Nail hole fillers are essential products for professional woodworkers and DIY devotees. You use them to conceal minor scratches and fill ugly holes brought about by hardware removal.

You can also use real wood putty to fill nail holes and keep your wood floors and furniture elegant for ages. But with so many hole fillers in the market, how do you choose the best putty for nail holes?

I am a real wood expert who spent hours researching and testing filler for nail holes. I chose each product based on its features, effectiveness, and quality. Take a look.

Our Top Picks

Best Putty for Nail Holes

  1. 3M High Strength Small Hole RepairBest for Small Hole Repair
  2. E855 Carpenter’s Wood FillerBest Painters Putty for Nail holes-Elmer’s
  3. DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz Raw materialBest for interior and Exterior Use
  4. Minwax 13616000 Wood PuttyMost Trusted Nail hole filler
  5. Nail Hole Patch, 5.3 ozBest Easily Paintable Spackling
  6. Erase-A-Hole The Original Drywall PuttyBest Putty for Repairing Drywall
  7. Bondo Home Solutions Wood FillerBest for Filling Nail Holes
  8. J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy PuttyBest Repair Putty
  9. Saint-Gobain ADFORS FDW9098Best User-Friendly
  10. Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound PuttyBest Nail Hole Filler
  11. Loctite 1999131 Loctite Multipurpose Repair PuttyPerfect Under Water Putty
  12. Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler – Ebony – 8 oz By GoodfellaBest Grain Filler
  13. Mohawk Fill Stick (Fil-Stik) Furniture Cabinet Putty FillerBest Wax Stick Filler
  14. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood FillerBest Nail Hole Fillers

Best Putty for Nail Holes Reviews

1. Best for Small Hole Repair – 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair

3M High Strength Small Hole Repair, All in One Applicator...
  • MAKES REPAIRS 3X FASTER than traditional vinyl spackling
  • QUICK AND EASY repair for nicks and nail holes
  • FOR HOLE REPAIRS up to 3" in diameter

If you’re looking for a product that can easily fill holes up to three inches deep, you should check out this nail hole filler. It’s perfect for filling small nail holes and can repair up to three times faster than traditional vinyl spackling.

I’ve used this product on wood flooring and other surfaces, and I can confidently say that it’s one of the best nail hole fillers available. The repairs made using this spackle are durable and won’t shrink, sag, or crack. It stays right where you put it, concealing imperfections perfectly.

I’ve used a putty knife or the flat end of the tube to apply this spackle, and it dries in just a few minutes. After it’s dried, I gently sand it to create a smooth surface before painting over it to match the nearby wood.

This product is also great for filling nail and screw holes made by anchors. Even if you have little to no experience filling nail holes, this product is easy to use and will give you professional-looking results.

Overall, I highly recommend this nail hole filler. If you use actual sandpaper, your walls will look flawless!

What I Liked Most

  • Ease of use 
  • It covers small nail holes like a beast
  • It’s sandable
  • I can paint over it

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s too thick that getting the stuff out can be challenging, but it’s for a good course.

2. Best Painters Putty for Nail holes-Elmer’s – E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler

Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler, White, 3.25-Ounce
  • Paintable and sandable
  • Sands easily to a smooth finish
  • Resists shrinking and cracking

I want to share my go-to solution for repairing ugly holes or chips in wood flooring or furniture at home. Whenever I encounter these problems, I turn to Elmer’s carpenter’s wood filler.

One of the things I love about this product is that it’s quick and easy to use. The wood filler fills the holes and sands quickly. Plus, it’s paintable and sandable and doesn’t shrink or crack. Cleaning up is also a breeze; you only need soap and water.

Another thing I appreciate about this wood filler is that it’s solvent-free, making it an ideal choice for various applications. Whether I’m fixing holes in wood trim, art, carpentry, or other wood items, this filler gets the job done.

However, I need to keep the lid on when not in use and work in a well-ventilated area because it can be toxic. I usually use a fan or work outside to ensure I have enough fresh air.

When applying the wood filler, I’ve found that it’s best to use light coats and scrape away any excess filler with a damp cloth after a minute of drying.

If I plan to paint the finished product, I always begin with a primer coat because paint absorbs differently from wood filler portions.

If the wood filler dries in the jar over time, I add water to maintain the desired consistency. I also keep the container in a ziplock bag to prevent the product from drying.

