How Long Does a Wood Filler Take to Dry? [It Depends On THIS]

How long does it take for wood fillers to dry? It’s important to understand how fast wood filler dries because it can have a huge impact on the longevity of your project.

When choosing a drying medium, you should consider two factors which are the material selection and drying duration.

Keep reading to learn more about the methods to save you time and the best wood filler products to use for your garden furniture, home projects, and more.

What Is Wood Filler For?

Wood filler is a safe and easy-to-use product that provides a moisture-proof and stain-resistant finish to virtually any wood. It comes in many colors and textures and can be used for building, decks, furniture, and boats.

You can restore your furniture with wood fillers. Wood filler is an ingredient found in many paint and varnish products. It helps fill cracks and defects in your furniture.

Here are ways to restore home furniture in addition to wood fillers:

What Affects Wood Filler Drying Time?

The length of time for the wood filler to try depends on its type. There are also a lot of other factors affecting the drying process.

Filler Amounts

The amount of filler you add will determine how fast and how evenly it dries. A thinner formula will dry faster, but thicker formulas may take longer to dry.

Using fillers in thin amounts is not recommended so that it would dry easily. Apply a sufficient amount as needed.

Keep in mind that putting it into areas with bigger gaps will require more time and more putty.

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Filler Types

Besides filler and putty, there are several existing fillers, such as homemade power, epoxy, acrylic caulk, and epoxy. So choose according to your needs.

The applied mixture and material will determine how long the filler will take to dry. The maximum time for some fillers to dry is 15 minutes.

Dry Time of Oil vs. Water Type Wood Filler

Drying times determine the amount of filler used in various items, and properly drying your filler allows you to produce a uniform thickness from batch to batch.

Oil Type Wood Filler

Oil-based fillers usually dry up at a minimum of 10 minutes after applying on the surface.  Weather conditions and humidity affect drying as well.

Upon applying the filler, let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove the excess using a towel. If the applied filler is not enough, you can add more and repeat the process.

Water Type Wood Filler

Oil-based fillers usually dry up at a maximum of 4 hours after applying on the surface. Unlike oil-based fillers, you can continually add more as needed with no waiting time.

Use a towel to remove the excess, and it should be dry after an hour. To ensure that it has completely dried, you can test it by running sandpaper through it until it gives off white powder.

How to Make the Wood Putty and Filler Dry Faster?

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When it comes to repairing your home, you want to get it done as fast as possible. Here are things you can do to fasten the process of drying wood putty and wood filler.

1. Layering Thin Layers of Filler

Applying thick layers at a time will take longer. You should apply thinner layers on the wood to let it dry up fast. Apply a sufficient amount to get the work done.

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Consider adding thin layers until the surface is completely covered. Add another layer as soon as the first layer hardens.

2. Clean Up the Area

Ensure there isn’t any left dirt, dust, or debris before applying it on the surface. It will take longer to dry and produce a bad result.

To speed up the drying process, make use of a towel, sandpaper, or any sander. If a hole is filled with dirt, a screwdriver will help push dirt out of the crevices.

3. Employ Hardeners

You can carefully add hardeners such as epoxy resin to your mixture. Too much mixing may produce a hardener alone instead of a filler.

Mixing fillers with hardeners are done to strengthen the material, but using too much can make it susceptible to breaking. The best way is to use the right amount to make it last.

4. Warm It Up

The sun is part of the drying process of wood, and if the sun is not shining, you have to do your drying with a heater as it will help you dry faster. In addition, you can make use of a hairdryer or an electric fan.

5. Sand It Out

Once you’ve tried everything, consider sanding it out so it will give you a refined look while the applied filler is being dried up. If it is not effective, leave it again to dry under the sun or with a cooling fan.

Just be careful with debris or dust produced by the sanded wood as it may be hazardous for you.

Fast-Drying Wood Fillers You Can Try

This section will discuss the top 5 chosen fast-drying wood filler products widely available, reliable, affordable, and easy to use.

J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty Stick

With a strength of 900 psi, this wood filler can be set in about 25 minutes and can be cured in just an hour.

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This filler can be stained, sanded, drilled, or shaped. It is durable and will not crack or shrink easily because it has a similar density to wood.

J-B Weld 8257 features a resealable packet, making it useful for other repairs or usability.

Also, make sure the wood is dry and the cracks are free from dirt before applying.

PC Products 167779 PC-7 Two-Part Heavy Duty Multipurpose Epoxy Adhesive Paste

This sealant is a great choice for several reasons. It has a high water release rate and excellent chemical resistance, making it ideal for applications in the plumbing industry.

The best filler wood is the one that has the highest strength. This means that you can use this multipurpose paste to fill holes, castings, and molds in the wooden flooring and give you a stronger finish.

Thus, increasing the wood’s longevity and durability.

Minwax Stainable Wood Filler

This filler is extremely durable, and it can also make the surface easily be painted and stained.

The surface covered with this filler will be durable and help you secure tight-fitting objects such as screws and nails in place.

Minwax 13611000 Wood Putty, 3.75 Ounce, Golden Oak

This is a durable non-water-soluble filler that is also fully weatherproof and waterproof.

It can also be used as a finishing coat after putty is applied to cracks of planks and flooring.

It will not crack and shrink even when applied outdoors and can withstand direct sunlight as it can contract and expand when subjected to different weather conditions and humidity.

Dap Plastic Wood Filler

Dap Plastic wood filler comes in various colors. It is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, from fences and gates to decks and furniture.

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This wood filler will harden immediately at exposure to air. It can be used for repairing and refinishing old wooden furniture and doors.


Can I Use an Old Wood Filler?

Putty can be reconstituted so you can continue to use it and eliminate waste. Here are the following steps on how to do it.

Step 1. Remove and dirt from the dried putty and then place it in a mortar.

Step 2. Grind and pulverize until it becomes a powdery mass.

Place a small amount of water into your ground powder. Incorporate water and put it into the mixture while crushing them using a pestle.

Step 3. You must add water as the putty is being crushed. Adding a few drops of water must be repeated for the putty to reach its initial consistency.

Can Wood Filler Dry Without a Hardener?

Normally, wood filler alone is enough. In general, wood fillers have a hardener on their contents.

Hardeners are the last choice and are commonly applied when there are structures that seriously compromise the wood or extensive damage.

How Long Does Wood Filler Need to Dry Before Painting?

Drying time is fully dependent on the size and depth of the area to be covered. So you must plan your drying time based on the amount of area you want to cover.

It can take as early as 15 minutes when the wood filler is applied on shallow areas, whereas it could take up to 8 hours when applied on deeper areas before painting.

How Long Does Wood Filler Take to Dry?

Wood putty usually completely dries up from 2 to 8 hours. However, wood putty’s drying time completely depends on the amount applied.

Drying time can also vary according to the wood putty type you have. It is also worth noting that oil-based putty and water-based putty have different drying times and mechanisms.

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Can You Add Water to the Dried Wood Filler?

When it comes to mixing the filler with water, most people add a teaspoon of water and continue until they get into the desired consistency and then stop when it’s soft and already usable.

Don’t make the mistake of not knowing how much water to use to mix and blend your mixture. For starters, start by measuring the amount of water and filler you will work with.

Fill It In

Today, wood filler manufacturers have to use different methods to increase the drying time. They can accelerate this process by applying heat from a heat gun or fan.

However, these methods are not as safe as other methods mentioned in this article. The drying process of wood fillers is very time-consuming.

It takes longer to dry wood fillers than you think. Although, it can be accelerated by using recommended products and using the correct steps, which were all discussed here.

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