Best Wood Filler for Decks

7 Best Wood Fillers for Decks (Tested & Reviewed in 2023)

There’s no denying that your deck takes a beating day in and day out. Between dealing with the elements and the daily wear and tear from walking on your deck – keeping your deck in tip top shape can be a hassle.

Using wood filler is an essential product to fill cracks, gaps, and holes in your deck – but they aren’t all the same.

In this post, I’ll explore the best wood filler for decks, what you should look for when choosing a wood filler, how to repair holes in your deck, and much more.

If you’re in a hurry, the best wood filler for wooden decks is the PC Woody Wood Repair wood filler because of how strong and durable it is. It’s a two-part epoxy wood filler that can last for years and it’s perfect for decks with rotted wood.

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Best Wood Filler for Decks

1. PC Woody Wood Repair – Best Overall

PC Products PC-Woody Wood Repair Epoxy Paste, Two-Part 96 oz in Two Cans, Tan 128336
  • Two-part epoxy paste to replace missing or rotted wood is resistant to dry rot, UV light, fresh and salt water
  • Can be used in indoor and outdoor applications with an application temperature range of 35 to 115 degrees F and a service temperature range of -20 to 200 degrees F
  • High tack helps reduce drips and sags while hardening

If you’re looking for the best wood filler for decks, the choice is pretty clear – the PC Woody Wood Repair Wood Filler is the best you can get.

This is a two-part epoxy wood filler that has extreme strength and is very high tack meaning it won’t drip and sag like some other fillers.

This wood filler is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about it decomposing over time, either.

Additionally, this wood filler can be sanded and painted or stained to match the surrounding wood so you can get the appearance you desire. This wood filler doesn’t take stain quite as well as the Minwax Stainable wood filler, but it’s much more durable and long-lasting – so I’d recommend it more.

What I Liked:

  • Extremely strong and durable
  • High tack, so it won’t sag or drip
  • Made in the USA
  • Can be sanded and stained to match your wooden deck

What I Didn’t Like:

  • More expensive than other options
  • More work to apply because you have to mix both parts of the epoxy
  • Need to use a putty knife to mix
  • Can be more difficult to apply because of how thick it is

My Thoughts:

Overall, the PC Woody Wood Repair Wood Filler is the best exterior wood filler for decks because of how strong and durable it is. This wood filler is specifically designed for outdoor use and it works great on rotted wood and larger cracks. You can easily sand and paint this filler, so you can blend it in with surrounding wood.

2. Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound

Sale
Abatron WoodEpox Kit – 2 Quart – 2-Part Structural Epoxy Adhesive and Wood Hardener – Wood Filler Putty
  • REPAIR DAMAGED WOOD: Fills and rebuilds missing sections to help restore windows, doors, trim, columns, posts, and other elements. Permanently repairs damage caused by weather,…
  • EASY TO USE: Our wood epoxy has a 20-30 minute pot life (working time) and can be mixed and applied by hand. It can be painted, stained, drilled, carved, sawed, nailed, planed,…
  • GREENGUARD CERTIFIED: This product contains almost no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and does not have water or solvents. It has a low odor and is a clean, safe wood repair…

My runner-up pick that works wonders on wooden decks is the Abatron WoodEpox Wood Replacement Compound.

This wood filler is very similar to the PC Woody Wood Reapir above, except I found that it wasn’t quite as durable. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a very strong wood filler, just slightly less than the PC Woody.

It features everything you could want in an exterior wood filler including a temperature resistant and non shrinking formula, and it’s more natural than other fillers with less VOCs.

What I Liked:

  • Heavy duty and durable because of it’s epoxy base
  • More natural and safe with less VOCs
  • Doesn’t shrink as much as other fillers

What I Didn’t Like:

  • More complex to apply because you have to mix it beforehand
  • More expensive than other wood fillers

My Thoughts:

Ultimately, the Abatron WoodEpox Replacement Compound is my runner-up pick. It works great on exterior surfaces including wooden decks. I found that it’s just slightly less durable than the PC Woody above, but it’s more durable than most wood fillers. It also didn’t shrink a ton once applied and you can easily sand and stain it which is nice. Finally, it contains less VOCs than the PC Woody filler, which is worth noting.

3. Minwax Stainable Wood Filler – Best Looking Wood Filler

Minwax 428540000 Stainable Filler Wood Putty 32 oz
  • Ideal for repairing cracks, small gouges, nail holes, knot holes and other defects in all types of unfinished indoor and outdoor wood surfaces
  • Stainable Wood Filler is specially formulated to accept Minwax penetrating wood stains
  • It is designed for use with oil-based and water-based wood stains

Everyone wants a nice looking deck, therefore patching any cracks or gaps in your deck is essential. But that’s only half of the battle. You also need to sand and stain it to match the rest of your deck.

The Minwax Stainable wood filler is the best wood filler if you’re worried about how it looks.

It’s not going to be as strong or durable as the epoxy wood fillers above, but the end result looks better. This is one of the best water based wood fillers you’ll find, and I highly recommend it for many projects.

