick like putty you cannot use that to fill deep holes or cracks. Because of thickness, it cannot penetrate deep. However, thicker filler seems to make the strongest bond. On the other hand, thin fillers can get into the depth of the hole pretty easily. So choose accordingly, if you have a deep hole to feel then going with the thinner filler would be a wise choice. And for tiny holes and cracks use thick fillers.


If you have plans to not stain or paint the filler after drying, then you would want to pick a filler that comes with a color that matches the wood. Wood fillers without the color will make the entire wood piece look bad. And if you have plans to paint or stain the filler, ensure you are choosing one that can be stained or painted.

Indoor or Outdoor 

You cannot every filler everywhere you want. Some fillers are designed to be used in the interior only and some are for the exterior. And there is some filler that can be applied in both areas. Be very careful when choosing an exterior wood filler. Make sure the filler dries fast because the slower the filler is, the more dirt it might accumulate before drying. And after drying it will look dirty.

You will also have to make sure the filler is weather and UV ray resistant. Rain and Sunray will be there outside your house, if the filler isn’t water-resistant, it will wear off pretty soon. Sunray will also damage the filler. There are some filters which get discolored because of ray, it is better if you stay away from those.


Most wood fillers cannot be stored for a long time. Little air inside the container causes all the fillers to get harden. In that case, the wise decision would be to purchase only the needed amount of filler. Or go for fillers which don’t come pre-mixed. If you don’t know, there are filters which come in two-part and in order to use it you will have to mix both of them together. So mix the needed amount and leave the rest for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use a wood filler before staining?

At first, you want to thoroughly clean off the hole or crack where you will be applying the wood filler. Then apply the filler directly, but make sure you pick a filler that is suitable for direct applying on the raw wood. After the filler gets hard then sand first. remove all the dust properly. And then stain or paint it.

Can you stain over Elmer’s wood filler?

Not every Elmer’s wood filler can be stained. But there are some new models which can be stained, painted, and polished just like wood.

How do you fill holes in stained wood?

There is nothing much to do, it is the same as how you would fill a-holes without staining first. Staining is just a layer of protection that protects the raw wood from harmful chemicals that most fillers contain. If you pick a filler that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals to damage the raw wood, staining isn’t required before filling the filler.

Do you use a wood filler before or after staining?

It depends! If the wood filler comes with properties that are damaging for raw wood, then you would want to stain the cracked or hole area of the wood first. And then apply the filler. Otherwise, you can stain later.

Can I mix stain with wood filler?

Of course, you can! Just make sure you mix both of them together appropriately. The mixture can’t be too thick and nor thin, it has to be consistent. Using a paddle mixer with a drill would be the best option, that will mix it properly.

Final Words

We know that it would be little for a beginner to choose the best stainable wood fillers from the hundreds of choices available. Among all, these are the 7 best wood filler for staining we have found so far. Hope it helps!