Does Wood Putty Harden? (Things You Need To Know)

Professional woodworkers use wood putty to repair minor dents and scratches in wooden furniture. Wood putty is a great tool for filling in holes and repairing the damage that occurs frequently in woodworking.

When you consider the product’s characteristics the concern regarding its hardening property arises.

Does wood putty harden?

No, Wood Putty doesn’t harden when exposed to air. It is able to vary its size in reaction to variations in weather & humidity because of its unique composition and elasticity. It is a non-hardening material that is used to repair small imperfections once a woodworking activity is completed.

Do you require a more detailed explanation? I’ve got your back. Please take the time to read the entire article.

Does Wood Putty Get Hard?

Putty for wood doesn’t set up. Its unique composition and elasticity allow it to change its proportions. That is, in response to alterations in the environment’s temperature and humidity. Wood putty gets thicker. But it can be challenging to harden wood putty.

Wood putty can be hardened, nevertheless, if the right hardener is used. These hardeners hasten wood putty’s drying time. Additionally, the product dries to a consistency that is firmer than normal wood putty.

Additionally, small rocks can be decorated with Wood Putty.

What Is the Difference Between Wood Putty and Wood Filler?

Although it is inaccurate, “wood filler” and “wood putty” are frequently used interchangeably. Despite having identical purposes, putty and wood filler cannot be used interchangeably.

The distinctions between the two things are covered in great detail in this section.

Wood filler hardens more frequently than wood putty.

Wood putty lacks the sawdust or wood composites that are typically included in wood fillers that are delayed in a binder. The paste is often made with fiberglass, epoxy, and polyurethane. Unlike wood filler, which does, this paste doesn’t become hardened.

Major cracks in a wood project can be filled with wood filler since it dries solidly and provides some structural support. On the other hand, wood putty works better to fill in nail and brad holes and small cracks.

However, because of its pliability, it is unable to give enough structural support.

Wood Putty Cannot Be Refinished or Sanded

Because wood filler hardens after it cures, you can frequently sand it afterward to produce a smooth, flat surface with the adjacent piece of wood. Additionally, the roughness makes it possible to paint or cover wood filler once it has been sanded.

Almost all wood fillers are intended to be painted, while some are stainable. Once more, you should check the product’s label to see if it is stain-resistant. But it’s advised that you run a quick test on a scrap piece of wood. This will show how effectively it functions.

Wood stains and fillers interact in a variety of ways. Use wood putty instead if it leaves a blotchy texture all around the appearance. No matter what you do, it will never match the color of the nearby wood, no matter how hard you try.

In this case, the blotchy stain can be removed. You can complete this task with ease.

Wood putty cannot be sanded due to its flexible composition. The texture prevents painting over it from working. Paint that had peeled and chipped away.

The good news is that wood putty comes in a variety of colors, making it simple to select one that goes with your project. You can use it as a finishing touch once you’ve stained and applied the topcoat.

Choose the color of your wood putty based on how your project will seem once it is complete. Nail gaps and other minor flaws will vanish after the wood is finished. To remove any extra putty, use use a wet cloth.

After placing the wood putty, add one more layer of varnish for a faultless finish.

Wood Putty Is Waterproof, But Wood Filler Isn’t

For most outdoor jobs, wood putty is a suitable option because it is simple to use. If used outside, it will modify the size and shape of the wood as a result of climatic variations. The weather prevents the putty from working.

On the other hand, a wood filler hardens and does not adjust to changes in the wood. It isn’t climate-proof. Additionally, it is likely to fracture or break off as the temperature and humidity change.

Because they are not waterproof, wood fillers are frequently used for interior work. Wood putty, on the other hand, is employed for outside woodworking projects.

A water-based wood filler will revert to its soft, spreadable state after being applied outside in the event of rain or other precipitation. This is why it is wise to carefully check the product’s labeling for specifications before making a purchase.

Weatherproof fillers will soon be acceptable substitutes for wood putty that are intended for outdoor use. For instance, the Minwax High-Performance Wood Filler is a two-part filler.

On the other hand, conventional one-part wood fillers are restricted to indoor application. Use them to hide dents and dings in carpet, furniture made of unfinished wood, and other projects.

They can be used to fix surfaces like worktops, tables, and bookshelves that have chips or cracks. Despite being useful indoors as well, wood putty is best employed outside. Working with slab wood is great for both indoor and outdoor projects.

How long does wood putty take to dry?

The wood putty needs 2 to 8 hours to thoroughly dry. Environmental factors like temperature and humidity will, of course, have an impact on the drying time.

The speed at which the wood putty dries is influenced by its density. It will take longer if you use more product than you would if you used a tiny amount.

Different types of wood putty dry at different rates. Wood putty with a water base will dry differently than wood putty with an oil base.

Time Needed for Oil-Based Wood Putty to Dry

Oil-based wood putty takes about 48 hours to dry. The temperature and humidity affect how long something takes to dry.

apply oil-based wood putty if you’re intending to apply an oil-based topcoat. It will blend in perfectly with the rest of the furnishings. Remove any extra product to guarantee a clean surface.

The businesses below provide oil-based wood putty for sale:

These are the available solutions that are most affordable.

