How to Use Wood Putty

Repairing any piece of furniture with wood putty often is an option for do-it-yourselfers.

Wood putty is available in different types and a variety of colors. Here's how to make that old piece look new again with this versatile substance.

Buy latex type wood putty for its easy clean up. It has a natural look and can be stained or sanded.

Select epoxy wood putty for water-damaged surfaces. This type creates a hard surface and can be painted but not stained. Also, use a nondrying type for filling small holes.

Pick a tint that most closely matches your existing wood. Apply a small amount in a hidden area and let it dry to make sure it blends in well. If you're having trouble matching the existing color of your furniture with a tint, mix a few colors until you get the look you want.

Use a putty knife to apply in even strokes. To spread with ease, the knife should be flexible and not a stiff blade. You do not need a knife if you're filling in small holes. Instead, use a pencil tip to push the putty through the hole.

Make sure the putty is slightly higher than the surface after you apply it. As it dries it will shrink.

Allow the putty to dry completely. Sand the area with fine sand paper and follow with steel wool. Wipe clean and apply the stain or paint as desired.

Tips

  • Wood putty is available in a tube and does not have to spread with a knife.
  • Non-soluble types must be cleaned with acetone.
  • For very small holes, such as staple holes, use a tinted putty stick.