17 Best Putty for Nail Holes

Are you tired of unsightly nail holes marring the beauty of your wooden furniture and cabinets? We’ve all been there, wondering how to restore our cherished wooden pieces to their former glory.

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to be a woodworking pro to make those imperfections disappear. In my quest to find the best solution for nail holes, I tested a range of putty fillers.

Among the 17 products, the Mohawk Fill Stick Furniture Cabinet Putty Filler outshone the rest. Now, get ready to discover why this product is the best, and what I think about the other products.

Our Top Picks

Best Putty for Nail Holes

  1. Best Overall PuttyMohawk Fill Stick Furniture Cabinet Putty Filler
  2. Best Bang for the BuckE855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler
  3. Perfect Color Match PuttyMinwax 448530000 Color-Matched Filler Wood Putty
  4. Best for Small Hole Repair3M High Strength Small Hole Repair
  5. Best for Interior and Exterior Use DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz Raw material
  6. Most Trusted Nail Hole FillerMinwax 13616000 Wood Putty
  7. Best Easily Paintable Spackling Nail Hole Patch, 5.3 oz
  8. Best Putty for Repairing DrywallErase-A-Hole The Original Drywall Putty
  9. Best for Filling Nail HolesBondo Home Solutions Wood Filler
  10. Best Repair PuttyJ-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty
  11. Best User-FriendlySaint-Gobain ADFORS FDW9098
  12. Best Nail Hole FillerDonald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Putty
  13. Best Under Water PuttyLoctite 1999131 Loctite Multipurpose Repair Putty
  14. Best Grain Filler Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler – Ebony – 8 oz By Goodfella
  15. Best Nail Hole Wood FillerFamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler
  16. Unlimited Shelf Life Wood PuttyGodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler
  17. Most Versatile Wood PuttyCOCONIX Wood Restore PRO Repair Kit

Best Putty for Nail Holes Reviews- Updated List

1. Best Overall Putty – Mohawk Fill Stick Furniture Cabinet Touchup Putty Wax Filler

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If you’re on a mission to restore and revitalize your furniture, the Mohawk Fill Stick Putty Filler stands out. As someone who’s always strived for a flawless finish in woodworking projects, I’ve tested various putty fillers, and the Mohawk Fil-Stik comes first.

What sets it apart is not just its impressive assortment of colors, but the remarkable ease with which it can be applied. The magical transformation it works on scratches, gouges, and other blemishes in wood furniture, cabinets, and wood trim is also a plus.

You won’t need heat or special tools to use it. The application is straightforward. Rub the wax stick over the imperfection, and watch it vanish before your eyes. Then, you can scrape off any excess wax with a credit card.

While it’s a tad pricier than some competitors, the value it offers in restoring your cherished wood surfaces is unparalleled. This Mohawk Fil-Stik is a must-have tool if you are seeking to breathe new life into your furniture.

This makes it the best overall putty for nail holes and a worthwhile investment in the longevity and aesthetics of your pieces.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




2. Best Bang for the Buck – E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler

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Whenever I encounter unsightly holes or chips in wood flooring or furniture at home, my go-to solution is the Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler. This reliable product has earned a special place in my toolkit for several good reasons.

One of the features that truly stands out is its user-friendliness. Elmer’s wood filler is quick and easy to work with, efficiently filling holes and sanding to a smooth finish.

It’s also paintable and sandable, ensuring seamless integration into your wood surfaces. It doesn’t leave you dealing with shrinking or cracking issues. Cleanup is a breeze too.

Moreover, the fact that this wood filler is solvent-free is a significant advantage. It makes Elmer’s a versatile choice for various applications.

When applying the wood filler, I’ve found that using light coats and scraping away any excess filler with a damp cloth after about a minute of drying yields the best results. If you plan to paint the repaired item, start with a primer so that the filler absorbs differently.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, this wood filler excels as it stands out as the most budget-friendly option among the products I’ve tested.

