How To Make Wood Filler From Sawdust

The idea of making wood fillers at home may pass to be incredibly awkward and some homeowners may even consider the aspect not be of meaningful at all simply because they can walk to woodworking shops and spend a mere $5 or $10 on a wood filler. However, you can imagine the woodworking skills and the fun you can have if you consider making wood fillers at home instead of buying them.

Making wood fillers is simple – hardly will you have the need to demonstrate advanced woodworking skills and the tools/materials needed are easy to get. Assuming that you can comfortably make wood fillers from the comfort of your home, you can imagine the amount of cash you can save in the long run.

Again, if you are fond of buying wood fillers from the woodworking shops, hardly can you come across a filler that can perfectly match your requirements regarding your desired color. However, by setting aside some time to make the fillers, you can come with exactly wood fillers you want and conveniently use them as you plan.

Here Are The Materials You Need

Making wood fillers at home can hardly consume much of your time as long as you have the right materials and tools and have the proper know-how on how to handle them. The requirements mentioned below are easy to find and you may vary their amount depending on the amount of wood fillers you would want to have in the end.

  • Wood dust – you have the option of using already prepared wood dust or making one on your own. The dust must be very fine and from the wood material you intend to patch. You can either use edger or sander dust.
  • Always make sure that the dust you intend to use blends with the area you want to patch- for instance, dust obtained from a knot is usually darker than other wood parts and therefore may not give the required level of color uniformity.

    Before sanding any wood remains to obtain dust, make sure it is free from impurities such as soil particles and metal shavings as these would otherwise reduce the quality of dust regarding its color.

  • Glue- most glues meant for woodworking jobs are somehow brown-tinted, however, for a better color match, white wood glue is highly preferred.
  • Mixing surface – you need to prepare a disposable surface where you can easily mix the putty. Preferably, you can try materials such as cardboard, a piece of clean wood surface, drywall scrap and even a foil. Most importantly; the mixing surface must be clean for the intentions of not downgrading the quality of the putty.
  • Putty knife – you can use the knife for mixing the putty.
  • Fine grit sanding paper
  • Latex gloves – you will surely need these if your bare skin is allergic to the glue used in the process. Latex gloves allow for easy mixing of glue and wood dust without subjecting a person to unreasonably tedious hand cleaning task.

You will absolutely enjoy making wood fillers as long as you can easily access the materials mentioned. Missing any of the materials means that you may find difficult to handle all the steps involved when making the wood fillers and consequently, you may not have a wood filler to show off in the end.

Step By Step Description On How To Make Wood Fillers

Thoroughly assess the broken/gouged/cracked/holed wood surface you intend a wood filler for – to come up with a logical conclusion of how much wood filler you need, you first have to assess the extent of the damage that needs repair.

Gathering sawdust – when choosing sawdust for making a wood filler, it is considered a good practice to collect sawdust from a wood similar to what the broken furniture is made from.

Insist on having sawdust gathered on a clean and dry dustpan and make sure that the pan is sealed and stored in a location where it cannot get into contact with dirt forms such as soil particles. You can further proceed to sift the dust to ensure that it does not contain any unreasonably large pieces of wood or shavings.

Adding glue – put the sifted sawdust in a mixing surface and consistently add glue to the sawdust as you are doing the mixing. As you add more glue, the mixture will gradually soften and at this point, you must exercise the right judgment so as not to get sawdust-glue mixture having poor strength and bonding.

Turn the sawdust-glue mixture into a workable dough until it gets putty-like, that is, until it can roll between your fingers. If your putty is too wet, you can rectify the mistake by adding more sawdust until you get a texture and roughness which you feel is appropriate.

Applying the putty – before putting the putty you have made into the broken, holed, gouged or scratched wood surface you intend to repair, make sure that the deformed wood surface is cleaned by removing excess materials as possible. Quickly proceed to push the putty into the gouged/hole/scratched wood surface before the putty can dry up.

Cleaning excess putty layers – use a knife to remove any irregularly protruding putty so that you can remain with a uniform wood surface. Allow some time for the putty and wood surface to form appropriate bonding.

Sanding – after the putty has dried accordingly, you can use a fine grit sanding paper to obtain a reasonably smooth surface. Be careful when sanding since over sanding can gouge some part of the putty. Assuming that you are done with the step, you can discard the unused wood filler.


Homemade may not be that perfect stuff; however, you can come up with some reasonably good wood filler if you apply the right proportions of sawdust and glue. Because homemade wood fillers are only made from sawdust and glue, they may not be that strong. Still, they can be relied upon to bridge gaps, cracks, holes and gouges that may exist on some furniture wood surface.

Leave a Comment: