Wood Putty vs. Wood Filler – Which One Should You Use?

As much as it hurts to tell you, wood putty and wood filler are not the same. Yes, there are several companies that label both wood putty and wood filler the same. But if you get deep, you will know that there are many visible differences between them.

Both of them are used for home repairs and woodwork. But the differences are notable. Today, we will talk about wood putty vs. wood filler so that you never pick up the wrong one for your project.

Let us begin and learn why they are different and how to use both of them differently! Have a look!

Wood Putty vs. Wood Filler

Differences between Wood Filler and Wood Putty

Most of the new woodworker doesn’t know the difference between wood putty and wood filler. And most of them use both! However, there are some basic differences that make one of them a better choice for you! Let us learn which one to go for depending on their attributes.


The first thing where the wood filler differs from wood putty is the construction material. Wood putty is constructed with plastic. This is more often known as an adhesive. On the contrary, sawdust or wood fibers are blended together when it comes to constructing the wood filler.

However, wood fillers require to be finished or stained with it comes to the adherence ability. You can fill up the cracks, tiny gouges and nail holes with the stainable wood filler and make it look perfect!

Sanding Ability

When you are a woodworker, you have to deal with sanding after you cut the pieces. However, sanding is required only if you are using wood filler. When you use wood filler, to smoothen the surface, you will need a woodworking sander.

However, if you are using wood putty, you do not sand. More specifically, wood putty cannot be sanded. When you are working with wood putty, it is necessary that you keep it in one place till it dries down. If you sand it, it won’t stay in one place and will not dry eventually. Smoothening it out or sanding it is quite impossible.

Wood Finishes

The next thing between wood putty vs. wood filler is the finish of woof. If you are dealing with finished wood, the best thing you can settle for is the wood putty. For wood putty, you won’t be needed any sanding.

If the wood is finished, you can complete the work by using wood putty and no sanding at all! On the contrary, when you are using wood filler, make sure you are using it on the unfinished wood.

In some cases, wood filler is also used on the finished wood too. No matter where you use woof fillers, sanding the visible or touchable portion is a must!


Not all wood require painting and the users don’t like to paint it all. Now, if you want to paint the workpiece you designed, you better go for the wood filler. The paint will easily stick to the filler and make it look better.

On the other hand, wood putty cannot be painted. In some cases, the woodworkers also paint wood putty. But immediately after applying the putty, it’s not possible for painting it. If you leave the wood putty in its place for a long period and after days, you want to paint it, you can. But not all sort of paints work with the wood putty.

You have to select the paint safely and carefully that matches the standard of the wood putty. On the other end, you can go for almost all sorts of paints if you are working with wood filler. These are better to work with if you love to paint!


Now if you are working indoor, both are great for you. No matter you use wood filler or wood putty, they will last a long period with the proper care. But if you are planning to work on a workpiece that you are keeping outside of the house, it is recommended that you avoid wood filler.

This one is not designed for outdoor application and it won’t last for a long time outside. Wood filler is water based and wood putty is oil bases. This is the reason users think that wood fillers might be better in outdoor application but this is not the case!

Wood putty is capable of dealing and standing the elements outdoor. And so, if you use this outdoor, you will be benefitted.

Using Process

Wood Putty

When the topic is getting the one that is easy to use, you can unconditionally try the wood putty. Yes, it is easy to use even for the newbie. All you need is to get some of the wood putty and use it. In comparison to the wood filler, wood putty is thick.

This is mostly used by the home owners in the home repair jobs. When it comes to working with the holes in your doorframes or any cabinet door, it is a good idea to get some wood putty for the job.

Filling up with wood putty is less complicated and it can cover up almost everything. After applying, you can forget about it. You don’t need to sand it or color it. Most importantly, you don’t need to worry about it!

Wood Filler

While wood putty is used for home repairs, if you have a small project, you can use wood filler there. If you see tiny holes here and there is your wood furniture and doors, you can go for it. For the cracks you see on the unfinished wood can be easily fixed with wood filler.

Mostly, it is used in the imperfections just like you use concealer on top of foundation to conceal all the imperfections. For applying this, you have to put it inside the cracks or holes without flattening it too much. Let it dry for a while.

After drying, you are free to sand it. After sanding the area, you have to go for a stain along with sealer. In this case, you have to out a little more effort than the wood putty. But the final outcome will amaze you as you won’t know that there were any imperfections before!

Wrap Up

Never worry on fixing the holes and cracks of you house when you have wood putty or wood filler in your house. Though the woodworkers will tell you both are same, there are some differences you should know beforehand.

We have covered all the basic info and attributes of wood putty and wood filler so that it is easy to understand for you. Before you buy them, know your requirements and purchase accordingly.

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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