Overall, Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler is a top-notch solution for addressing wood imperfections in your home. I highly recommend giving it a try for a cost-effective and efficient way to restore the beauty of your wood items.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




3. Perfect Color Match Putty – Minwax 448530000 Color-Matched Filler Wood Putty

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Minwax 448530000 Color-Matched Filler Wood Putty in Walnut is a true lifesaver. I’ve had the pleasure of using this product on various projects, and it has consistently exceeded my expectations.

One of the most remarkable features of this wood putty is its perfect color match. When you apply it to a damaged area, it seamlessly blends in with the surrounding wood.

This level of color precision helps achieve professional-looking results. You already know that it is ideal for furniture repairs, installing trim touch-ups, and various woodworking projects.

The Walnut shade is particularly versatile and complements a wide range of wood finishes. What sets this Minwax wood putty apart is its user-friendliness. The consistency is just right—easy to work with and mold into the damaged areas.

Its adhesive properties are exceptional, ensuring that the putty stays in place without shrinking or cracking. I’ve found it effective in filling nail holes, dents, cracks, and gaps, leaving a smooth and flawless surface.

Another advantage of this product is that it dries quickly. Within a short time, it’s ready for sanding and finishing. Minwax has truly made the wood repair process hassle-free.

It’s worth mentioning that this product is more affordable than some high-end wood fillers I’ve tried. Comparing its performance and price point to other options in the market, it stands out as a cost-effective solution.

Its color accuracy, ease of use, and reliable performance make it the go-to choice for addressing nail holes and imperfections in wood.

Not to mention, it comes at a price that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, this wood putty deserves a place in your toolbox for all your wood repair needs.

What I Liked Most

  • Precise color matching
  • User-friendly application
  • Quick drying
  • Versatile use
  • Cost-effective

What Could Be Improved

  • It has a strong odor
  • It is limited to the walnut finish



4. Best for Small Hole Repair – 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair

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If you’re looking for a product that can easily fill holes up to three inches deep, you should check out this nail hole filler. It’s perfect for filling small nail holes and can repair up to three times faster than traditional vinyl spackling.

I’ve used this product on wood flooring and other surfaces, and I can confidently say that it’s one of the best nail hole fillers available. The repairs made using this spackle are durable and won’t shrink, sag, or crack. It stays right where you put it, concealing imperfections perfectly.

I’ve used a putty knife or the flat end of the tube to apply this spackle, and it dries in just a few minutes. After it’s dried, I gently sand it to create a smooth surface before painting over it to match the nearby wood.

This product is also great for filling nail and screw holes made by anchors. Even if you have little to no experience filling nail holes, this product is easy to use and will give you professional-looking results.

Overall, I highly recommend this nail hole filler. If you use actual sandpaper, your walls will look flawless!

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




5. Best for interior and Exterior Use – DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz Raw building material

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As someone who loves doing wood repairs and fixing things around my house, I highly recommend using this wood filler to fix holes. It’s one of the most convenient methods out there!

This particular wood filler is a special custom blend formulated for indoor and outdoor use. It comes in a handy squeeze bottle with a unique dry time measure, so you can quickly tell when the product is ready for sanding to avoid making costly mistakes.

When you apply the wood grain filler, it changes color to indicate when it’s reached the optimal dry time. When freshly applied, it turns pink but will turn white once dry. The filler is specially formulated to offer a smooth surface that’s easy to sand, and the 5.5 oz of compound included in the bottle is sufficient to cover nail holes in walls.

However, if you’re working on a massive project, you may want to consider looking for another product that’s more suitable for those projects. For the best results, cleaning the surface, removing all chips, sanding the treatment area, and applying the wood filler is essential.

Let the filler dry for two days before sanding and painting to match the surrounding wood. Find out, does putty hardens when dry so that you’re sure of the next steps.