Water-Based Wood Putty Drying Time

Water-based wood putty takes about 24 hours to fully cure after application, which is about half as long as oil-based putty. The drying time of the water-based compounds is influenced by temperature and humidity, just like oil-based wood putty.
Oil and water cannot be combined without a problem. So use water-based wood putty if you’re using a water-based finish.

From the businesses listed below, you may get water-based wood putty:

These are the available solutions that are most affordable.

How Can I Speed Up the Drying of Wood Putty?

There are numerous ways to speed up the drying of wood putty. But you have to make sure it dries completely.

If not, the quality of your finished output can be lowered. Some wood putty is solvent-based, while others are water-based. It is impossible to dry wood putty without evaporation.

Step 1: Apply Appropriately

Applying wood putty requires very thin layers. This is because coatings that are thicker take longer to dry. A wood putty layer that is 1/8-inch thick and applied with a putty spatula will result in a more uniform surface.
Thin sheets of material enable better soaking and evaporation. Additionally, moisture is kept contained in the deeper levels of the structure by thick layers.

Step 2: Continue to apply the wood glue evenly

When wood putty is placed in thick layers, cracking and shrinkage are frequently experienced. It takes at least one or two light coatings. Solvent-based putty is extremely flammable, therefore keep it away from open flames as a safety precaution.

Step 3: Make Use of the Exhaust Fan

Enhance the airflow in your workspace. You can arrange an oscillating fan to direct airflow to the area that requires it most. This design decreases the amount of moisture in the air. The drying process moves more quickly because it produces drier air.

The exhaust fan may be put to better use. An exhaust fan can be utilized in the kitchen.

You can purchase an exhaust fan from one of the businesses below:

These are the available solutions that are most affordable.

Step 4: Increase the Temperature

The temperature should be raised on the puttied surface by around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You can increase the temperature in your home using a temperature controller, a kerosene heater, a propane heater, or a space heater.

On the other hand, you can quickly and effectively warm up the area using a blow dryer. At higher temperatures, both water and solvent evaporate more quickly.

Step 5: Keep Your Environment Clean

Wood putty may dry more quickly if the wood is sanded and prepared before being applied. While this isn’t the best method for accelerating drying, it can get rid of impurities that can slow things down.

If the drying time is greater, you’ll need to wait a little longer for the repaired area to dry. Before applying the putty, the wood should be sanded and allowed to dry.

Pros and Cons of Wood Putty

Due to its adaptability in filling complex voids, some woodworkers and professionals refer to Wood Putty as “Plastic Wood”. This kind of filler can be applied after staining or varnishing.

As the expression goes, everything has advantages and disadvantages. Even while wood putty is good at hiding flaws, there are some disadvantages.

Wood Putty comes in a variety of colors, making it an excellent filler.The most important drawback of Wood Putty is the lengthy drying period.
There’s a color specifically designed to match the majority of wood stain shades.The longer it takes to dry, the more likely it is that lighter colored putty will darken as a result of dust accumulation.
Using Wood Putty on outdoor furniture is a great way to protect the wood.When Wood Putty hasn’t been used for a while, it needs to be restored with acetone.

Benefits of the Non-Hardening Nature of Wood Putty

Wood putty doesn’t truly harden after application like wood fillings do. Wood putty expands and contracts with changes in temperature, whereas wood fillers don’t.

When there is a lot of humidity, the wood swells; when there isn’t, it shrinks. The present tendency cannot be reversed. It’s simply how things operate.

The wood filler won’t be able to move or change dimensions with the temperature and humidity conditions for outdoor woodworking projects because it is less flexible than wood.

Since the wood expands and comes into contact with the wood filler, you’ll see cracks and scratches where the wood filler has been applied. When it comes to wood putty, the situation is quite different.

Wood putty, a non-hardening substance, can expand or contract with the wood itself as humidity and temperature vary. Contrary to wood fillers, this won’t break or crumble.

You will occasionally need to utilize glue in plywood as a woodworker. The best plywood glue must be applied in this situation.

We trust that this article has answered all of your inquiries concerning wood putty and its application.


Can you sand wood glue?

If wood putty is entirely dry, sanding it should be simple. It is possible to use an oscillating tool or a sanding bar with fine-grit sandpaper. It suffices to thoroughly smooth the wood putty and fit it to your workpiece.

Can non-hardening wood putty be painted?

Non-hardening wood putty should not be painted on because the paint will likely flake off. Sanding, staining, or coating are not permitted on the non-hardening material. As a result, after polishing the wood, you must choose a color that goes well with it and paint it on with a craft knife.

How long does wood filler last?

Wood filler or faux wood can last up to 20 years if kept in a cold, dry location. If you use some of the product right away and reserve the rest for later, the shelf life is not impacted.

Is Minwax wood putty a product for hardening?

Minwax wood putty is not a substance that hardens. A non-hardening filler for cracks and small surface imperfections in finished wood is called wood putty. It is appropriate for outdoor crafts because it keeps its suppleness after drying.

When does Minwax wood putty dry?

Minwax wood putty cures in two to six hours. The product’s thickness and the outdoor temperature both affect how long it takes to dry. The drying process may be sped up or slowed down by external factors.

Last Word

That was all I knew about whether wood putty hardens. Hopefully this has helped you understand wood putty better.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions regarding wood putty.

Happy New Year to you!

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