How Long Does it take for Wood Filler To Dry?

wood putty

Even the most qualified woodworkers often come across cracks or holes while working on wood projects. In this case, wood fillers are needed to help fill the cracks or nail holes. Before deciding on the type of filler to use, you should consider some factors to ensure you choose the best. How long does it take for wood fillers to dry? It is one of the essential factors to consider because it affects the effectiveness of your fillers. It also helps you estimate the amount of time required for you to be done with your project. Below are essential details you need to know concerning wood fillers, including how long they take to dry.

Types of fillers

Generally, woods have different resistance levels to damage because they are determined by several factors, such as the type of wood used. Some types of wood are preferred because of their durability. However, the durability does not prevent cracks or holes from forming on the wood. Some activities like moving sharp and hard across the surface of the wood and nailing create dents. The dents or holes make your wood piece unattractive and reduce the effectiveness of some activities like finishing. Therefore, to seal the cracks and dents, wood fillers are used.

There are two types of filers commonly used by most people. They are wood putty and fillers. All are referred to as plastic wood because of their nature. They are primarily used to cover and fill uneven surfaces on the wood making your wood appear even and appealing. The fillers are usually malleable, making it possible for them to fill the cracks and holes in your wood. They also do not harden but instead dry up, retaining their plasticity. As a result, any alteration in shape does not affect them, thus allowing you to shape your wood in any shape you want while performing finishing activities.

How long do your wood fillers take to dry?

A question that usually strikes the mind of most woodworkers is how long wood filler takes to dry before they start doing final touches on their piece of wood. According to Pro Tool Guide, it is essential to know the amount of time to give your wood filler because it helps you not wait for too long or do it very soon, which might affect its usefulness. Usually, the amount of time your wood fillers take to dry depends on the depth of your application. Meaning shallow repair can take approximately thirty minutes to two hours to dry, commonly used in shallow holes. But deep repairs are commonly done when your wood has deep cracks or holes, and can take about two to six hours to dry.

Important tips for faster dry times for your fillers

Like other construction materials, wood fillers are also affected by humidity and temperature. Therefore, below are some important tips to follow or apply to make your wood fillers dry faster.

Apply it in thin layers

Thick layers of wood fillers, when applied to cracks on wood, take a long time to dry compared to thin layers of fillers. Therefore, if your application requires a thick layer, it is wise to apply the filler in several thinner coats. Doing so helps your wood filler dry quickly, giving you enough time to do the final touches on your project and begin a new one.

Apply when it is warm

Weather is also important to consider when determining the appropriate time to make the application. According to Home improvement, Scout D.I.Y. Made Easy, you should apply your wood filler during the warm midday hours because, during this time, the temperatures are usually elevated thus hastening the drying process.

Use a fan

Putting up a fan in the same room where you have applied wood fillers is recommended because it increases the air circulation in the room. As a result, it removes humidity in the room, thus making your wood fillers dry faster.

Increase the temperatures in the room

You can also decide to increase the room’s temperature by using a heater. Usually, apart from applying your wood fillers during midday hours, you can also decide to raise the temperatures using a space heater, heat gun, or thermostat. All increase the room temperature making the fillers take less time to dry.

Can wood filler dry without using any hardener?

According to Drill and Drive, the answer is yes because in most cases, wood fillers alone are enough to seal the cracks and fill the holes on your piece of wood. It is because wood fillers have a hardener as one of their contents, thus not requiring you to purchase an additional hardener. Hardeners are unnecessary but might be needed when the cracks or holes seriously compromise your wood. They are commonly used in cases where your wood has been severely damaged.

Can you add water to the dried wood filler?

Most people keep wondering if they should mix their filler with water or not before applying it. The answer is yes because you must mix the filler with water before applying it. Usually, you are advised to apply a teaspoon of water at a time until you get the desired consistency. It would help if you stopped adding water when the filler mixture becomes soft. You should not just add any amount of water to mix and blend because you can mess up your mixture, and its effectiveness might be affected.


Wood fillers help fill cracks or holes on wood surfaces, thus improving their structural stability and appearance. However, they do not strengthen a junction like metal connectors or wood glue because they are designed to fill nail holes or cracks on wood and not combine two pieces. To ensure your wood filler blends well with your wood, it would be good if you add color to the mixture before applying it to the wood. And if you are using the wet filler, you can stain it with a color that matches your wood. Ensure you examine the condition of your old wood filler because if after mixing it produces a foul smell, you should discard it immediately because it won’t be effective.

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