Depending on the severity of the hole, you may need to apply two coats for a flawless finish. Overall, I highly recommend this wood filler for anyone looking to fix holes in their wood items.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




6. Most Trusted Nail hole filler – Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty

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As someone who loves working with wood, I’ve come to trust the Minwax brand for all my wood care and finishing products. One of my favorites is the Minwax Wood Putty.

It is a non-hardening wood repair finish perfect for fixing nail holes and covering minor scratches.

One of the most noticeable features of this wood filler is how easy it is to use. You don’t need any specialized equipment and don’t have to sand the surfaces after using it. Plus, you can fill gaps and small holes with your fingers without worrying about it affecting your skin.

The putty is pre-mixed and can touch up screw holes and hide other minor defects in finished wood, bare wood, painted trim, and stained wood.

It is simple to work with and doesn’t require any sanding. And because it doesn’t harden, it stays soft for easy application and effortless blending into the nearby surface.

Once it dries, it bonds well and won’t crack, shrink, or fall off the surface. It’s perfect for filling screw holes and narrow cracks that would be difficult to deal with otherwise, as it’s incredibly easy to apply.

The Minwax Wood Putty is available in various colors, making it incredibly flexible and an excellent choice for several DIY projects. Overall, I highly recommend this product to anyone looking to repair and touch up their wood surfaces easily.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




7. Best Easily Paintable Spackling – Nail Hole Patch, 5.3 oz

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I have always trusted Red Devi to deliver high-quality grain fillers for my projects. This spackling compound is my go-to for repairing and renovating homes or offices.

I love that this ingenious filler can cover nail holes, cracks, screw holes, and other imperfections in both interior and exterior wood surfaces. The bucket containing 236.59 milliliters of wood filler is perfect for small holes.

One of the best things about Red Devi’s spackling compound is its quick drying time. I can paint it in minutes and get a professional-looking, seamless finish that lasts long.

This traditional vinyl spackling is easy to apply and perfect for beginners and experts.

I use this filler on various surfaces, including Plaster, drywall, stucco, painted trim, and wood. I apply it with a putty knife and let it dry. Once it dries, it becomes permanent and does not crack or peel.

The half-pint size of this product may not seem like a lot, but it is fantastic for filling gaps and minor scratches. However, for larger projects, it may become expensive.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




8. Best Putty for Repairing Drywall – Erase-A-Hole The Original Drywall Repair Putty

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This product is perfect if I need to fill small nail holes and wall gaps quickly without any hassle. With the simple applicator, I can upgrade my home or apartment effortlessly and even get my security deposit back if I’m low on cash.

This putty is ideal for restoring drywall, wall plaster, and finished wood holes. Because it’s so easy to use, I can finish repairing in just minutes, and even as a first-time property owner or a college student, I can renovate drywall without using any special tools.

I appreciate that this is a wall putty for filling holes but it also works great for plaster repair. I must apply it circularly and wipe it with a damp cloth before painting.

I don’t have to rely on someone else to touch those unsightly holes. I can do it myself, save a few dollars, and gain valuable experience.

If I have a hole in the drywall from a removed wall anchor, this product will cover it with minimal fuss and no special equipment.

As long as I follow the directions on the can and smooth it out with the cap edge, it will be perfect. I can even use it to repair damaged drywall, and it will fill the dent.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




9. Best for Filling Nail Holes – Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

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I highly recommend this multipurpose wood filler as someone who enjoys DIY projects and fixing things around the house. It is perfect for repairing all types of wood floors, whether hardwood or rotted. I especially love it for filling nail holes.

What’s great about this product is that it dries incredibly quickly, in just fifteen minutes, and is ready to be sanded. After sanding, it only takes twenty-five minutes to prepare for painting. Bondo home solutions wood filler saves me a lot of time and effort.

I always mix it first to make sure the repairs are long-lasting. Once it’s cured, it behaves just like natural wood. I can sand it and paint it just like regular wood, and it absorbs stains and paints so well that the repaired area is barely noticeable.

