How to Fill Cracks in Wood: Woodworking Tips

Today, We will discuss How to fill cracks in the wood. Most of the times you end up with a split cracked, holed or gouged wood which you did not notice or could not avoid. Sometimes it is just a nail hole you want to fix or the rotten wood.

Patching wood is a critical job that requires plenty of knowledge in order to know the best material to use and where. For instance, an exterior filling will require a different material from interior filling. The patching material will also vary depending on if you want to paint the wood or you will leave it natural. Since there are numerous materials available for patching it is necessary that you are able to determine the best material for your wood projects.

How to Fill Cracks in Wood?

Here the different choices as follows:

1. Wood putty

how to fill cracks in woodIt is a thick paste which is spread on the crack or hole using the putty knife that comes with it. You should then let it dry then sand flush it. Wood putty comes in a variety of colors guaranteeing you a chance to get one that matches your wood color. However, if you do not get your desired color, you should add stain to the putty before you apply it or when it is still soft. You can also paint the wood after you have sand it.

 2.Wax sticks

how to fill cracks in woodWax sticks are similar to crayons only that they are harder. They come in a variety of colors which can match the different woods colors. You should start by sealing the wood you are working on with shellac especially if you are applying the final finish since the finish seals the wood. Wax stick limits your application capability as you can only apply for the final finish or before.  To use it, just draw on the crack or hole using its tip. You can then remove the excess using a putty knife or even a piece of plastic.

3.Shellac sticks

fill cracks in wood

It is a product of beetle excretions which is melted using soldering iron hence very natural and free of toxins. The product also comes in a variety of colors which are good looking. To apply it, smear it on the imperfection then press it using a chisel or putty knife and leave it to harden. After hardening, you should scrap its scrape with a thin cabinet scraper or a chisel and later lightly sand it with a fine sandpaper.

4.Glue and Sawdust

how to fill cracks in woodAnother way to do away with wood imperfections is by using wood glue and sawdust to fill up the cracks and holes. This method gives perfect results as you will use the sawdust from the wood which exactly matches the wood color and type. To achieve a durable and a fast filling you are required o have the right quantity of wood glue.

5.MH Ready Patch

This filler only takes 30 to 45 minutes for it to dry and be ready for sanding. Although it is an oil product, it can be washed away using soap and water. It can be used in filling up cracks, gouges at the surface and dime-sized holes. However, it cannot be used in patching large areas.

6.How to fix cracks in wood with Epoxy?

This product ops all the wood Epoxies on the market. It offers a permanent filling solution for small wood holes and cracks. It can also be used to stick together damaged pieces and patching missing areas. The repaired parts work perfectly as a normal wood and can be sand, planed, drilled and can neither rot nor fall out. It is long-lasting and can be used anywhere without fearing water issues.

7.Durham’s Water Putty

This product comes in a powder form allowing you to mix to your preference. It is always best that if you want it at self-level make it thin and if sticking vertical surfaces ensure it is thicker. Apply it using a putty knife and leave it to dry. The time it takes to dry depends on the weather conditions and the size of the crack or hole. After drying, you can make it smooth by sanding, priming, and painting. However, without priming and painting it, the hole or crack will mildew and fall outside after a few days. The water putty can be used both for outdoors and indoors.


This product saves much of your time since it is easy to use and dries fast. It requires you to apply with your hands, after ten minutes it will start to set up and will only take about thirty minutes to be as hard as a rock. You can use hard profiles from it as a structural repair or for sculpt. It is an excellent exterior repair since it dries fast and is resistant to rotting and mildew. This means that even if you left it outdoors unpainted, it would not have any problems.

9.Wood Filler

They offer both interior and exterior solutions. They are also readily available and have both sandy and smooth consistency. Wood fillers also come in a variety of colors guaranteeing you a chance of getting your perfect match. You should apply it using a putty knife or your fingertip; ensure you sand while it is still smooth then prime it.

10.DAP Painter’s Putty

It is excellent nail holes fillers as well as other small wood imperfections. It saves you a lot of energy since it does not require sanding after application. You apply it by using your finger to push it into the hole, you then smoothen he surface using your finger. However, this putty is oil based hence takes a lot of time to dry completely. If painted or primed with oil based paint it will take a lot of time to dry. This aspect guarantees you that it will remain flexible for an extended period. Its other disadvantage is that I cannot be used to fix large holes and also if not primed the paint flashes.

11.Combination approach

When it comes to large holes and cracks, application of combined techniques is necessary since only a few types of filler can do that. For instance, you could glue a hardwood dowel in an old bolt-hole. Apply permanent filler on a1/4inch of your door, hide the patch using a wood Dutchman, glue and sawdust .you should then sand it and apply your desired paint.

12.Door fillers

If your door has a bolt hole or a lock cylinder hole, you can use door dowel. It is a structural and durable solution which can last for an extended period. However, you will have to repaint your door since the dowel will have a different look. Even if you pick an entirely similar dowel, you will have to paint it as it will still look different.




A separation or a crack on a piece of wood makes it look bad as it interferes with its random coloration. If you were to use a filler with a solid color, you would change the crack from the color black to another solid color. Hence the crack will still be visible. This is why it is necessary that you use a compatible color that has the same random colors.  This also shows the importance of being knowledgeable of the fillers out there before performing your patching. To achieve impressive results in filling wood cracks and holes you have to practice. I think that the above discussion will help you to know how to fill cracks in wood.