Best Wood Fillers for Painting
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I Tested 7 Wood Fillers for Painting: Here are the Best (2024)

If you’re looking for the best wood fillers for painting, I tested some of the most popular options to help you find the right one. Let’s dig in!

In a hurry? Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler is the best wood filler for painting because it’s reliable, easy to use, versatile, and more affordable when stacked against its direct competitors.

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  • 9+ wood fillers thoroughly vetted and hand tested
  • 12+ data points and key considerations
  • 9+ applications and 6+ hours of testing and analysis

Best Wood Fillers for Painting

1. Minwax Stainable Wood Filler – #1 Best Overall

Stainable Wood Filler

When you need an all-around terrific wood filler, the Minwax Stainable Wood Filler won’t let you down, especially if you’re looking to paint the wood that’s getting filler.

This latex-based, interior/exterior wood filler is quick-drying and easy to sand, and I love that it holds nails and screws in place just as well as real wood.

And to clean it off your putty knife, all you need is warm, soapy water.

What I Liked:

  • Works well on softwoods and hardwoods, so it’s a versatile wood filler.
  • It’s strong enough to be used outdoors.
  • It’s easy to sand, so you don’t have to worry about taking too much off.
  • You get a lot for a relatively low price, so it’s cost-effective.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Can be a bit messy if you have to use a lot.
  • Have to adequately fill cracks, holes, etc., otherwise the paint won’t dry properly.

My Thoughts

The Minwax Stainable Wood Filler should be a go-to product for any woodworker who needs a reliable wood filler, as it’s versatile, affordable, and easy to use. Seriously, what more can you ask for from a wood filler? Sure, it’s a bit messy if you have to fill a lot of defects, but overall it’s an excellent product in all the categories that matter most!

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2. FamoWood Latex Wood Filler – Best Quality

Famowood Wood Filler

Now, if we’re talking strictly about best quality, the nod has to be given to FamoWood Latex Wood Filler, as this stuff is not only designed to last but also really good at hiding defects so they don’t show once the paint has dried.

Another latex-based product, this wood filler dries in just 15 minutes, and it won’t crack or shine like some of its competitors. Love that!

Plus it’s solvent-free, and it doesn’t emit a strong odor.

And just like other top-tier wood fillers, it’s an interior/exterior product that’s easily removed with soap and water.

What I Liked:

  • Since it doesn’t shine, you won’t see it through the paint.
  • It’ll last for years if properly applied, ensuring more bang for your buck.
  • Application is quick and easy since it dries fast and doesn’t emit a strong odor.
  • It’s solvent free, so it’s a safer filler.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Thick consistency makes it somewhat hard to spread.
  • Isn’t backed by a warranty.

My Thoughts

If a top-quality product is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong picking up a 24 oz tub of FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler. This is a superior filler in many respects, and it’s one of the longest-lasting I’ve come across. Sure, spreading it takes a little while—since it’s thicker—but it’s a truly spectacular product!

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3. DAP Latex All Purpose Plastic Wood Filler – Best Value

DAP Stainable Wood Filler

On a tight budget? Are the two products discussed previously out of your price range? Then pick up some DAP Latex All Purpose Plastic Wood Filler, for it’s just as good as many top-tier wood fillers, yet much more affordable.

It repairs cracks, gouges, and holes really well, and it’s strong enough to anchor nails and screws.

It also resists cracking and shrinking, and it’s an interior/exterior product that’ll dry hard and smooth in no time at all.

What I Liked:

  • Dries in 10-20 minutes, so you can get to painting right away.
  • It doesn’t have a gritty texture, so it’s easy to smooth out.
  • Low price makes it a good buy for hobbyists and DIYers on a budget.
  • Resists shrinking and cracking well, so it’s good outdoors.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Since it dries fast, you need to apply it somewhat fast.

My Thoughts

For a product at the low end of the wood filler price range, DAP Latex All Purpose Plastic Wood Filler is far from low-quality. In fact, it delivers in all the ways you want a paintable filler to deliver, as it’s versatile, durable, and easy to apply. I found that it’s not quite as strong as the others, but for the price you can’t go wrong with this one.

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4. Goodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain FillerBest Wood Filler for Large Surfaces

Goodfilla Wood Filler

If you’ve got a large surface and plenty of holes to fill, getting a gallon of highly reliable and eco-friendly Goodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler is the way to go.

This product resists shrinking, sinking, and cracking quite well, and you only need to apply it once to get first-rate results.

And it’s one of the only wood fillers with an unlimited shelf life, something I enjoy a lot.