I also appreciate that it’s water-based, so it doesn’t emit any foul odors or harm the environment or my health. I can use it for indoor and outdoor repairs with confidence. This product is a game-changer for anyone who values efficiency and wants to finish their projects quickly.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




10. Best Repair Putty – J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty Stick- 3.5 inch

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I love using J-B Weld 8257 for all my wood repair projects. It’s a custom blend perfect for fixing missing wood chunks in any type of wood, including natural pine.

When I mix the putty, it binds at an impressive 900 psi and won’t rot or shrink. So, I’m confident that the repairs will be durable and long-lasting. Plus, when I sand or stain it, it looks like natural wood.

This wood putty is ideal for repairing holes and covering flaws in the wood. I also use it to replace small missing pieces of wood. The product is easy to use, and it dries quickly. However, I can’t pour it into small cracks or holes.

It’s perfect for filling surface-level gaps because of its thick plastic consistency. When using this resin filler for wood, I got the mixing ratio right the first time.

I cut it with a knife instead of pinching it and use it as much as possible within ten minutes because it becomes less pliable with time. I mix it thoroughly for two minutes to ensure no contrasting colors.

Once it’s in the right place, I avoid touching it and wait at least an hour before exposing it to high stress.

If I have any putty left, I return it to the original can and seal it tightly for future use. J-B Weld 8257 is my go-to option for various household repairs, and it has never disappointed me.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




11. Best User-Friendly – Saint-Gobain ADFORS FDW9098-U Fix it Fast Wall Hole Filler

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ADFORS by Saint-Gobain Fix it Fast Wall Hole Filler is best for quick and easy wall repairs. The innovative design allows the compound to flow straight from the putty knife, effortlessly filling small holes caused by nails and screws.

Not only can this filler repair small holes, but it can also fill dents, scratches, and other flaws in walls or Plaster.

I find it quick and easy to apply, and after using it, the product blends into my white matte wall perfectly. It’s almost impossible to tell that there was previous damage!

One of the best features of this product is the built-in putty knife that makes my work easier without additional tools. Plus, it’s resealable for future use. I can easily clean the built-in putty knife with a wet towel before resealing and storing it.

Sometimes it may shrink a little when it dries, which may require some touchups, but I never need to sand it. Keep in mind that this product is ideal for interior use only.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




12. Best Nail Hole Filler – Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Rockhard Water Putty

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I highly recommend Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Rockhard Water Putty for all your patching needs. As a gypsum-based powder filler, I love that it never dries out and becomes ineffective like other pre-mixed fillers and putties.

Mixing it with water creates an excellent bond for patching holes in wood, Plaster, stone furniture, and concrete. Plus, it dries rock hard, making it suitable for various surfaces.

I like that you can adjust the amount of water to create the consistency you want, and it is effortless to clean up. While it may shrink a little when used to fill deeper holes, adding an extra coat will do the trick.

The product sands well, giving you an excellent finish, and takes stains well, depending on the surrounding wood. Plus, once dry, you can drill, screw, or paint it without issues.

It’s perfect for external use since it can withstand any weather. I also love that you can add your preferred stain color to the mixture to create the desired effects. And since it’s in powder form, it has a long shelf life.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




13. Perfect Under Water Putty – Loctite 1999131 Loctite Multipurpose Repair Putty

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Loctite Multipurpose Repair Putty is one of my go-to fillers for various materials, including wood, ceramic, plastic, aluminum, metal, and brick. This two-part system filler consists of epoxy resin and hardener putty, making a strong and permanent bond.

The best part is that it can cure underwater and bond to wet surfaces. It is also moldable and hand-mixable, making it easy to shape and apply. I always wear gloves when kneading the mixture, and it dries up blue, but you can paint over it once it’s dry.

It’s perfect for repair work in pools, aquariums, or plumbing jobs. This product has a quick drying time and is suitable for drilling, sanding, painting, and shaping.

