How To Fill The Large Gaps In Your Wood Trim? [7 Steps]

Filling large gaps in the woods may seem simple and easy. However, it can be tricky and require the right materials and methods to achieve a perfect and natural appearance. So, how do you fix large gaps properly? Read on to find out!

Ideally, when installing a trim piece, you should first check that the parts are the right size. One way is by measuring the piece twice, then cutting it once to make sure that the measurements will work out correctly.

However, a perfect fit is not always the case. If you’re like most people, you probably still need to fill a few gaps in your wood trim.

Searching for the perfect way to fill these gaps can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you lack experience/knowledge in woodworking.

Fortunately, written here is a guide that will help you.

Why Do We Fill in the Gaps of Wood Trim?

A large gap between the wall and the ceiling makes a room seem off and draws attention to obvious flaws.

Aside from that, those gaps in wood trim can also cause serious issues. If the problem isn’t corrected, water can seep through and enter behind the gaps.

Water will eventually cause it to rot and be occupied by molds or bugs. There’s a great chance you will need to repair the damage, which can be very expensive and time-consuming.

7 Steps in Filling Large Gaps in Wood Trim

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1. Collect the necessary tools for the job

Before you begin, check that you have on you the materials you’ll need to do the job:

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Hand towels
  • Caulking gun
  • Warm water in a bowl
  • Piercing tool for the caulk gun
  • Acrylic latex caulk with silicone (Tubed)

2. Prepare the caulk tube

Cut the caulk tube’s tip, making sure it is at a 45-degree angle for a more precise application. Then, pierce the seal using a piercing tool or a long sharp nail.

3. Load the caulk gun

Place the tube slowly along with the slot and gently squeeze the trigger to load it into the caulk gun.

4. Attach a painter’s tape

Apply the tape on each side of the gap before applying the caulk to save yourself from clean-up hassle.

5. Add additional fillers (for larger gaps)

Use expanding foam to cover the space before caulking if the gap is significantly large. This sort of backing material will improve the look and performance of the caulking job.

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6. Use caulk to fill up the crack

Hold the caulking gun at an angle with the tip of the tube at the top of the trim. Then, apply a small, even caulk along with all the gaps. Work in portions if you’re filling a lengthy gap.

7. Smooth and wipe the excess

Wrap a cloth or a tiny hand towel over your index finger and soak it in warm water. Smooth the caulk into the gap by running your finger and the caulk layer for better adhesion and a cleaner look.

Common Mistakes When Filling in Wood Trim Gaps

When the caulk is installed correctly, the outcome will be strong and durable. That is why it is important to be cautious when filling large gaps to prevent mistakes.

Listed are some of the most common mistakes that one might encounter during the caulking procedure.

Insufficient application of caulk

To achieve a problem-free result, sufficient application of caulking material is essential. This will prevent the formation of holes and small gaps due to unfilled space in the material.

Too much use of caulk

Excess application of caulk, likewise, will cause your fill to appear unfinished and rough.

Cutting of tube at an incorrect angle

The ideal angle for cutting a caulking tube tip is a 45-degree angle. It will give you control over the contents of the tube, helping you to apply the caulk easily.

Applying caulk on a lengthy gap in one run

When you are about to fill a long gap, it is important to apply it in portions and not rush it in one run. This portioning will help you focus and properly fill a specific section before moving on to the next one.


Rush application of caulk increases the probability of mistakes. Thus, it will always be better to take your time to come up with the best quality fill.

5 Best Wood Fillers To Fill Large Gaps

There are many types of wood fillers you can get in the market. That is why we put together a compilation of the best wood fillers that we think will work well with your problem in large wood gaps.

1. Minwax 21600000 High-Performance Wood Filler

The 12-ounce Miniwax high-performance wood filler is great for repairing, rebuilding, or restoring damaged or rotten wood.

Its 2-part compound is very efficient as wood glue and may be used to repair wooden decks, windowsills, tables, chairs, woodwork, and doors, as well as anchoring screws and tightening loose connections in furniture. 

