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Best Wood Fillers for Decks of 2021

Updated
Don’t let your wooden deck fall into disrepair. Use these 10 wood fillers.

Keeping your deck in tip-top condition is vital if you want it to last the distance. That means making repairs when the wood is cracked, split, or damaged.

We review the best wood filler for decks rating them on their ease of application, ability to withstand the elements, and price.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler - Pint, Natural
Best Latex
FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler
  • Dries in just 15 minutes
  • Doesn’t crack or shrink
  • Better for the environment
Product Image of the Bondo All-Purpose Putty, Designed for Interior and Exterior Home Use, Paintable, Permanent, Non-Shrinking, 1.9 lb., 1-Quart
Best All-Purpose
Bondo All-Purpose Putty
  • Paintable in just 45 minutes
  • Spread it with a putty knife (ideal for vertical surfaces)
  • Works on wood, metal, concrete and drywall
Product Image of the Elmer's E914 Carpenter's Color Change Wood Filler, 16-Ounce, Natural
Best Colored Wood Filler
Elmer’s E914 Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler
  • Changes color when it dries
  • Doesn’t shrink or crack & it's paintable
  • Dries in 15 to 20 minutes
Product Image of the Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler, Sandable in 15 min, 1.9 lbs with 1 oz Hardener
Best Quick-Drying
Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler
  • Fast curing time and paintable within 25 minutes
  • Water-resistant formula protects against rain damage
  • Accepts staining and painting
Product Image of the PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste, Two-Part 12 oz in Two Cans, Tan
Best for Pressure Treated Decks
PC Products 163337 Wood Repair Epoxy Paste
  • Resistant to UV, water, mildew, and dry rot
  • Can be applied at 35 to 115 degrees fahrenheit
  • Maximum 40 minutes working time
Product Image of the DAP INC 18741 Platinum 16OZ Patch Filler, 16.0 Fl Oz, White
Best for Outdoor Decks
DAP INC 18741 Platinum 16oz Patch Filler
  • Resistant to UV, water, mildew, and mold
  • Designed for the harshest weather conditions
  • Paintable, sandable, and stainable
Product Image of the Elmer's E892 Stainable Wood Filler 32 oz
Best for Pine Decks
Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Resists shrinking and cracking
  • Low VOCs and water-based is safer for the environment
Product Image of the Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler, 16-Ounce
Best Stainable
Minwax Stainable Wood Filler
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Resists shrinking and cracking
  • Mixable with oil and water-based stains
Product Image of the Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler (Trowel Ready) - Walnut - 1 Quart By Goodfilla | Replace Every Filler & Putty | Repairs, Finishes & Patches | Paintable, Stainable, Sandable & Quick Drying
Best Water-Based
Goodfilla Water-Based Wood and Grain Filler
  • No VOCs and contains zero toxic ingredients
  • No cracking or splitting
  • Reconstitutes when you add water
Product Image of the Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty, 3.75 oz, White
Best Small Repair
Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty
  • Non-hardening to stay flexible
  • Extremely competitive pricing
  • Ideal for small patches of wood repairs

Types of Wood Filler

Essentially, there are two types of wood filler: Solvent and water-based, but what are the differences between the two, and which is the best?

Solvent-Based

Product Image of the PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste, Two-Part 12 oz in Two Cans, Tan

Solvent wood fillers are typically made from vinyl or epoxy. They have a higher volatile organic compound (VOC) content which makes them more toxic for the environment and requires mineral spirits to help with the cleanup.

These types of fillers take about an hour to cure, and they are more costly compared to water-based products. The good news is solvent-based fillers are more water-resistant and cope better with heat and cold.

Water-Based

Product Image of the Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler (Trowel Ready) - Walnut - 1 Quart By Goodfilla | Replace Every Filler & Putty | Repairs, Finishes & Patches | Paintable, Stainable, Sandable & Quick Drying

Water-based fillers are generally made from cellulose, wood fiber, or gypsum. They have low or zero VOCs and emit less odor. This makes them better for the environment and your health, as you don’t suffer from sore throats and irritated eyes.

