Wood Putty

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Forum topic by flyingoak posted 01-27-2011 05:12 PM 4840 views 2 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View flyingoak's profile


68 posts in 3257 days

01-27-2011 05:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have always stayed away from wood putty because i dont like the way it looks if you are going to stain something. Although most say they are stainable, usually it jsut dont look right.

What type of putty do you use. is there a good one out there that wont stand out as bad?


-- where is the duct tape.....

13 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3307 days

#1 posted 01-27-2011 05:30 PM

I use CA glue and sand over it. I’ll use putty if I’m painting it, but not for staining.

But the best thing is to avoid the need for it.

Everything my father used to build was nailed together…and he’d always use putty. The result looked terrible. But once I got out from under his wings, I learned that “glue is for furniture-makers; nails are for carpenters.”

-- jay,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3223 days

#2 posted 01-27-2011 06:05 PM

Whenever I use putty I am covering up a mistake that I made. I’m most happy when I need no putty. However, just the other day I had a miter joint that didn’t come together as well as I liked. The gap on the outside corner was probably less than 1/64th of an inch but it was enough to be noticeable. I filled the crack with putty and sanded it down. I ended up softening all 4 corners of the box.

I very seldom use stain so that is not an issue for me.

With respect to the box I just did, if some one picks it up and looks real close they may see the putty, but no one will notice from a casual look. The key is a good color match.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4367 days

#3 posted 01-27-2011 06:16 PM

I have not found one yet that reacts to finish the same as wood. I find the Elmer’s in a tube works fairly well if you get the shade that most closely matches the wood you are using. (See photo below)

A pretty good workaround I have found: Rather than filling and staining, wait until after your project is stained, then fill with a matching wax stick before top coating. Of course this only works for small gaps.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3923 days

#4 posted 01-27-2011 06:57 PM

I have used Fix Wood Patch for years. It comes in different colors and takes stain well. Our Lowe’s store has some colors. If you do not have a Lowe’s store or they do not carry it, you can buy it at Unifire (1-800-745-3282). Unifire has a bigger selection of colors and sell it in a bigger cans.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3629 days

#5 posted 01-27-2011 07:25 PM

I use Fix too, or sometimes Famowood. They take the stain well. If I have a crack or large chip, I will use poly glue mixed with the sawdust from the project.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View canadianchips's profile


2608 posts in 3146 days

#6 posted 01-27-2011 10:07 PM

I TRY to not have to use it ! But I do ! I do fill nail holes, (I still use some nails) The best method I found is to sand a scrap board of the same material I am using, I mix carpenter glue and fine sawdust into a paste, then fill the nail holes carefully. I found some putty pencils that work on certain colors as well. ( I use them after I stain the material.)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Pdub's profile


924 posts in 3329 days

#7 posted 01-28-2011 12:13 AM

I use it sometimes with miter joints as Rich was talking about. I fill the gap and immediately sand the area with my palm sander, then let it dry. The dust seems to mix with the putty and accepts stain or danish oil a little better. I’m not partial to any particular brand but usually get the Elmers as Charlie talks about, but I don’t use it on any large areas.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2989 days

#8 posted 01-28-2011 01:22 AM

If the gap is small, during my sanding regiment I will fill the gap with wood glue [for this I use white elmers] and just sand. The dust usually fills the hole. If I have a large problem, I will clean my sanders dust collector. Sand with 100 grit and collect the dust, mix it with white glue and fill the hole. It is the same color as the wood and the white glue dries clear.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View flyingoak's profile


68 posts in 3257 days

#9 posted 01-28-2011 01:27 AM

All great ideas. I have used many of them myself. I will look into the Fix Wood. Thanks for the responses.

BTW- Paul, I grew up at Grand Forks AFB. My dad was an EWO on a B-52 During the old SAC days.


-- where is the duct tape.....

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2986 days

#10 posted 01-28-2011 03:51 PM

Yes… good info but one other method for larger (not too large) gaps to to insert a small piece of wood with glue. I always try to make sure the piece is a bit larger then the hole and once the glue dries, I shave it smooth and sand around it. As for fillers, like it’s been said, I use the minwax tube that works fair with lighter woods like ash or add a bit of stain to a PC Wood mixture.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3199 days

#11 posted 01-29-2011 05:15 AM

PVA and the sawdust from the same wood, mixed up to form a paste.

-- Theresa,

View Pdub's profile


924 posts in 3329 days

#12 posted 02-08-2011 12:00 AM

Harold- I’m gonna date myself here but, I spent several years in SAC before it went away. I see you obviously didn’t like the cold weather up here and moved a little south. Smart man!!! LOL

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3797 days

#13 posted 02-08-2011 12:48 AM

If I want a putty to blend for stain-grade work, I’ll make up a sample
of the finished wood using the finishing protocol I expect to follow.
Then I mix up a custom putty a little bit darker than the finished shade.
Slightly darker blends better than slightly lighter and getting the same
shade is very difficult.

I use powered dyes to stain the putty usually, but I’ve tried liquid dyes too.
Oil based putty can be mixed up with dyes and even artists oil pigments
pretty freely. Water-based putty won’t mix with oil pigments but you
can use acrylic artists colors in it with some success.

In case of grain staining, a false grain can be introduced into a dried putty
patch by scratching with a pick or knife. This false grain can then be filled
with a slurry to match the grain filler you’re using. dry brushing with artists
colors later can be used to blend in a patch and finally, after the final finish
is on colored waxes can be used correctively as well.

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