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?

Wood putty does not solidify. Due to its particular composition and flexibility, it can modify its dimensions. That is, in response to changes in temperature and humidity in the environment. Wood putty thickens. But hardening wood putty is quite difficult.

However, You can harden wood putty by using an appropriate hardener. These hardeners speed up the drying process of wood putty. The product also dries to a more firm consistency than regular wood putty.

Wood Putty can be used in small rocks too for decoration.

Wood Filler vs. Wood Putty: What’s the Difference?

The terms “wood filler” and “wood putty” are often used interchangeably, although this is incorrect. Putty and wood filler, despite their similar functions, are not interchangeable.

This section goes into great length on the differences between the two items.

Wood Putty Rarely Hardens, But Wood Filler Does

Wood fillers usually have sawdust or wood composites delayed in a binder, which is not found in wood putty. People usually use fiberglass, epoxy, and polyurethane to make the paste. This paste doesn’t harden like wood filler, which does.

Wood filler is good for major cracks in a wood project because it cures firmly and gives some structural support. Wood putty, on the other hand, is better for fixing minor cracks or nail and brad holes.

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

Wood Putty Is Not Sandable Or Refinishable

Because wood filler sets hard, you can usually sand it after it’s been cured to create a smooth, flat surface with the other of the wood. The texture also enables painting or covering over wood filler once it has been sanded.

While some wood fillers are stainable, nearly all are meant to be painted. Again, you’ll want to verify the product’s label to determine if it’s stain-resistant. Nonetheless, it is suggested that you conduct a fast test on a scrap piece of wood. This is to determine how well it works.

Fillers have diverse interactions with wood stains. If it leaves a blotchy texture around the show-up, use wood putty instead. You can try all you want, but it won’t match the color of the surrounding wood no matter what you do.

The blotchy stain can be fixed in this circumstance. You can easily accomplish this activity.

Because of its pliable structure, wood putty does not support sanding. Because of the texture, painting over it will fail. Peeled off and chipped off paint.

The good news is that wood putty is available in a wide range of colors, so you can easily choose one that matches your project. After staining & putting on the topcoat, you can use it as a finishing touch.

Consider how your project will look after it’s finished, then choose a color for your wood putty accordingly. When the wood is completed, the nail gaps and other minor defects will disappear. Only use a moist cloth to remove any excess putty.

For a flawless finish, apply one extra layer of varnish after putting the wood putty.

Wood Filler Isn’t Waterproof, Although Wood Putty Is

Wood putty is generally a good choice for outdoor projects because it is easy to work with. If it is used outside, it will adjust the wood’s size and shape caused by changes in the weather. The putty doesn’t work because of the weather.

A wood filler, on the other hand, hardens and does not adapt to emerging in the wood. It’s not weatherproof. And as the temperature and humidity fluctuate, it’ll likely break off or produce fractures in the wood.

Wood fillers are often utilized for interior work because they aren’t weatherproof. Whereas wood putty is being used for outdoor operations using wood.

If you apply a water-based wood filler outside, rain or precipitation will return it to its soft, spreadable state. This is why, when purchasing a good, it is always a good idea to check the tag for the product’s qualities.

Wood putty alternatives will soon be designated for outdoor usage, making weatherproof fillers a feasible option. The Minwax High-Performance Wood Filler, for example, is a two-part filler.

Traditional one-part wood fillers, on the other hand, can only be used inside. Use them to cover up dings and dents in raw wood furniture, carpeting, and other projects.

You may use them to repair chipped or cracked surfaces, such as counters, tables, and bookcases. Wood putty is suitable for outdoor applications, although it can also be used indoors. Slab wood is ideal for working both outdoors and indoors.

How Long Does It Take for Wood Putty to Dry?

It takes 2 to 8 hours for the wood putty to dry completely. The drying time will, of course, be affected by environmental parameters such as temperature & humidity.

The density of the wood putty has an impact on how quickly it dries. If you apply a larger volume of the product, it will take longer than if you only apply a tiny amount.

Various sorts of wood putty have different drying times. Water-based wood putty will dry differently from oil-based wood putty.

Drying Time for Oil-Based Wood Putty

It takes roughly 48 hours for oil-based wood putty to dry. The amount of time it takes to dry depends on the temperature and humidity.

If you’re going to use an oil-based topcoat, use oil-based wood putty. It will mix in seamlessly with the rest of the decor. To ensure a clean surface, remove any surplus product.

You can buy oil-based wood putty from the companies listed below:

These are the most cost-effective options accessible.

Drying-time for Water-Based Wood Putty

The drying time of water-based wood putty is about half that of oil-based putty, taking about 24 hours to dry completely after being applied. As oil-based wood putty, the drying period of the water-based compounds is affected by temperature and humidity.