Finally, it’s easy to sand, green since there are no volatile organic compounds (VOC) present, and backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

What I Liked:

  • Ideal for large wooden furniture since you get so much in the tub.
  • Easy to spread since it’s water-based.
  • Contains no VOC for top-notch eco-friendliness.
  • 30 seconds of sanding ensures an ultra-smooth finish.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Too light for certain woods.
  • Can deceive the user, making them think cracks and holes are filled when they’re not.

My Thoughts

Got a large wood surface that’s riddled with holes and other defects? Goodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler will suit you well, as it’s an easy-to-spread filler that’ll smooth out nicely and last a long time. Plus, it’s eco-friendly! It is, however, too light for a lot of woods, but overall it’s an awesome paintable/stainable wood filler.

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5. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler – Best for Beginners

Elmer's Wood Filler

If you’ve never used wood filler before, Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler is your best bet, as it’s designed to be extremely easy to use.

Just like all the other wood fillers on my list, it’s great at filling holes, cracks, gouges, and other defects, and it’s both paintable and stainable.

And it’s not just good for wood—it’s also used on wallboard and molding.

Finally, it’s solvent-free and easy to clean off—just use soap and water!

What I Liked:

  • Spreads really easily, so achieving a smooth surface will be a breeze.
  • Dries quickly but not so fast that you can’t correct a mistake shortly after applying.
  • More eco-friendly since it’s solvent-free.
  • Blends in with many wood species, so you won’t see it after painting.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Only for use indoors.
  • 8 oz is barely enough for most midsize furniture.

My Thoughts

It doesn’t get simpler than Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler. And when we’re talking about wood fillers, simple is exactly what you want! Of course, this product is highly capable too, but its simplicity makes it a stand-out product that’s perfect for beginners. My only gripe is it’s indoors-only, but that’s vastly outweighed by its benefits!

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6. Minwax High Performance Wood FillerBest Epoxy Wood Filler

Applying Minwax Wood Filler

Minwax High Performance Wood Filler isn’t just great for painting—it’s great all around.

This high-performance filler dries in just 15 minutes, and it’ll be sandable in 30.

Plus, it blends well with virtually any wood species, and it’s designed to be a permanent solution to cracks, holes, etc.

And, of course, it doesn’t shrink or crack, which is why it works both indoors and outdoors.

What I Liked:

  • It’s made with actual wood fibers, so it blends exceptionally well with natural wood.
  • It’s strong enough to anchor nails and screws, even outdoors.
  • It’ll be ready to paint in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for anyone short on time.
  • It works well in humid environments because it’s crack- and shrink-resistant.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Takes awhile to spread thoroughly.

My Thoughts

If you want a filler you can paint, stain, or use as is, give Minwax High Performance Wood Filler a shot. A wood-based filler, it blends well with virtually any species, and it does particularly well in harsher environments. Yes, it’s on the expensive side, but at least it wholly backs up its price!

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7. 3M Bondo Wood Filler – Best Exterior Wood Filler

Bondo Wood Filler

3M Bondo Wood Filler is by far the best filler for exterior wood, as it’s supremely durable.

Also, it’ll chemically bond to the wood, and it’ll help stop wood rot in its tracks.

And even though it’s super-tough, it can be sanded just 15 minutes after it’s applied.

What I Liked:

  • It’s waterproof and highly durable, so it’s a one-time fix.
  • Its color blends well with the majority of wood species.
  • It prevents wood rot.
  • It bonds to the surface, preventing minor cracks and holes.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • It’s more toxic, so safety gear is required.
  • It’s messier because of its creamy consistency.

My Thoughts

Without a doubt, 3M Bondo Wood Filler is the best exterior wood filler, as it’s designed to be ultra-durable. But unlike other super-tough products, it’s quick-drying, and it even prevents wood rot. Its only downsides are its toxicity and tendency to make a mess, otherwise it’s a truly first-rate exterior filler.

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Factors to Consider When Buying Wood Filler for Painting


When you need paintable/stainable wood filler, you’ll have many options. Go with a subtle (matte) filler that blends in well with the surrounding surface, as these don’t stick out once the paint is dry.


Interior/exterior fillers are most versatile. And if a filler can be used on a wide variety of wood species, this also makes it a versatile product.

Final Thoughts

To recap, Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler is the best wood filler for painting because it consistently performs and costs less than other high-quality wood fillers.

FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler is superior in terms of quality, as it’s designed to be long-lasting and usable with virtually any wood species.

Last but not least is DAP Latex All Purpose Plastic Wood Filler, a capable, cost-effective product that’s great for DIYers and professionals alike.