Overall, Elmer’s carpenter’s wood filler is an excellent solution for repairing holes in wood items at home. I highly recommend giving it a try!

What I Liked Most

  • It provides a smooth finish.
  • It is simple to clean.
  • It can be painted and sanded.
  • It contains no solvents.
  • It never shrinks or cracks.
  • It is long-lasting.

What Could Be Improved

  • If not properly stored, it dries out.

3. Best for interior and Exterior Use – DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz Raw building material

DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz Raw building material, 5.5-Ounce,...
  • This unique feature is the signal it is ready to sand paint
  • Convenient easy-to-use squeeze tube
  • Interior and exterior use

As someone who loves doing wood repairs and fixing things around my house, I highly recommend using this wood filler to fix holes. It’s one of the most convenient methods out there!

This particular wood filler is a special custom blend formulated for indoor and outdoor use. It comes in a handy squeeze bottle with a unique dry time measure, so you can quickly tell when the product is ready for sanding to avoid making costly mistakes.

When you apply the wood grain filler, it changes color to indicate when it’s reached the optimal dry time. When freshly applied, it turns pink but will turn white once dry. The filler is specially formulated to offer a smooth surface that’s easy to sand, and the 5.5 oz of compound included in the bottle is sufficient to cover nail holes in walls.

However, if you’re working on a massive project, you may want to consider looking for another product that’s more suitable for those projects. For the best results, cleaning the surface, removing all chips, sanding the treatment area, and applying the wood filler is essential.

Let the filler dry for two days before sanding and painting to match the surrounding wood. Find out, does putty harden when dry so that you’re sure of the next steps.

Depending on the severity of the hole, you may need to apply two coats for a flawless finish. Overall, I highly recommend this wood filler for anyone looking to fix holes in their wood items.

What I Liked Most

  • Optimal dry time indicator
  • Sandable when hardened 
  • Suitable for interior and exterior use
  • Simple to use

What Could Be Improved

  • It may be challenging to squeeze the product from the bottle

4. Most Trusted Nail hole filler – Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty

Minwax 13616 3.75 Oz White Wood Putty
  • { "language_tag": "en_US", "value": "3.75 oz. jar", "marketplace_id": "ATVPDKIKX0DER" }

As someone who loves working with wood, I’ve come to trust the Minwax brand for all my wood care and finishing products. One of my favorites is the Minwax Wood Putty.

It is a non-hardening wood repair finish perfect for fixing nail holes and covering minor scratches.

One of the most noticeable features of this wood filler is how easy it is to use. You don’t need any specialized equipment and don’t have to sand the surfaces after using it. Plus, you can fill gaps and small holes with your fingers without worrying about it affecting your skin.

The putty is pre-mixed and can touch up screw holes and hide other minor defects in finished wood, bare wood, painted trim, and stained wood.

It is simple to work with and doesn’t require any sanding. And because it doesn’t harden, it stays soft for easy application and effortless blending into the nearby surface.

Once it dries, it bonds well and won’t crack, shrink, or fall off the surface. It’s perfect for filling screw holes and narrow cracks that would be difficult to deal with otherwise, as it’s incredibly easy to apply.

The Minwax Wood Putty is available in various colors, making it incredibly flexible and an excellent choice for several DIY projects. Overall, I highly recommend this product to anyone looking to repair and touch up their wood surfaces easily.

What I Liked Most

  • Simple to use
  • It does not require sanding or any special tools.
  • Available in a variety of colors

What Could Be Improved

  • The result takes longer to dry.

5. Best Easily Paintable Spackling – Nail Hole Patch, 5.3 oz

Homax Nail Hole Patch, 5.3 oz, Spackling
  • Shrink-resistant spackle with EZ-Dab Applicator in a handy squeeze tube
  • Fill nail and screw holes, cracks and gouges in walls and ceilings
  • No troweling or sanding required

I have always trusted Red Devi to deliver high-quality grain fillers for my projects. This spackling compound is my go-to for repairing and renovating homes or offices.

I love that this ingenious filler can cover nail holes, cracks, screw holes, and other imperfections in both interior and exterior wood surfaces. The bucket containing 236.59 milliliters of wood filler is perfect for small holes.

One of the best things about Red Devi’s spackling compound is its quick drying time. I can paint it in minutes and get a professional-looking, seamless finish that lasts long.