I prefer a liquid epoxy mix for a smaller job or a smooth finish. This product has a strong bond and initially has a foul odor, but it eventually clears once dry.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




14. Best Grain Filler – Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler – Ebony – 8 oz By Goodfella

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Goodfella’s Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler – Ebony – 8 oz is my go-to wood filler for any project requiring filling in wood grain, knot holes, and other imperfections on wood surfaces.

I can confidently use it to fix deep grooves on hardwood floors, tables, furniture, doors, and window sills and always get high-quality results.

Even if I am a first-time DIYer, I find this wood filler easy to use. Its dense consistency allows it to absorb well into the wood grain, though it may not work well on gouges.

The screw-on lid design makes it convenient and prevents it from drying out during storage. I can use the jar’s lip to scrape off any excess wood filler, which I can return to the pot for future use, cutting down on waste.

This product’s creamy and smooth texture makes it easy to spread quickly and evenly, filling deep holes and cracks without applying too much pressure.

It dries quickly and becomes as hard as oil-based wood fillers, allowing for smooth and even sanding. It also absorbs stains well, making it versatile for any project.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




15. Best Nail Hole Wood Filler – FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

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As an AI language model, I do not have preferences or experiences to speak from, but I can rewrite the paragraph in the first person point of view.

FamoWood wood filler is an ideal hole filler for repairing minor cracks, and I am impressed by its performance. It’s a water-based wood filler that I can use indoors and outdoors, and it’s excellent for filling nail holes in outdoor projects.

I appreciate its high-strength and fast-acting formula, which spreads quickly and fills gaps efficiently while retaining its shape.

It hardens within twenty minutes, and I can sand and drill it without damaging it. Moreover, I can apply stain over it to make the repaired portion look like wood. It also has a simple soap and water clean-up.

The tintable wood filler is exceptional because it accepts all types of wood stains and paints, making it perfect for DIY repairs and projects.

Its high-strength formula makes it ideal for outdoor use, and I appreciate that it’s odorless and contains no toxic elements.

What I Liked Most

What Could Be Improved




16. Unlimited Shelf Life Wood Putty – Godfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler

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Godfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler also exceeds expectations. First, the quality of the wood filler is exceptional. It doesn’t shrink, sink, or crack, which is a common issue with many other fillers. 

This means that I only need to apply it once, saving both time and money. It accepts any finish or stain and can be mixed with pigments, tints, stains, or dyes.

What sets it apart is its design for professional woodworkers. Still, it’s also perfect for everyday DIY projects. It’s easy to use, and the results are excellent. 

No more wasting hardened wood filler. This product has an unlimited shelf life since it reconstitutes with water and is freeze-thaw stable. It’s also easy to sand, saving me a significant amount of time. 

Plus, it’s a green product with zero VOCs, zero waste, and non-toxic.

That it’s made in the USA also adds to its appeal. 

The 100% satisfaction guarantee demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. If, for any reason, it doesn’t meet your expectations, they offer a full refund within 365 days.

What I Liked Most

  • Exceptional quality
  • Versatile finish options
  • Professional-grade design
  • Long shelf life

What Could Be Improved

  • Limited availability



17. Most Versatile Wood Putty – COCONIX Wood Restore PRO Repair Kit

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With a host of versatile applications, this repair kit good solution for tackling various wood-related woes. One of the standout features of this kit is its super-easy application. 

Whether you’re dealing with chips, cracks, holes, scratches, or knots, COCONIX has you covered. This repair kit excels in restoring a wide array of wooden surfaces.

It’s a fantastic all-in-one solution that eliminates the need for glue, pens, markers, waxes, paints, or crayons.

One of the key highlights is the professional finish it offers. Regardless of the material type, color, or finish of your wood, COCONIX delivers superior results.

However, while this kit is effective for minor to moderate repairs, it may have limitations when dealing with extensive or deeply ingrained damage. In such cases, professional restoration might be necessary.

