Can You Use Wood Filler on Drywall? Uncover Home Repair Myths

As a homeowner, you must be worried after noticing wear and tear, holes, dents, or cracks on your drywall. Immediate home maintenance and repairs are so crucial at that time. When you face issues like damage to your walls, one of the most common questions that hits your mind is, ‘Can you use wood filler on drywall’? This article will help you determine how effective and quickest solution filler is to mend your drywall surfaces. Let’s dive into the details of using wood filler on drywall. 

What is Wood Filler?

Wood filler is one of the most commonly used tools in the field of woodworking and construction work. It is also referred to as wood putty or grain filler. Woodworkers or DIY enthusiasts can benefit significantly from this substance as it is primarily designed to fix the imperfections in wood before finishing. The combination of binders, resins, wood dust, etc., works together to restore the good appearance and texture of the wooden surface when it becomes dry. 

Wood filler primarily aims to fix all minor imperfections like nail holes, cracks, scratches, dents, and gouges in wooden surfaces. You can find hardly any better substance to get a smooth and consistent surface. The smooth surface after using the filler helps to get a glassy attractive finish when painted or varnished. Since it has the ability to stabilize the surface, it is perfectly suitable for staining or painting. It not only enhances the aesthetics of the surface by fixing imperfections but also makes the surface more durable and resistant to adverse weather conditions. 

What is Drywall?

Drywall is a construction material that covers framing or creates interior walls or ceilings in residential and commercial buildings. It is known as sheetrock, plasterboard, wallboard, or gypsum board. People choose it for different purposes more than other traditional methods because of its past efficiency and speed. Gypsum is a natural mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, available everywhere. Its core is sandwiched between two layers of thick paper, giving the wall incredible strength and flexibility. 

Some variations of drywall can resist moisture, fire, catering, sound, etc. You can easily cut drywall depending on your specific construction needs with a box cutter. Exact measurements are not important as drywall is taped and filled with plaster to offer a seamless and smooth surface. The plaster is believed to hide the imperfections on the drywall. 

Installing drywall is faster and requires comparatively less effort than plastering. It provides a good degree of installation in temperature and noise. Since you can easily cut and shape drywall, you can choose it to fit various architectural needs. 

Can You Use Wood Filler on Drywall?

The answer to whether you can use wood filler on drywall is “yes.” Wood filler is a good tool for patching small imperfections in the drywall. It can be sanded easily to give a smooth finish to the drywall. When other materials are not in your reach to fix the issue of your drywall, wood filler can be an amazing alternative. When applied correctly and painted over with a good match, wood filler enhances the drywall’s aesthetic appeal. 

Though wood filler is a popular choice for concealing imperfections in drywall, there are a number of disadvantages as well. The patched area seems rough after applying wood filler, and you must spend a long time sanding it to align it with the other areas. Also, it requires a few hours to completely dry. It doesn’t show similar results as it does with wood. 

Wood fillers are not recommended for concealing larger holes or damages in the drywall as it tends to shrink after it dries. Unlike compost designed for repairing drywall, wood fillers do not have the same degree of flexibility. Before choosing one to fix the drywall issues, make sure you are aware of these limitations. 

How to Use Wood Filler on Drywall?

It is challenging to smoothen your drywall material like other surfaces, but not impossible. Though wood filler is primarily designed for repairing wooden surfaces, people use it on drywall. Check out the following steps to ensure a great outcome. 

Step 1: Determining the Damage and Filler Requirements for the Area

You have to determine the type of damage your drywall has, and depending on the severity of the damage, you need to determine the appropriate wood filler. Some wood fillers provide good results on minor imperfections; some are suitable for larger damages. 

Step 2: Preparing the Area

The surface of the patched area seems rough after applying the wood filler. Therefore, thorough preparation is necessary. Ensure the damaged area is free of dust, dirt, paint, and grease. Use a cloth to wipe away the debris from the surface. Sand around the damaged area with fine-grit sandpaper to ensure better filler adhesion.

Step 3: Applying Wood Filler 

After cleaning and preparing the damaged area by sanding, it’s time to apply the wood filler using a spatula or putty knife. Press the filler on the damaged spot and spread it smoothly over the affected area. Apply multiple thin layers if the hole is deep. 

Step 4: Allowing the Filler to Dry

Allow each layer to dry before applying the next one. Depending on the thickness of the application and the specific product used on drywall, the drying time can vary. Usually, it requires a few hours to dry the filler completely. 