This traditional vinyl spackling is easy to apply and perfect for beginners and experts.

I use this filler on various surfaces, including Plaster, drywall, stucco, painted trim, and wood. I apply it with a putty knife and let it dry. Once it dries, it becomes permanent and does not crack or peel.

The half-pint size of this product may not seem like a lot, but it is fantastic for filling gaps and minor scratches. However, for larger projects, it may become expensive.

What I Liked Most

  • Simple to apply
  • No sanding is required.
  • Paintable in minutes
  • It gives off a professional appearance
  • After drying, it will not shrink or crack.

What Could Be Improved

  • The pot is tiny, but it makes up for it in quality

6. Best Putty for Repairing Drywall – Erase-A-Hole The Original Drywall Repair Putty

Drywall Repair Putty: A Quick & Easy Solution to Fill The...
  • Fills holes and cracks in walls fast with a quick use applicator so you can update your house or apartment in a flash and get your deposit back from your landlord. Works great for repairing holes in drywall, wall plaster, and wood. This wall filler is the only heavy weight compound that ensures a perfect match to drywall, plaster repair, and wood.
  • Hand held applicator is compact and portable, perfect for your home handyman tool box and long lasting formula means plenty of time for filling the holes from redecorating or drywall and plaster wall cracks from house shifting. Compact size takes the place of dry wall repair kits for small hole repair and allows you to fit in toolbelt, painters pants, or on ladder when painting. Just grab it and fill pin holes quickly without interruption when painting your room.
  • Special custom blend of ingredients won’t shrink or crack meaning repairs stay fixed and you can move on to other DIY repairs. A drywall professional of 25 years invented the product and carefully selected high quality ingredients that minimizes shrinking, withstands sanding, and doesn’t dry out in tube like traditional spackle. Ingredients are the same today as they were in 1990 when invented.

This product is perfect if I need to fill small nail holes and wall gaps quickly without any hassle. With the simple applicator, I can upgrade my home or apartment effortlessly and even get my security deposit back if I’m low on cash.

This putty is ideal for restoring drywall, wall plaster, and finished wood holes. Because it’s so easy to use, I can finish repairing in just minutes, and even as a first-time property owner or a college student, I can renovate drywall without using any special tools.

I appreciate that this is a wall putty for filling holes but it also works great for plaster repair. I must apply it circularly and wipe it with a damp cloth before painting.

I don’t have to rely on someone else to touch those unsightly holes. I can do it myself, save a few dollars, and gain valuable experience.

If I have a hole in the drywall from a removed wall anchor, this product will cover it with minimal fuss and no special equipment.

As long as I follow the directions on the can and smooth it out with the cap edge, it will be perfect. I can even use it to repair damaged drywall, and it will fill the dent.

What I Liked Most

  • Ease of use
  • No need for special tools
  • resists cracking and shrinking 
  • Paintable and sandable
  • dries quickly

What Could Be Improved

  • Can be messy

7. Best for Filling Nail Holes – Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler, Sandable in 15 min, 1.9...
  • 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

I highly recommend this multipurpose wood filler as someone who enjoys DIY projects and fixing things around the house. It is perfect for repairing all types of wood floors, whether hardwood or rotted. I especially love it for filling nail holes.

What’s great about this product is that it dries incredibly quickly, in just fifteen minutes, and is ready to be sanded. After sanding, it only takes twenty-five minutes to prepare for painting. Bondo home solutions wood filler saves me a lot of time and effort.

I always mix it first to make sure the repairs are long-lasting. Once it’s cured, it behaves just like natural wood. I can sand it and paint it just like regular wood, and it absorbs stains and paints so well that the repaired area is barely noticeable.

I also appreciate that it’s water-based, so it doesn’t emit any foul odors or harm the environment or my health. I can use it for indoor and outdoor repairs with confidence. This product is a game-changer for anyone who values efficiency and wants to finish their projects quickly.