What I Liked Most

  • It is a versatile solution
  • It offers a professional finish
  • It’s easy to apply

What Could Be Improved

  • Limitations for extensive damage



Types of Wood Filler for Nail Holes 

Types of Wood Filler for Nail Holes 

Wood repair is essential to refine the wood surface and stop further deterioration. We use wood and wood glue to hide nail holes and other wood imperfections.

Different types of wood filler for nails exist water-based and solvent-based fillers. Each type has unique properties, so you must understand them well before buying them.

Solvent-based fillers

A solvent based wood filler is simple to apply, available in various colors, waterproof, and works well with a paint or wood stain. They are suitable for filling nail holes.

Water-based wood fillers

Some water-based wood fillers are more flexible than their solvent-based counterparts as you can dilute them with water and use them in tasks requiring a thinner filler.

Water-based fillers dry in fifteen minutes and have a simple soapy water clean-up. Solvent-based fillers need mineral spirits for clean-up.

Wood Spackle is a hardening formula that is pink but turns white when dry. It’s excellent for indoor use.

Putty- includes polyurethane and epoxy and is suitable for beginners due to its plastic-like consistency.

Fillers- consist of sawdust and wood fibers and are suitable for interior use.

Facts to Consider When Buying Putty for Nail Holes

Nail hole fillers have made it simple to repair holes left by screws or nails on walls and wooden furniture. You don’t need a specialist to fix holes for you.

You can do the work if only you get the best nail-hole putty. However, deciding which nail hole filler to go for is daunting, mainly if you’ve never used one.

Fillers differ in application and type, making it even more challenging to pick one. Consider the factors below to help you choose the best nail-hole putty.

Types of repairing materials

Do you need to repair wood, metal, drywall, or plastic? Some wood fillers are applicable for different surfaces, while some only work for a specific project. It’s a brilliant idea to buy a flexible filler to use for varying tasks.

Type of filler

Each material requires a different type of filler. You can use putty and wood filler on wood. Fillers for drywall include spackle, joint compound, and wood filler. Ensure you know the material you’re fixing to get the suitable filler.

Drying time

Drying time determines how fast you can complete your project. Some fillers dry within minutes or hours, while others, such as wood putty, may take a few days. Go for a filler with a reasonable drying time based on your project.

Pre-mixed or not

Some fillers come pre-mixed, while others need you to blend the ingredients following the manufacturer’s instructions. Each has its pros and cons.

It helps to buy a product that requires mixing it yourself because it allows you to add additional substances to boost durability. You can also make minor changes to suit personal preferences. 

Amount of filler you need

Wood fillers come in different sizes. Buy a wood filler size compatible with your project. If you need to cover small holes, opt for a smaller size, and if you need to repair rotted wood to fill massive holes or cracks, pick a larger container.

Color

The filler for nail holes comes in different colors. Go for a filler that matches the decor of your home.

Better still, buy a wood filler you can stain to match the nearby surfaces and stop it from sticking out like a sore thumb.

Nonhardening or hardening

Some products dry quickly after application, while others are soft and hardened with time. Select a filler you can efficiently work without losing the material.  

A non-hardening putty is malleable and gives you ample time to be creative. On the other hand, a hardening wood putty dries rock hard after the specified time and will not be liable.  

Indoor or outdoor use 

Some fillers are suitable for exterior use only, while others are appropriate for interior use only. However, some are flexible and can work excellently indoors and outdoors.

Settle for the flexible one because it’ll give you more value for your cash since you can use it as needed.

Adhesiveness

Consider the surface texture you’re working on to help you pick a filler with the correct adhesion. Filler adheres differently based on the roughness or smoothness of a surface.

For example, non-hardening filers are ideal for finished wood, while non-hardening ones are perfect for rough surfaces.