Water-based fillers dry in about 15 minutes and are considered more versatile because you can thin them to cater to different applications. And when you are done, they only need soap and water for the cleanup.

How To Choose the Best Wood Filler for Decks

It may seem like all wood fillers do the same thing, and in a sense, that is correct; however, there are many considerations to bear in mind when choosing your new wood filler. Here are some basics to get you started.

Consistency

Some wood fillers are thicker than others, making them better for repairing larger and deeper cracks and chips. Water-based fillers tend to be thinner and can be watered down to make them more versatile for different applications.

The thicker the filler, the longer it takes to dry, which is why most solvent-based wood fillers take about an hour to touch-dry and 24 hours to cure fully.

Curing Time

The time the wood filler takes to dry is crucial if you want to get on with the rest of your day. Water-based fillers are faster drying, taking on average 15 to 20 minutes to dry ready for sanding.

Solvent-based wood filler takes about an hour to dry, but when it sets, it is more robust and protects the wood against the effects of the elements. In some cases, the wood filler is 3 or 4 times stronger than the wood itself.

Ease of Application

How you apply the wood filler makes a difference. You can squeeze it on via a tube, pour it on or use a putty knife and spread it on. Using a putty knife or spreader gets the smoothest results and requires the least amount of sanding.

Some solvent-based fillers are self-leveling, which is great if you are filling large holes and want the filler to find the right level. As we’ve said already, some water-based fillers can be watered down to make them easier to pour. This won’t work with larger gaps, but it is ideal for small, shallow repairs and hairline cracks.

Environmental Concerns

If you want to reduce your impact on the environment, choose a water-based wood filler. It cleans easier, releases minimal odors, and has low or zero VOCs. VOCs can irritate your eyes and throat and induce headaches and nausea.

Because your deck is exposed to everything the weather can throw at it, you want your wood filler to be up to the task. Solvent-based fillers are typically stronger than the material they are filling, so if you want to anchor screws or bolts, you can.

Just remember that solvents are poisonous, so when you use mineral spirits or thinner to clean your tools, it washes into the environment, potentially harming plants and wildlife.


The Best Wood Fillers for Decks of 2021

After hours of research and hundreds of products, we have managed to narrow down the field to the 10 best wood fillers money can buy.

FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

Best Latex Wood Filler for Decks

The first thing to say about this FamoWood wood filler is it is solvent-free. That means it gives off minimal odors and is better for the environment. It also cleans a lot easier because you only need soap and water.

It dries in 15 minutes, so you can work quickly to get the task finished, and it won’t crack or shrink. You can sand and plane this filler, and it is stainable and paintable.

Be careful when you sand this filler because the formula contains silica, which is recognized by the State of California to cause cancer, so a facemask would be essential. It also means it might be restricted for sale in that state.

Pros

  • Dries in just 15 minutes, which speeds up your work rate.
  • Doesn’t crack or shrink, which is ideal for exterior use.
  • Better for the environment as it’s solvent-free.
  • Easy cleanup with soap and water.

Cons

  • Contains silica, which causes cancer if inhaled.

Additional Specs

Quantity 24 oz
Type Latex
Drying time 15 minutes
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $$

Bondo All-Purpose Putty

Best All-Purpose Wood Filler for Decks

If you want a wood filler that not only repairs your deck but can work with indoor and outdoor furniture, this Bondo Putty is ideal. It’s a 2-part filler, which means it needs a cream hardener to help it set, and it bonds to concrete, wood, metal, brick, stone, and drywall.

It dries in 15 minutes and can be sanded, painted, and stained after 45 minutes. The putty comes in a 1.9-pound tin and the hardener in a 1-ounce bottle. Bondo assures us that this filler won’t shrink or crack, and it dries a pale gray for better blending.