What I Liked Most

  • It provides long-lasting repairs that will not shrink or sag.
  • It is suitable for both interior and exterior use.
  • It is easy to stain, sand, and paint.
  • It is waterproof-
  • It dries quickly.
  • What Could Be Improved
  • It’s challenging to mix the filler appropriately 
  • Short work time due to quick drying time

What Could Be Improved

  • The rest is a bit flimsy
  • Assembly is very sensitive

8. Best Repair Putty – J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty Stick- 3.5 inch

J-B Weld Tan KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty, 1 oz. Stick
  • J-B WELD KWIKWOOD: A hand mixable two part epoxy putty stick that is formulated to repair and rebuild wood. J-B Weld KwikWood is designed for all wood household DIY repairs!
  • CURE AND SET TIME: After kneading the two part formula together by hand, KwikWood takes 15-25 minutes to set and cures in 1 hour. J-B Weld KwikWood set and cure color is a light tan.
  • PRODUCT FEATURES AND STRENGTH: J-B Weld KwikWood has lap shear strength of 900 PSI. KwikWood will not shrink or rot and can be stained, molded, tapped, drilled, sanded and shaped.

I love using J-B Weld 8257 for all my wood repair projects. It’s a custom blend perfect for fixing missing wood chunks in any type of wood, including natural pine.

When I mix the putty, it binds at an impressive 900 psi and won’t rot or shrink. So, I’m confident that the repairs will be durable and long-lasting. Plus, when I sand or stain it, it looks like natural wood.

This wood putty is ideal for repairing holes and covering flaws in the wood. I also use it to replace small missing pieces of wood. The product is easy to use, and it dries quickly. However, I can’t pour it into small cracks or holes.

It’s perfect for filling surface-level gaps because of its thick plastic consistency. When using this resin filler for wood, I got the mixing ratio right the first time.

I cut it with a knife instead of pinching it and use it as much as possible within ten minutes because it becomes less pliable with time. I mix it thoroughly for two minutes to ensure no contrasting colors.

Once it’s in the right place, I avoid touching it and wait at least an hour before exposing it to high stress.

If I have any putty left, I return it to the original can and seal it tightly for future use. J-B Weld 8257 is my go-to option for various household repairs, and it has never disappointed me.

What I Liked Most

  • It cures and sets quickly.
  • It behaves like wood once cured.
  • It sticks to various surfaces.
  • It’s simple to use.

What Could Be Improved

  • Only suitable for small projects.
  • It is not appropriate for internal use.

9. Best User-Friendly – Saint-Gobain ADFORS FDW9098-U Fix it Fast Wall Hole Filler

Saint-Gobain ADFORS FDW9098-U Fix it Fast Wall Hole Filler,...
  • All-in-One compound, applicator & spreader
  • Fills holes < 2 inches, scratches or other wall imperfections caused by screws and nails
  • Resealable top allows product to be used for multiple repairs

ADFORS by Saint-Gobain Fix it Fast Wall Hole Filler is best for quick and easy wall repairs. The innovative design allows the compound to flow straight from the putty knife, effortlessly filling small holes caused by nails and screws.

Not only can this filler repair small holes, but it can also fill dents, scratches, and other flaws in walls or Plaster.

I find it quick and easy to apply, and after using it, the product blends into my white matte wall perfectly. It’s almost impossible to tell that there was previous damage!

One of the best features of this product is the built-in putty knife that makes my work easier without additional tools. Plus, it’s resealable for future use. I can easily clean the built-in putty knife with a wet towel before resealing and storing it.

Sometimes it may shrink a little when it dries, which may require some touchups, but I never need to sand it. Keep in mind that this product is ideal for interior use only.

What I Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • It comes in a resealable pack
  • It perfectly blends into your wall
  • Dries quickly
  • It comes with an inbuilt putty knife
  • It does not need sanding
  • Ideal for interior use

What Could Be Improved

  • May shrink after drying

10. Best Nail Hole Filler – Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Rockhard Water Putty

DURHAM'S Rock Hard Water Putty - 4lb Container
  • Water Putty, Makes long lasting repairs in wood, plaster, drywall, stone, tile, concrete and other materials
  • Easy To Use, Use indoors or outdoors must be kept painted on outdoor work
  • Will Not Shrink and Easy to use and ready when you need it - just add water and mix

I highly recommend Donald Durhams 076694000046 4-Pound Rockhard Water Putty for all your patching needs. As a gypsum-based powder filler, I love that it never dries out and becomes ineffective like other pre-mixed fillers and putties.

Mixing it with water creates an excellent bond for patching holes in wood, Plaster, stone furniture, and concrete. Plus, it dries rock hard, making it suitable for various surfaces.

I like that you can adjust the amount of water to create the consistency you want, and it is effortless to clean up. While it may shrink a little when used to fill deeper holes, adding an extra coat will do the trick.