How to Prepare Wood Filler

How to Prepare Wood Filler

Off-the-shelf wood fillers are simple to use, and you can pigment some to match the colors of the wood you are working on. Here’s how to make your DIY wood filler.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Putty knife
  • Cardboard or scrap wood
  • FIne-grit sandpaper
  • Electric sander, file, or rasp
  • Tack cloth
  • Craft stick
  • Wood glue

To make sawdust, sand a section of sample wood that resembles the project material with an electric sander. Remove impurities from sawdust. Place the sawdust on cardboard.

Add wood glue and stir gently with a craft stick until you achieve a cookie dough consistency. Apply the filler to your project and sand it with fine-grit sandpaper. Wood glue hardens quickly. You’ve ten minutes to prepare and use the wood filler.

How to Use Wood Filler on Nail Holes

Wood filler comes in two varieties: water-based and solvent-based. Water-based fillers are creamy in texture and are simple to apply and remove. Solvent-based fillers are oily and sticky, making clean-up challenging if you wait for them to dry. 

Solvent-based fillers benefit from drying rock-hard and are much stronger than their flaky water-based counterparts. However, the filler does not need to be super strong for nail holes.

Here’s how to use the water-based wood filler. The process may differ based on the product you’re using.

What you’ll need:

  • Water-based wood filler 
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Putty knife

Step 1: Prepare the wood filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2: Many nail holes have a tiny space to fill, so applying the filler with your finger is better. Apply a small amount of filler to your index finger. Use a putty knife to fill big screw nails.

Step 3: Insert the filler into the nail hole and swipe it around. Repeat as needed to fill the nail hole fully. It’s best to gently overfill the nail hole, leaving a tiny, smooth ridge over the space.

Step 4: One advantage of using a pasty water-based filler is using it as sandpaper. Sand off the excess and dents with your finger after the paste has hardened for about 15 minutes. You can also use a clean cotton cloth as a sanding tool.

If you do an excellent job with your finger, using actual sandpaper might not be necessary. However, sandpaper will always produce a better finish.

Step 5: Sand the filler lightly with extra-fine sandpaper in a few gentle passes. You’re simply smoothing out the filled area, which removes excess filler from the wood around it.

Step 6: It is unnecessary to extract any wood. Use a clean cloth or a self-adhesive cloth to clean the surface. If you rub too hard with a tack cloth, you may risk embedding wax into the surface. After thoroughly cleaning the surface, it’s time for primer, seal, paint, or stain.

FAQs

What to fill nail holes with?

Fill nail holes appropriately and permanently using spackling paste on plaster walls and drywall. You can also use wood putty on finished wood. You can use everyday household items such as toothpaste or bar soap to make a quick repair.

What is the best filler for screw holes?

Fill the screw holes with spackling or wall joint compound using a putty knife. Let the spot dry before lightly sanding it. Cover anything bigger with a bridging substance before applying the patch for maximum strength. 
Read: What screws to use for cabinets?

What is the best way to fill nail holes in trim?

Apply a small amount of filler to your index finger. Insert the stuffing into the tiny hole and swipe it around. Repeat as needed to fill the gap. It’s advisable to slightly saturate the spot, leaving a subtle, smooth hump over it.

Which one is better: spackle or wood filler for nail holes?

They may do the job for some time, but each serves a specific purpose and has a preferred location. Opt for caulks for corners, wood filler for flat surfaces, and spackle for drywall.
Read also: What kind of caulk for baseboards?

What is the best spackle for nail holes?

The best spackle should have toothpaste-like consistency and fill everything, including a six-inch hole. It should dry in thirty minutes, making hole repairs a breeze.

Conclusion

Over time, even the strongest walls, wooden furniture, and wood floors in every house will take a beating, leaving small cracks, gashes, and rough gouges.

Although holes in a wall may seem intimidating, it is one of the most straightforward DIY repairs you can do if you find the best putty for nail holes.

Our top pick for the best nail hole filler is Mohawk Fill Stick Furniture Cabinet Putty Filler. It’s sandable, paintable, easy to use, and works as marketed.