There is a problem with combining oil and water. So, if you’re using a water-based finish, go with water-based wood putty.

You can buy water-based wood putty from the companies listed below:

These are the most cost-effective options accessible.

How Can I Get Wood Putty to Dry Quicker?

Wood putty can be accelerated in the drying process in a plethora of ways. You must, however, ensure that it thoroughly dries. 

Otherwise, the grade of your finished product could be compromised. Some wood putty is water-based and some are solvent-based. Wood putty cannot be dried without evaporation.

Step 1: Apply Appropriately

Wood putty should be applied in thin layers. This is due to the fact that thicker coatings require more time to dry. A putty spatula and 1/8-inch-thick coating of wood putty will ensure a more consistent finish. 

Better soaking and evaporation are made possible by thin sheets of material. Thick layers also keep moisture trapped within the structure’s deeper levels.

Step 2: Maintain Even Wood Putty Application

Cracking and shrinking are common when the wood putty is applied in thick layers. At least one or two thin coats are required. As a precaution, keep solvent-based putty away from open flames, as it is highly flammable.

Step 3: Make Use of the Exhaust Fan

Improve the flow of air through your workspace. An oscillating fan can be set up to distribute airflow to the region that needs it most. The moisture in the air is reduced by this configuration. It produces drier air, which speeds up the drying process.

The exhaust fan could be used for something else. In the kitchen, an exhaust fan can be used.

You can buy an exhaust fan from the companies listed below:

These are the most cost-effective options accessible.

Step 4: Increase the Temperature

Approximately a 50-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature should be applied to the puttied surface. Temperature control, kerosene heater, propane heater, or space heater can all be used to raise the temperature in your home. 

A blow dryer, on the other hand, can be used to quickly and easily warm up the region. Water and solvent evaporate more quickly at higher temperatures.

Step 5: Maintain a Clean Environment

Sanding and preparing the wood prior to applying wood putty might help speed up the drying process. While this isn’t the most effective approach to speed up drying, it does remove contaminants that can slow down the process.

You’ll have to wait a bit longer for the mended area to dry if the drying process is slower. Putty will stick better to wood if it has been sanded and dried before applying it.

Wood Putty’s Pros and Cons

Other woodworkers and specialists refer to Wood Putty as “Plastic Wood” because of its versatility in filling compound cavities. After staining or varnishing, this is the type of filler you can use. 

Everything, as the saying goes, has both pros and cons. Despite the fact that wood putty is effective at masking imperfections, it has its drawbacks.

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.

Advantages of Wood Putty’s Non-Hardening Nature

Once applied, wood fillers solidify over time, but wood putty doesn’t really. Whereas wood fillers don’t fluctuate in size as a result of temperature fluctuations, wood putty does. 

The wood expands when there is a lot of humidity and contracts when there isn’t. It’s impossible to stop the current trend. It’s just the way things work.

For outdoor woodworking projects, the wood filler will not be able to move or alter dimensions with the temperature and humidity conditions because it is less flexible than wood. 

You’ll notice fractures and scratches where the wood filler has been placed since the wood expands and contacts the wood filler. It’s a whole different story when it comes to wood putty. 

As humidity and temperature change, wood putty, a non-hardening material, can expand or contract with the wood itself. Unlike wood fillers, this will not fracture or shatter.

As a woodworker, you must occasionally use glue in plywood. In this scenario, the best plywood glue must be used.

We hope this article answered any of your questions about wood putty and how to use it.


Is Wood Putty Sandable?

Sanding wood putty should be easy if it is completely dry. An oscillating tool or sanding bar with fine-grit sandpaper can be used. It’s enough to smooth wood putty well and fit it to your workpiece.

Is it possible to paint non-hardening wood putty?

It is not suggested to paint on non-hardening wood putty because the paint will likely flake off. The non-hardening substance cannot be sanded, stained, or coated. As a result, you must select a color that complements your polished wood and paint it using a craft knife after the polish.

What is the lifespan of wood filler?

If kept in a cool, dry place, wood filler or fake wood can endure for up to 20 years. The product’s shelf life isn’t compromised if you use some of it right away and save the remainder for later.

Is Minwax wood putty a hardening product?

Minwax wood putty is not a hardening product. Wood Putty is a non-hardening filler for cracks and minor surface flaws in finished wood. It retains its elasticity after drying, making it suitable for outdoor crafts.

Drying time for Minwax wood putty?

It takes 2 to 6 hours for Minwax wood putty to cure. The length of time it takes for the product to dry depends on its thickness and the temperature outside. External influences might hasten or slow the drying process.

Final Word

That was the extent of my knowledge on does wood putty harden. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of wood putty now.

If you have any further queries about wood putty, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Best wishes to you!

Kevin Smith

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