Back Button

How to Use Wood Filler to Fill a Large Gouge in Wood

Truell Bliss

Wood filler restores integrity to a gouged section of wood. Woodworkers prefer epoxy or polyester types of wood fillers and refer to them as “two-part high performance” fillers.

A “filler” of putty-like resin and another soft material known as a “hardener” combine together to form a wood filler that remains pliable for a short period of time. This type of wood filler hardens very quickly.

  1. Scrape wood splinters and foreign matter out of the gouge to permit good adhesion for the wood filler.

  2. Scoop a marble-sized ball of filler and a ball of hardener onto a clean piece of scrap wood. Blend them together with a putty knife. The mixture will harden quickly. Discard what you fail to use.

  3. Fill the gouge with the mixture. Press the filler in with the blade of a putty knife. Apply pressure to the blade to ensure the filler has a good bond to the wood. Wait 20 minutes before sanding the patch.

  4. Clean the putty knife with solvent immediately. Two-part wood filler dries rapidly and becomes difficult to remove from tools.

  5. Blend the patch into the surrounding surfaces with medium-grit sandpaper.


Two-part wood filler can be carved or shaped with woodworking tools.


Fumes from two-part wood filler are toxic; use in a ventilated area.