The product sands well, giving you an excellent finish, and takes stains well, depending on the surrounding wood. Plus, once dry, you can drill, screw, or paint it without issues.

It’s perfect for external use since it can withstand any weather. I also love that you can add your preferred stain color to the mixture to create the desired effects. And since it’s in powder form, it has a long shelf life.

What I Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • It has a long shelf life
  • Cleans easily
  • Sands well
  • It takes stains and paints them perfectly

What Could Be Improved

  • It may shrink just a little after drying, like most products

11. Perfect Under Water Putty – Loctite 1999131 Loctite Multipurpose Repair Putty

Loctite Epoxy Putty All Purpose Repair, 2 oz, 1, Stick,...
  • All Purpose: Hand-mixable and fast-setting moldable adhesive for small emergency repairs that bonds to damp surfaces and can cure underwater
  • Two-Part System: Consists of an epoxy resin putty and hardener putty to produce a hard, tough, permanent, and waterproof bond on a wide range of materials
  • Fast and Easy: Simply knead and apply putty to rebuild and bind and after 60 minutes can be sanded, drilled, and painted

Loctite Multipurpose Repair Putty is one of my go-to fillers for various materials, including wood, ceramic, plastic, aluminum, metal, and brick. This two-part system filler consists of epoxy resin and hardener putty, making a strong and permanent bond.

The best part is that it can cure underwater and bond to wet surfaces. It is also moldable and hand-mixable, making it easy to shape and apply. I always wear gloves when kneading the mixture, and it dries up blue, but you can paint over it once it’s dry.

It’s perfect for repair work in pools, aquariums, or plumbing jobs. This product has a quick drying time and is suitable for drilling, sanding, painting, and shaping.

I prefer a liquid epoxy mix for a smaller job or a smooth finish. This product has a strong bond and initially has a foul odor, but it eventually clears once dry.

What I Liked Most

  • Perfect to use underwater
  • Easy to use
  • It dries up fast
  • Bond up well
  • It is mouldable
  • suitable for multiple surfaces

What Could Be Improved

  • It produces an unpleasant odor, but it clears away shortly after use

12. Best Grain Filler – Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler – Ebony – 8 oz By Goodfella

Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler - Ebony - 8 oz By Goodfilla...
6,633 Reviews
Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler - Ebony - 8 oz By Goodfilla...
  • ⚒️ 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 flawlessly accepts any finish or stain! In fact, this product can be mixed with any pigment, tint, stain or dye.
  • ⚒️ DESIGNED FOR PROFESSIONAL WOODWORKERS: This is the most innovative, easy-to-use, water-based wood filler in the WORLD. Designed for professional woodworkers but perfect for your everyday DIYer, too.
  • ⚒️ HARDY & CONSISTENT: As any woodworker will tell you, they throw hardened wood filler out all the time. But Goodfilla offers an unlimited shelf life since it reconstitutes with water and is freeze-thaw stable.

Goodfella’s Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler – Ebony – 8 oz is my go-to wood filler for any project requiring filling in wood grain, knot holes, and other imperfections on wood surfaces.

I can confidently use it to fix deep grooves on hardwood floors, tables, furniture, doors, and window sills and always get high-quality results.

Even if I am a first-time DIYer, I find this wood filler easy to use. Its dense consistency allows it to absorb well into the wood grain, though it may not work well on gouges.

The screw-on lid design makes it convenient and prevents it from drying out during storage. I can use the jar’s lip to scrape off any excess wood filler, which I can return to the pot for future use, cutting down on waste.

This product’s creamy and smooth texture makes it easy to spread quickly and evenly, filling deep holes and cracks without applying too much pressure.

It dries quickly and becomes as hard as oil-based wood fillers, allowing for smooth and even sanding. It also absorbs stains well, making it versatile for any project.