Step 5: Applying Primer on the Area

Finally, apply primer over the drywall to ensure a consistent appearance. After that, paint over the area once the primer dries. 

Relevant: How to Remove Wood Filler? 5 Easy Steps to Restore

Wood Fillers, You Can Use On Drywall 

Drywall can be affected by dents, holes, cracks, or scratches over time due to its nature. Depending on the location of your drywall and its weather exposure, it may require specific wood filler. There are a number of wood fillers available for different locations. So, you should know those types to make sure your drywall looks perfect. 

Cellulose Wood Filler

Cellulose wood filler gained popularity due to its natural look on drywall. It is primarily composed of wood fibers and used to fill the imperfections of wooden surfaces. However, currently, it is very popularly chosen for stained drywall to fix the discoloration issues. We have to consider several factors when considering its application on your drywall. It has a porous nature that allows for adhesion. So, you can choose it for small repair tasks like concealing minor dents or nail holes

The best part about this wood filler is its effortless blending capability with the drywall color to reduce the visibility of the patchwork. It offers a smooth blend after sanding. You can use this wood filler for both indoor and outdoor projects. This wood filler is slightly more expensive than many other types of wood fillers, but after getting the result, you will acknowledge the cost is worth it. However, you should choose traditional drywall repair compounds over cellulose wood filler to repair larger imperfections. Ensuring a thorough preparation and finishing of the surface is essential for using this wood filler. 

Epoxy Wood Filler

Epoxy wood filler is another option to achieve a seamless blend after application. It is a two-part system of resin and hardener that provides an incredibly durable bond on wooden surfaces. People prefer it to other wood fillers due to its strength and durability. Though it takes longer to sit on the surface, its adhesive qualities make it suitable for indoor and outdoor drywalls. 

Once cured, epoxy wood filler leaves a solid and paintable surface. In addition, its non-shrinking nature offers amazing repairs for significant or major damages. Being a two-part system, it is difficult to mix. This wood filler is one of the most expensive options available, but the quality it provides is worth your pennies. Understanding its properties and ways to use it with care is essential to get the best results from this filler. 

Recommended: Can Wood Filler Hold A Screw: What Are Other Options?

Gypsum Wood Filler

Gypsum wood filler is another common option you can choose for repairing your drywall or plaster. This filler uses gypsum as a primary component, offering a different consistency that matches exclusive flooring systems. The nature of gypsum is to harden when mixed with water and correctly set. 

Because of is non-resistant to water or moisture content, gypsum wood filler is suitable for indoor use. Try to avoid using it on the drywall that is located in a wet area. Though they provide a very smooth finish, easy application process, and faster drying time than traditional wood fillers, they are not very durable and suitable for outdoor repairs. You can avail of this filler at an affordable cost. 

Latex Wood Filler

Latex wood filler is water-based and suitable for outdoor use. If your drywall has patching holes or cracks, go for this filler for great flexibility and ease. The best part of this filler is its incredible water-resistance quality and ability to withstand adverse weather conditions. From small to significant damages, dents, scratches, or nail holes, this filler adheres to the drywall very well. 

The elasticity of latex wood filler ensures that there is only a little risk of shrinkage and cracking over time. Once appropriately dried, this filler can easily be blended and sanded. After sanding, it becomes ready to paint and provides an excellent finish. Unlike many other wood fillers, drying on a surface takes only a few minutes. Affordability and easy accessibility are other reasons latex wood filler has become popular. However, it requires careful and thorough preparation to ensure a durable result on drywall. 

Using the wrong wood filler on drywall may change the shape of the wall and reduce its durability. In that case, you must spend extra time and effort repairing the wall. You should also remember that not all wood fillers are designed for indoor and outdoor walls. While some are suitable for indoor repairs, others give the best results for outdoor repairs. Before purchasing wood filler, consider its quality, price, consistency, and durability. 

Read: How To Fill Screw Holes In MDF: 3 Steps To Follow

Final Words

Hiring a professional to repair your drywall can be expensive for some people. In that case, the idea of using wood filler can be a good shortcut for repairing small holes or cracks. If you follow the DIY process of applying wood filler in the drywall described in this article regarding “can you use wood filler on drywall,” you won’t need to worry about the result. Though it is not ideal for larger repair projects in the drywall, it provides a quicker fix when you want your problem to be solved immediately.

Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

Leave a Comment