What I Liked:

  • Looks amazing once sanded and stained
  • Easier to apply because you don’t have to premix it like epoxy fillers
  • Very affordable
  • Dries fast

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Not as durable as epoxy fillers
  • Shrank slightly once dried

My Thoughts:

If you want a wood filler that delivers the best appearance possible – the Minwax Stainable wood filler is the best for you. No, it doesn’t deliver the same strength or durability as the PC Wood or Abatron WoodEpox above, but it looks much better at the end. It’s also easier to apply because you don’t have to mix it before applying, which is nice. This is a great multipurpose wood filler that you can use on other interior projects as well. Finally, it’s less expensive than some others which can be a bonus.

4. Famowood Wood Filler

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FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler – Pint, Natural 24 Oz.
  • Dries in 15 minutes
  • Won’t crack or shrink, solvent free – low odor and easy water cleanup

Famowood is another one of my favorite wood fillers you can buy for many different projects, including repairing your deck.

This wood filler is different than the fillers I’ve mentioned so far in that it comes in many different colors. While you can sand and stain it if needed, you might be able to find a color that’s close enough to the wood around it.

Famowood Wood Filler

This wood filler is pretty thick when you apply it, but it dries quickly and doesn’t shrink or crack.

What I Liked:

  • Comes in many different colors
  • Dries very quickly
  • Doesn’t crack or shrink once applied

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Not as strong or durable as an epoxy filler
  • Can be slightly more expensive

My Thoughts:

Famowood Wood Filler is another one of the best wood fillers for many projects, including repairing wooden decks. While it’s not as strong as epoxy wood fillers, I found that it’s still relatively strong and great for patching nail holes, rotten wood, and other cracks in your deck. It comes in many colors, which can also be convenient in some cases.

5. Goodfilla Wood & Grain Filler

Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler (Trowel Ready) – Neutral Base – 1 Quart By Goodfilla | Replace…
  • βš’οΈ HIGH QUALITY & MONEY SAVING: Save time and money with this wood filler that does not shrink, sink, or crack, and has excellent adhesion. Only need to apply once, and it…
  • βš’οΈ DESIGNED FOR PROFESSIONAL WOODWORKERS: The only water-based, non-latex/acrylic, trowel-ready wood filler in the world. Innovative and easy-to-use, it’s designed for…
  • βš’οΈ MADE FOR EVERY HANDY-PERSON & WOODWORKER: Whether you have furniture to repair, a floor to finish, a craft to complete or an instrument to finish, this is YOUR product….

Just like the Famowood wood filler above, Goodfilla Wood & Grain Filler is another great wood filler that comes in a variety of color options.

While this wood filler isn’t designed specifically for outdoor applications, it can be used as an exterior wood filler and it works well.

Goodfilla Wood Filler

This wood filler is durable enough for most projects including filling a wood deck, but I wouldn’t use it to patch rotted wood that requires structural integrity.

One thing that’s interesting about this wood filler compared to others is its shelf life. They claim that it can last for up to five years even if stored incorrectly with the lid not secured. By adding a small amount of water to the filler, you can stir it up and it should be as good as new. While I have never left the lid off of mine (yet!), this would be super convenient.

What I Liked:

  • Comes in several colors
  • Dries very quickly
  • Doesn’t go bad, even with lid not secured

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Lacks durability and strength

My Thoughts:

Goodfilla Wood and Grain Filler is another solid choice to fill any wood surface inside or out, including decks. This one is very similar to the Famowood filler, although I found that it is a little less thick and easier to apply. Another benefit is its ability to stay good for longer, even if stored improperly.

6. Bondo Wood Filler

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Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler, Sandable in 15 min, 1.9 lbs with 1 oz Hardener
  • TWO-PART FORMULA chemically bonds with surface to adhere permanently
  • QUICK, DURABLE REPAIRS to damaged and rotted wood
  • USE ON MOST WOOD-BASED interior or exterior surfaces

Bondo wood filler is another great filler for decks that’s extremely durable and great for exterior wood.

This is another epoxy filler that’s perfect for filling large holes or damaged wood on any wooden surface.

Bondo Wood Filler

The main downside to this filler was its ability to be sanded and stained. I found that it was much more difficult to sand and it didn’t accept stain nearly as well as others. It you’re worried about appearance, I’d go with something else.

What I Liked:

  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Doesn’t shrink much when drying

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Harder to sand and stain compared to other fillers
  • Slightly more expensive than others
  • Have to mix the wood hardener before applying

My Thoughts:

Bondo is a well known brand that’s been used in the autobody industry for decades. This Bondo filler is one of the best wood fillers on the market, but I don’t rank it quite as high as the PC Woody or Abatron WoodEpox fillers for a deck. It’s more durable than a water based wood filler, but it’s also more expensive and takes longer to cure.

7. Elmer’s Wood Filler – (I Don’t Recommend for Decks)

Elmer’s Products E848D12 Carpenter’s Wood Filler, 1/2 Pint, 8 Fl Oz
  • Ideal for repairing holes, dents, scratches, gouges, and defects
  • Works on any wood, wallboard, molding, or painted surface; for interior use only
  • Paintable and sands easily to a smooth finish

Lastly on my list is Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler. Honestly, I don’t recommend this one for your deck. I found that it didn’t last long at all and it shrinks a ton once dried.