This one applies using a spreader or putty knife, so it is a little trickier than squeezing a tube, but the advantage is you get a super smooth finish, and it is ideal for vertical surfaces.

Pros

  • Paintable in just 45 minutes for same-day repairs.
  • Spread it with a putty knife, which is ideal for vertical surfaces.
  • Multi-purpose uses. It works on wood, metal, concrete, and drywall.
  • Dries a pale gray for better blending.

Cons

  • Using a putty knife takes a little skill to perfect.
  • Needs a hardener to aid the curing time.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1.9 pounds
Type Putty
Drying time 15 to 45 minutes
Cleanup Mineral spirits
Price $$

Elmer’s E914 Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler

Best Colored Wood Filler for Decks

This is a color-changing wood filler. As you apply the filler, it is purple in color, and when it dries, it changes to a natural blend. The reason is you can clearly see all the filled holes and gaps for sanding.

You’ll notice that this Elmer’s wood filler is for interior use only, but you can use it on your deck. It is non-shrinkable, so it should withstand the rigors of the elements, plus it is paintable, sandable, and stainable.

You can clean up with soap and water because the formula is solvent-free. That’s great for the environment and your health, thanks to the low VOCs. It also has a drying time of 15 to 20 minutes, so you can achieve same-day repairs.

Pros

  • Changes color when it dries.
  • Doesn’t shrink or crack, plus it is paintable.
  • Dries in 15 to 20 minutes for same-day repairs.
  • Water-based, which is better for the environment.

Cons

  • Ideally best used on interior wood.

Additional Specs

Quantity 16-ounce
Type Water-based
Drying time 15 to 20 minutes
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $

Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

Best Quick-Drying Wood Filler for Decks

This is the second Bondo wood filler to feature, but this one is super-quick at curing. It dries to the touch in 15 minutes and is fully paintable in 25 minutes. That means you could have your deck filled, sanded, and painted within an hour. That’s fast!

Like the other Bondo product, this is a 2-part filler, so it needs the hardening cream to cure. You can use this filler on interior and exterior wood, and it is a water-resistant formula, so you shouldn’t suffer from rainwater damage.

When you mix it with the hardening cream, it turns a pale brown color to make it easier to blend it with the wood’s natural grain. This wood filler is guaranteed not to shrink or crack, so it should withstand the ravages of the weather.

Application is via a putty knife, so while it may be trickier than other wood fillers to use, it does go on smooth, and it’s ideal for vertical surfaces and larger cracks.

Pros

  • Fast curing time and paintable within 25 minutes.
  • Water-resistant formula to protect against rain damage.
  • Accepts staining and painting.
  • Doesn’t shrink or crack, so it withstands the weather.

Cons

  • Needs hardening cream to help it cure.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1.9 pounds
Type Water-based
Drying time 15 minutes (paintable in 25 minutes)
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $$$

PC Products 163337 Wood Repair Epoxy Paste

Best Wood Filler for Pressure Treated Deck

Pressure-treated wood can suffer at the hands of the weather. UV light, rainwater, and even saltwater strip the natural goodness from your wood, drying, splitting, and fading. This PC Products epoxy paste is the ideal filler to use because it is resistant to dry rot, fresh and saltwater, UV light, and mildew.

If you have a teak boat deck that needs some repair work, this is the perfect filler, thanks to its resistance to saltwater.

You can use this filler indoors and out, and you can apply it in temperatures ranging from 35 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Once set, it withstands temperatures of minus 20 to plus 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once mixed in equal parts, you get 30 to 40 minutes of working time before it sets to help you get the perfect results. And once it cures, it can be painted, stained, and machined. This filler takes between 12 and 24 hours to fully set, so it will slow you down compared to other faster-drying wood fillers.