This wood filler is weather, water, and rot-resistant, and it adheres to practically any stiff surface, including ceramics, concrete, metal, and fiberglass.

2. Elmer’s E914 Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler

This item is available in various sizes to suit a variety of purposes and applications. You may choose from four different sizes: four ounces, eight ounces, and sixteen ounces.

Don’t be surprised if you see purple everywhere once it’s been applied. There are two types of filler: white filler and natural filler. The purple solution, like Elmer’s purple glue, will cure white or natural, allowing you to paint over it with ease.

The purple hue makes it easier to see where you’re using the product. You may easily go over it and correct any errors if you’ve missed a location. It absorbs stains well, and the longer you leave it to sit, the better it stains.

Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler is ideal if you’re primarily interested in domestic crafts. It is non-toxic and suitable for mild dyeing.

3. FamoWood 40022148 Latex Wood Filler

The airiness of FamoWood Latex Wood Filler is akin to that of cake icing. It’s easy to work with and sticks well to unsanded surfaces. You don’t have to go to the trouble of removing paint off a colorful, damaged wood pattern.

However, be sure to apply it in thin layers and wait to dry in between. It dries quickly to imitate the texture of wood. Within 15 minutes, you’ll have a wood that has been redefined and is ready to use.

It doesn’t crack or shrink in any way. As a result, if your furniture has a lot of vertical gouges, you may quickly fill in the gaps using this magical remedy.

4. Elmer’s Products E848D12 Carpenter’s Wood Filler

This product has swiftly become a preferred household tool for interior tasks such as rebuilding broken wooden components and filling up holes and gouges.

Consider the following scenario: you have visitors who are especially fond of your possessions. Someone has split your favorite ukulele in half before you realize it. 

While the sight of it is guaranteed to take someone’s breath away, it’s nothing that a little Elmer’s solution can’t fix.

It comes in a 12-pint size, and it’s easy to work with. Cleaning is as simple as wiping off the surface with a moist paper towel. It is no longer necessary to sand down the final form.

Types of Wood Fillers

Choosing which wood filler to use can be difficult, there are various kinds of fillers, and they’re very different from each other. We strongly believe that knowing the types and characteristics can change how you shop for wood fillers. 

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Acrylic Caulk With Silicone

This filler is preferred for medium-sized gaps. It also works better for exterior wood as it resists damages caused by moisture outside the homes.

Wood Glue and Sawdust

This is the simplest fill and is usually used as it requires readily available materials in most cases. However, this method shrinks resists paints and stains, and may dry white if excessive glue is used.

There is also a risk of inhaling wood dust; therefore, it would be best to wear a mask when working with sawdust.

Cellulose Wood Putty

Cellulose wood putty is made of real wood. It is commonly used to fill gaps in woodwork tasks such as closets, shelves, trim, and projects that’ll be stained and finished with a varnish.

It usually dries faster, provides even sanding, does not shrink, and accepts paint and stain. However, it is not suitable for very large holes. To learn more about wood putty, visit this article.

Spackling Paste

Spackling paste is an effective and convenient way to fix small holes in wood such as jambs, baseboards, or trim of any type. It is made of gypsum plaster, making it an ideal choice for interior gap repairs.

This type allows even sanding, faster drying, paint-friendly, but it has a tendency to shrink and will need reapplication of another layer.

Polyester Paste

For larger holes in wood, the polyester filler is used. It has an almost similar application to two-part epoxy, but it’s different as it reinforces the wood by brushing wood hardener, then by a resin.

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Furthermore, it is best for wood that is already deteriorated. However, it involves possibly toxic wood hardener, tends to sag, and almost always requires a second coating.

Epoxy Fillers (Two-part)

The parts of epoxies are combined into a dough-like consistency that may be molded before or after drying. It makes epoxy one of the best options for mending big holes.

This can also repair big gaps in moldings, door jambs, baseboards, and wood trims. However, it will need a longer time for it to dry, unlike other quick-drying fillers.

How Do You Fill Large Gaps in Wood Joints?

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The glue and sawdust approach is a simple and quick fix that will go unnoticed. It is done by applying a small amount of wood glue to the gap, rubbing sawdust into it, and sanding it post-drying.

Moreover, the idea is to make sure the sawdust matches the color of the wood project you’re presently working on. It is easy and effective for quick-fixing of wood at home.

Some Factors To Consider Before Buying A Wood Filler

Drying Time

Each product has a different drying time. While you may desire a quick-drying filler, you may wish for the opposite, especially because fast-drying fillers mean shorter storage life.

Thus, it’s still better to ask a seller and use the best product you will benefit from based on its drying time and storage life.


It is best to always determine the situation before buying a wood filler. Through this, you’ll be able to know the quantity that you’ll need in a specific period.

For instance, if woodworking is your profession or craft, you might as well buy many wood fillers. On the other hand, if you use it for simple wood fixes at home, it’s best to buy smaller volumes.

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Form of Fill

When buying a wood filler, you must consider the duration and the size of the project that you will do.

If you need it for long periods, it’s best to use the powdered form to prevent drying. In contrast, if you’ll need to use it right away, it’s better to use the ready-made paste to prevent the hassle of mixing it manually.


How to fill in large gaps in wood using Glue and Sawdust

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Wood filler is a quick and easy way to fix large gaps in furniture and wood. Similarly, wood glue and sawdust mix in minor cracks and holes in completed furniture are also applicable.

Listed below are some of the simple steps that you can do to fill large gaps using just glue and sawdust

1. Prepare the sawdust and a white glue

2. Put the glue in the gaps until it covers the area that needs to be repaired

3. Apply a layer of sawdust to cover the glue entirely, then rub it with your fingers

4. Let the mixture dry overnight

5. Finally, sand the excess glue manually to even the fill and make it natural (for faster sanding, check the different types of sanders with their uses)

Can Wood Fillers Be Drilled Into?

Wood fillers are the most common inexpensive filler materials to cover imperfections, such as cracks and holes. But some of the solvent-based fillers, though great for hiding flaws, lack the structural integrity to survive the impact of the drill.

On the other hand, other types can imitate the structural strength of wood and may be applied to any plain wooden surface. They’re the ideal wood fillers for large gaps, so it is important to know and ask first before buying a wood filler for your purpose.

It will also be important to consider the type of drill bit you are using for wood fillers, as you might want to use one appropriate for a specific material for the best results.

How to Prevent Wood Filler from Drying Out?

Wood fillings in containers usually dry out after a few months. If you buy loads and use a small amount, you’ll just be wasting your money.

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However, there are ways to make the most out of it. You will need to add a bit of water to the solution within box containers or tubes to rehydrate it.

Another way is to turn the container over after each usage to delay the drying process of the chemical.

Should I Use Powdered or Ready-Made Paste Fillers?

You can use either the powdered or the ready-made paste form, depending on your working condition.

The powdered form of wood fillers allows you to manage the amount of paste you can make enough for the specific task required.

Additionally, you won’t have to worry about powdered fillers drying up if you leave them sitting around because not all of it is mixed with water.

On the other hand, it is best to consider the paste option if you’re short on time or need a quick repair. However, you must be quick in your application. If you keep it out for a long time, it may entirely dry out, which is not efficient.

Can You Use Wood Fillers to Repair Scratches?

Yes, wood fillers can be used to repair scratches, especially if they are not too bad. Apply a generous coating of the wood filler. Afterward, sand it to get rid of the lumps and get an even and smooth finish.


The wood filling can be a fun and rewarding task. Whether you are doing it as a profession or you’re just fixing a piece of furniture at home.

Furthermore, it is important to be knowledgeable and aware of the things related to this craft to come up with the best quality of work.

Hopefully, you now know how to fill large gaps in the wood trim. If you enjoyed this and are still interested in more topics about woodwork, just let us know!

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