I would recommend this filler more so for DIY projects, but not on wood surfaces that are exposed to the elements.

That said, this filler is easily sandable and it accepts stain pretty well.

Considerations When Purchasing a Wood Filler

Durability

When it comes to repairing wood surfaces like a deck, strength and durability are two of the most critical characteristics you should look for.

After all, your deck has to withstand the daily wear from being exposed to the elements and heavy foot traffic some boards can take.

When it comes to outdoor wood filler, the most durable options will be epoxy based fillers. These come in two parts that you’ll have to mix before applying. Once mixed, a chemical reaction occurs and it becomes extremely strong.

If you opt for a filler that’s less strong, over time it can break down, crack, and fall out of the surface so you’ll be forced to repair it again.

Color and Stainability

Another key consideration when trying to find the best wood fillers is how easy you can sand and stain it.

At the end of the day, you want your wood filler to look like real wood, which means it should be the same color as the wood around it.

Some fillers are better at accepting stains and paints than others. For example, the Minwax Stainable filler is the best I’ve found that can perfectly match the surrounding wood after staining.

Another thing you can look for is if it has real wood fibers in it. This will help it match the grain of the wood so it blends in.

Type of Filler

The type of filler you use can make a difference in how long it will last, how long it takes to dry, and much more.

There are a couple main types of wood fillers including water based wood fillers and solvent based wood fillers.

In general, water based wood fillers dry quicker, contain less VOCs, and are easier to sand and stain.

Solvent based fillers are much stronger, but they require more time to dry and have more VOCs.

Drying Time

How long it takes wood filler to dry will ultimately depend on the type and brand of the filler. Water based wood fillers will always dry faster, but it can still vary from brand to brand.

In most cases, it will take wood filler around 24 hours to dry but some solvent based fillers can take longer.

It’s also worth noting that there is a difference in the dry and cure time. The cure time refers to the time it takes for the filler to be completely dry and hardened. For most wood fillers, it will require a few days for it to fully cure. Epoxy fillers can take up to 7 days to cure.

Price and Value

The last thing you’ll want to consider when making your purchase is the price and value it offers.

Epoxy fillers are going to be more expensive than water based fillers, but if you consider the additional durability – I think they tend to be a better value. After all, do you want to have to repair your deck again a year later? No thanks!

Additionally, if you’ve got a lot of gaps to fill, you can purchase many of these in large quantities than can help to lower the cost.

How to Fill Holes in Decks

restaining a wood deck - woman staining wood deck with a roller

Here’s how to fill holes in decks and other wood surfaces.

  1. Start by removing any existing rotten wood from your deck. Rotting wood can cause structure issues that can be dangerous. You can use a chisel or metal scraping tool to help remove these pieces.
  2. Clean the deck surface. To get the best bond possible, cleaning the surface of your wood is essential. You can use a brush and some wood stripper to give the surface a clean finish.
  3. Mix your filler (if epoxy based). If you’re using an epoxy based filler, you’ll need to mix the two parts with a putty knife.
  4. Apply the filler. You can use a putty knife to spread the filler over any cracks or gaps in your boards. I like to apply a little extra on top because some fillers may shrink when drying.
  5. Give it time to dry. Wood fillers typically take 24 hours to dry. It’s important to not put any pressure on the filler while it dries.
  6. Sand and stain. Once it’s dried, you can sand and stain the filler so it blends in with the rest of your deck.

TIP: Whenever doing work on your deck, I highly recommend checking the weather forecast before starting. The last thing you want is rain while repairing your deck, so double check to make sure you’re in the clear. It’s also best not to work in extreme cold temperatures. You should look for a moderate temperature for the best results.

Check out the video below for more help!

FAQs

Can you use wood filler on deck boards?

Yes! You can use an exterior wood filler on deck boards to patch gaps and cracks or fill holes. You should double check the ensure the filler is made for exterior use and you can easily apply it with a putty knife and allow it to dry.

What’s the difference between wood putty and wood filler on a deck?

You can use both wood putty and wood filler on a deck. In general, wood putty is more pliable but is more difficult to sand and stain than a filler is.

How do you fill large cracks in deck boards?

To fill large cracks or gaps in deck boards, you should start by prepping the surface and removing any rotten wood. Next you can prep your filler and apply it with a putty knife. Finally, you can let it dry and then sand and stain it to match the surrounding wood.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the best wood filler for decks is the PC Woody Wood Repair wood filler because of its strength and durability. It works perfectly on wood decks and I’ve used it many times on exterior projects.

My runner up choice is Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy wood filler. Just like the PC Woody wood repair, it’s an epoxy filler that will last for years.

Finally, if you’re looking for the best looking wood filler, the Minwax Stainable wood filler should be your go-to choice. It doesn’t last as long as the other two, but it’s still a tremendous product.

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