Pros

  • Resistant to UV, water, mildew, and dry rot.
  • Can be applied at 35 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Maximum 40 minutes working time.
  • Repels saltwater, making it ideal for boat decks.

Cons

  • Takes 12 to 24 hours to fully cure.

Additional Specs

Quantity 12 ounces
Type Epoxy
Drying time 12 to 24 hours
Cleanup Mineral spirits
Price $$

DAP INC 18741 Platinum 16oz Patch Filler

Best Wood Filler for Outdoor Decks

This Platinum Patch filler is rain-ready in 24 hours, and it is designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions. It has UV protection, so the radiation from the sun will have little effect, and it is mold and mildew-proof.

This putty is applied with a knife or spreader, so while it requires some practice to get right, it goes on smoothly. It also fills larger gaps and holes, even on vertical surfaces. Once it cures, it’s sandable, stainable, and paintable.

This is also a multi-purpose filler. It bonds to concrete, metal, PVC, fiber cement and so much more.

Pros

  • Resistant to UV, water, mildew, and mold.
  • Designed for the harshest weather conditions.
  • Paintable, sandable, and stainable.
  • Multi-purpose filler bonds to metal, concrete PVC, and wood.

Cons

  • Takes 12 to 24 hours to fully cure.

Additional Specs

Quantity 16 ounces
Type Water-based
Drying time 24 hours
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $

Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler

Best Wood Filler for Pine Decks

This is the second time Elmer’s has featured in the review. This interior and exterior-use wood filler contains actual wood fibers for superior sanding and painting. It resists shrinking and cracking, making it robust against weather conditions, and best of all, it is solvent-free.

When you have a softwood pine deck, it needs all the help and protection it can get.

That means it is kind to the planet and contains no or low VOCs, which is better for your health and the environment. It also means you can wash your tools clean in soapy water.

Elmer’s Stainable wood filler dries so strong, you can embed screws and bolts, and when it sets, it holds them firm. This container holds 32 ounces, and the lid seals tightly, so it shouldn’t dry out when stored for an extended period.

The only thing to watch out for is this filler contains a mucous and eye irritant membrane, so don’t get it on your skin.

Pros

  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Resists shrinking and cracking in all weather conditions.
  • Low VOCs and water-based, which is better for the environment.
  • Washes clean with soap and water.

Cons

  • Contains an eye irritant, so avoid contact with your skin.

Additional Specs

Quantity 32 ounces
Type Water-based
Drying time 15 to 20 minutes
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $

Minwax Stainable Wood Filler

Best Stainable Wood Filler for Decks

This Minwax wood filler fills holes and cracks on treated and untreated wooden surfaces, and when used in conjunction with Minwax wood stains, you get double the protection. It works with oil and water-based wood stains, and once dry, it can be planed, stained, and painted.

This filler applies with a putty knife, and once on, it cures within 4 to 6 hours, so while it isn’t as fast as some water-based fillers, it still gives you the chance to complete a repair in the same day.

Minwax is a well-respected name and has been around since 1904, so you are guaranteed to get a quality product. You can work indoors and outside with this filler, making it the perfect all-around product.

The only downside to this filler is it is oil-based, so it has a strong odor, and you have to be mindful of the VOCs, which could cause headaches, nausea, or eye and throat irritation.

Pros

  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Resists shrinking and cracking in all weather conditions.
  • MIxable with oil and water-based stains.
  • Can be stained, painted, and sanded.

Cons

  • Contains an eye irritant, so avoid contact with your skin.
  • Oil-based fillers are bad for the environment.

Additional Specs

Quantity 16 ounces
Type Oil-based
Drying time 4 to 6 hours
Cleanup Mineral spirits
Price $$

Goodfilla Water-Based Wood and Grain Filler

Best Water-Based Wood Filler for Decks

Water-based wood fillers are better for the planet because they don’t contain solvents. This means fewer chemicals get washed into the environment, and you don’t suffer from VOCs, which irritate your eyes and throat.

Water-based wood fillers also dry quicker, so you can complete repairs in a single day rather than waiting hours or days for the filler to cure. This Goodfilla walnut-colored filler doesn’t dry or crack and is designed with professionals in mind.

It has an unlimited shelf life, even when it dries out because it reconstitutes when you add water.

This product offers 25 percent more coverage compared to other similar products, plus it’s green because it doesn’t have VOCs and is completely non-toxic. The only downside is you have to apply it with a trowel, which might take some practice.

Pros

  • No VOCs and contains zero toxic ingredients.
  • No cracking or splitting, no matter the weather conditions.
  • Reconstitutes when you add water.
  • 25 percent more coverage compared to similar products.

Cons

  • Applies with a trowel, which might take some practice.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1-quart
Type Water-based
Drying time 15 to 20 minutes
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $$$

Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty

Best Small Repair Wood Filler for Decks

Sometimes you don’t need a large tub of wood filler to make repairs to your deck. Maybe you are only concerned with small patches of the woodwork? If that’s the case, this Minwax wood putty is perfect.

The first thing you notice is the price. It costs a fraction of other wood fillers and repairs minor scratches, gouges, and nail holes. It’s non-hardening, so it stays flexible. It comes in 11 different colors, so you are sure to match it to your existing deck.

It works on painted, stained, and finished wood, plus it’s easy to use, and no sanding is required. The other good news is this is a water-based filler, so it is better for the environment and has low VOCs.

Pros

  • Non-hardening to stay flexible in all weather conditions.
  • Extremely competitive pricing.
  • Ideal for small patches of wood repairs.
  • 11 color choices make it easy to get a match.

Cons

  • Only suitable for small repairs.

Additional Specs

Quantity 3.75 ounces
Type Water-based
Drying time 15 to 20 minutes
Cleanup Soap and water
Price $

Wood Filler For Decks Comparison Chart

Product Best Quantity Type Drying time Cleanup Price
FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler Best Latex 24 oz Latex 15 minutes Soap & water $$
Bondo All-Purpose Putty Best All-Purpose 1.9 lbs Putty 15 – 45 minutes Mineral spirits $$
Elmer’s E914 Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler Best Colored 16-ounce Water-based 15 – 20 minutes Soap & water $
Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler Best Quick-Drying 1.9 lbs Water-based 15 minutes (paintable in 25 minutes) Soap & water $$$
PC Products 163337 Wood Repair Epoxy Paste Best for Pressure Treated Decks 12 ounces Epoxy 12 – 24 hours Mineral spirits $$
DAP INC 18741 Platinum 16oz Patch Filler Best for Outdoor Decks 16 ounces Water-based 24 hours Soap & water $
Elmer’s E892 Stainable Wood Filler Best for Pine Decks 32 ounces Water-based 15 – 20 minutes Soap & water $
Minwax Stainable Wood Filler Best Stainable 16 ounces Oil-based 4 – 6 hours Mineral spirits $$
Goodfilla Water-Based Wood and Grain Filler Best Water-Based 1-quart Water-based 15 – 20 minutes Soap & water $$$
Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty Best Small Repair 3.75 ounces Water-based 15 – 20 minutes Soap & water $

How To Use Wood Filler on a Deck

The first thing you should do is make sure the deck is completely dry before applying wood filler. Moisture reacts with the filler, affecting the curing times and the quality of the finish.

There are 3 ways you can apply wood filler: a squeezy tube, pouring or a putty knife, and spreading the filler over the gap.

Each has its merits. Using a putty knife is simple enough. Just scoop some filler on the edge of the knife and spread it like butter. Work the filler into the gap and then scrape away the excess until the hole is filled.

A squeezable tube is even easier to apply. Point the nozzle into the hole and squeeze. The filler will plug the gap, and when it is full, you can use a putty knife to smooth it with the wood surface.


Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.