How to Soften Wood Filler in a Can


Wood filler is basically a mixture of glue and gypsum or sawdust. The glue creates a binder that holds the material together for filling in small holes and cracks in wood. The filler is kept moist either with water or solvents. One way to tell the difference is to open the can and smell. Water-based fillers do not have a strong chemical odor. Often filler ends up staying in the can longer than expected and starts to dry out. Softening wood filler in a can is a matter of lubricating it with its moistener.

Things You'll Need

  • Acetone
  • 1/4-inch dowel rod
  • Water
  • Wood glue

Solvent Fillers

  • Open the can and pour just enough acetone to cover the top of the wood filler. Poke a 1/4-inch dowel into several spots in the wood filler. This creates channels for the acetone.

  • Add some more acetone just until the top of the filler is covered. Close the lid tightly and allow the acetone to work for 15 minutes.

  • Reopen the can and mix the wood filler around with the 1/4-inch dowel rod. The filler is difficult to mix at first but begins to move freely once the acetone mixes well with it. Pour off any excess acetone into a disposable cup and discard.

Water-Based Fillers

  • Open the lid and add enough water to soften the top of the wood filler.

  • Mix the filler well using a 1/4-inch dowel. Add water as necessary until the filler is softened enough to apply.

  • Add a couple drops of wood glue, if the filler becomes too thin. Mix the glue in to the filler thoroughly with the dowel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most canned wood fillers are solvent based.
  • If the filler is brittle, it cannot be moistened enough to work with. replace it with a new can.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Soften Wood Putty

    Many projects require the removal of hardened wood putty, such as restoring windows or repairing woodwork. You don’t want to spend a...

  • How to Fill Cracks With Wood Filler

    Cracks develop in wood over time as it weathers and ages. It is important to fill those cracks as they develop in...

  • How to Soften Wood Filler

    Wood filler has become a staple in the woodworking industry. It's used to patch small cracks, and to fill nail holes, dents,...

  • Directions for Elmer's Wood Filler

    Unwanted holes or chips in your wood furniture do not mean the end of your favorite household pieces. Filling the gaps is...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!