Staining Wood Filler

Wood fillers come in handy and have any number of uses. I have found, though, the best results are those I have made myself as opposed to store bought. These can be created using sawdust and different types of glue, depending on what you need the finished product to look like.

Staining wood filler?

Some of these techniques will take a stain and some will not.

If you have a wood chip or gouge on a piece of furniture that won’t be readily visible you can use carpenter’s glue or a cyanoacryate like Mister Glue’s Instant Glue. The end product will not take a stain so best to use this type of fix for areas that will be painted or not visible. This can be done a couple of different ways. If you have a very thin chip or area to fill you can put in some sawdust and then a few drops of Instant Glue which will wick in and make for a very hard filler. Sand it smooth and you are done. This will set up very quickly. Another way of doing this is to use white or yellow carpenter’s glue.

Make a fairly dry mix. Use it to fill a bottom tear out, a void in plywood, a chip or a gouge. Let it dry then sand smooth. The wood glue may stain a bit but the Cyanoacrylate will not. I’ve had many people use the CA (cyanoacrylate) to do repairs in wood carving as well but remember that it won’t stain so use it judiciously. If you are not putting stain on the finished product you can often, with practice, get the sawdust-glue filler to match the color of the wood – as long as you are using the same wood, obviously.

Stainable Wood filler:

If you are staining wood filler where you are doing the repair to the gouge, hole or imperfection, then there is something you can do for that as well. If you use clear varathane with sawdust from the wood you are filling – at least the same color – then it should not show when you finish the wood. One can use a water based urethane as well. Many other floor finishing urethanes will go to a yellow or amber color when dry so make sure that you get one that dries clear. Again, make a very dry mix of the sawdust and the urethane and put it into the area that needs filling. The water based urethane will dry more quickly that the oil or solvent based as well. Let it set up enough to sand and once smoothed out and dry you should be able to apply your stain successfully.

The best sawdust to use is sawdust from the wood you are finishing but try different types. I generally like to use very, very fine sawdust.

One other method that I have not tried (successfully) that was suggested to me was this: place some of the stain on the area that needs to be filled and then start sanding that area – the sawdust should adhere to the stain or other finish and fill in the gap. As I said – I have not gotten this one right yet – I either need more practice or maybe I’ll just stick with the ones that work for me.

I do caution you, though, on all of these tricks, to test them! There are lots of variables – test whichever technique that you are going to use to repair the furniture on an area that doesn’t matter before using it on that piece that everyone is going to see every day.