How to Use Wood Putty? Step by Step Guide

Applying wood putty is very simple, anyone can do it but for applying it properly, you need to have the right knowledge. Putting it in the wrong way can make the entire wood piece look bad. And not only that, there are some other things as well that make the wood putty hold on to the hole or crack for long period. You need to know how to mix it well, what to mix, how to harden the putty, etc.

However, if you are a newcomer who wants to learn how to use wood putty, this very guide is for you. In this very guide, I have covered everything that a beginner woodworker needs to know. And I ensured that you understand everything.

So without any further ado, let’s get into the process!

Why Should You Use Wood Putty?

Before we get into the putty applying process it is extremely necessary that you know why should you choose wood putty. There is another filling compound known as wood filler, almost every beginner assumes both of these to be the same. But it is not! There are different and suitable for different wood conditions.

I have designed an in-depth article on Wood Putty vs Wood filler, check that out, you should know everything about these two compounds.

However, if you don’t know which one is suitable for what, let me summaries that for you. Both of these compounds are for filling wood cracks, wood holes, etc. In other words, these are used for repairing the woods so that they look good. But which one you should choose depends on the wood condition.

If your wood workpiece has large holes, cracks and it is an indoor wood piece (furniture or anything that remains inside the house), and you have chosen wood putty for treating this, you have chosen the wrong one. Wood putty works best for a small hole, cracks, and outdoor furniture or wood items. For large holes, cracks, and indoor items, you need wood filler.

Wood putty comes in different colors, so you can easily pick a color that matches the wood piece color. Plus, they are cost-effective as well. And widely available. Wood putty has adhesive properties that make it stick to its place strongly without any kind of sealing. Plus, they are shrinkage-resistant and they can withstand the toughest environment as well which is why they are best for outdoor wood items.

Heavy rain or Sunray cannot damage the bond. Wood putty is extremely long-lasting. And the most satisfying thing is, a small bottle of putty will run long. Plus, if somehow the putty gets harden inside the bottle you can restore that as well.

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How to Apply Wood Putty on Wood?

There are few things you will be needing for a proper wood filling, before getting into the process make sure to gather all of the following items,

  • Wood putty (Needed Amount).
  • Putty Knife.
  • Fine sandpaper.
  • Cloth for hand cleaning.

Step 1

The first task into stabling the wood piece that you will be repairing. Place it one a secure place where there wouldn’t be anything to interrupt the process. The indoor area would be best since there wouldn’t be much dust. And then clean the crack or hole or anything that you will be filling, clean with a dry cloth, dust wouldn’t let the putty form a strong bond.

One most important thing, you cannot put putty on raw wood. Putty comes with some chemicals and ingredients that harm raw wood. You will have to apply the putty after varnishing or staining the area where you will be adding putty. Do not forget this!

Step 2

After securing and cleaning the wood piece, time to open the putty bottle or container. Most of the putty container comes with a spatula. And every putty comes with a hardener that you need to mix with the putty. The spatula will help in mixing both of them thoroughly.

Step 3

Now mix the putty hardener with the putty. Make sure you use the spatula and you mix it well. If you have different colored putty, you make mix all together for a different color. Once the mixture is done properly, the putty should feel like dough.

Step 4

Take the putty knife and load a small amount of putty on it. Seeing the soft dough you might get tempted to put on a lot of putty on the knife but don’t do it. You will have to put extra effort into that. If you overfill the wood crack or hole, and the putty gets harden around, it will be very hard to sand that off. So take a small amount of putty and fill the hole or crack. Make sure you do not spill putty anywhere else.

Step 5

After filling the hole with putty hold the knife in a 30-degree angle and run over the hole or crack, to take off the excessive putty and ensure a smooth surface. Once the hole is properly filled, try to spread the putty inside the hole. You can hit the wood piece with a hammer gently, the vibration will take the putty deep inside the hole. And if you see the putty has gone inside, put some more and ensure an even surface.

Step 6

One by one full every hole and crack. One most important thing, make sure no dust gets into the putty. And then leave the putty for drying.

Step 7

Once the putty dried properly and got hard. Time to do the sanding. Pick medium-sized sandpaper and start sanding. Go gentle, it might be a little hard to sand down the harden putty but you will do it. If you have an electric sander, then it will be very simple, the work will get done within a few minutes. Otherwise, hand sanding is the only option.

Step 8

After you have ensured an even surface, no more sanding will be needed. Clean all the dust and sand from the wood piece.


Wood putty takes a lot of time to get dried properly, so you have to allow that time. And you can sand only when putty has dried completely, not before, make sure to remember this. So this is how you can apply wood putty. Hope this helps!