What I Liked Most

  • It’s versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Spreads smoothly 
  • It takes stains very well
  • Fast drying
  • Excellent packaging

What Could Be Improved

  • It is not ideal for exterior use

13. Best Wax Stick Filler – Mohawk Fill Stick (Fil-Stik) Furniture Cabinet Touchup Putty Wax Filler

Mohawk Finishing Products Fill-Stick 12 Pack (M230-1250)
  • Fix nicks and scratches on furniture, photo frames, and so much more with this 12 pack Mohawk Finishing Products Fil-Stik in assorted colors M230-1250
  • Refresh Your Furniture! Mohawk Fil-Stik wood putty filler crayon helps to repair scratches, gouges and other imperfections in wood furniture, cabinets, trim and more
  • Easy to Use! Mohawk putty stick has a simple application process; just rub the wax stick over the imperfection and watch it disappear like magic, then scrape off any excess wax with a credit card

The Mohawk Fil-Stik is my go-to product for filling scratches, nail holes, cracks, and other imperfections as a semi-hard putty in stick form. It works wonders for small nail holes in crowns and comes in various colors to match your finish.

To use it, I rub it into the damaged area and scrape away the excess with a plastic leveling card or putty knife for a leveled surface. It’s perfect for cabinets and most wooden surfaces that don’t get frequent use.

I don’t need any special tools to use this product, and it has protective paper to keep dirt from my hands from getting in. However, it’s not suitable for countertops since heat may destroy them.

This filler has permanent colors that don’t run and are fade-resistant. To increase its durability, I recommend using an oil-based topcoat. Before starting, ensure the surface is dry and clean for the best results.

What I Liked Most

  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for small nail holes
  • It comes in various colors
  • It does not require special tools 
  • Fade-resistant

What Could Be Improved

  • It is not ideal for spaces with lots of traffic

14. Best Nail Hole Fillers – FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler - Pint, Natural 24 Oz.
1,764 Reviews
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
  • Can be sanded, drilled or planed

As an AI language model, I do not have preferences or experiences to speak from, but I can rewrite the paragraph in the first person point of view.

FamoWood wood filler is an ideal hole filler for repairing minor cracks, and I am impressed by its performance. It’s a water-based wood filler that I can use indoors and outdoors, and it’s excellent for filling nail holes in outdoor projects.

I appreciate its high-strength and fast-acting formula, which spreads quickly and fills gaps efficiently while retaining its shape.

It hardens within twenty minutes, and I can sand and drill it without damaging it. Moreover, I can apply stain over it to make the repaired portion look like wood. It also has a simple soap and water clean-up.

The tintable wood filler is exceptional because it accepts all types of wood stains and paints, making it perfect for DIY repairs and projects.

Its high-strength formula makes it ideal for outdoor use, and I appreciate that it’s odorless and contains no toxic elements.

What I Liked Most

  • Easily paintable and sandable
  • Produces no upsetting odors
  • The high-strength formula that won’t crack or sag

What Could Be Improved

  • You need some skills to use it effectively

Best Putty for Nail Holes Comparison Table

Types of Wood Filler for Nail Holes 

Best Putty for Nail Holes

Wood repair is essential to refine the wood surface and stop further deterioration. We use wood and wood glue to hide wood imperfections and fill holes.

Different types of wood filler for nails exist water-based and solvent-based fillers. Each type has unique properties, so you must understand them well before buying them.

Solvent-based fillers

A Solvent based wood filler is simple to apply, available in various colors, waterproof, and works well with a paint or wood stain. They are suitable for filling nail holes.

Water-based wood fillers

Some water-based wood fillers are more flexible than their solvent-based counterparts as you can dilute them with water and use them in tasks requiring a thinner filler.

Water-based fillers dry in fifteen minutes and have a simple soapy water clean-up. Solvent-based fillers need mineral spirits for clean-up.

Wood Spackle is a hardening formula that is pink but turns white when dry. It’s excellent for indoor use.

Putty- includes polyurethane and epoxy and is suitable for beginners due to its plastic-like consistency.

Fillers- consist of sawdust and wood fibers and are suitable for interior use.

Facts to Consider When Buying Putty for Nail Holes

Nail hole fillers have made it simple to repair holes left by screws or nails on walls and wooden furniture. You don’t need a specialist to fix holes for you.

You can do the work if only you get the best nail-hole putty. However, deciding which nail hole filler to go for is daunting, mainly if you’ve never used one.

Fillers differ in application and type, making it even more challenging to pick one. Consider the factors below to help you choose the best nail-hole putty.

Types of repairing materials

Do you need to repair wood, metal, drywall, or plastic? Some wood fillers are applicable for different surfaces, while some only work for a specific project. It’s a brilliant idea to buy a flexible filler to use for varying tasks.

Type of filler

Each material requires a different type of filler. You can use putty and wood filler on wood. Fillers for drywall include spackle, joint compound, and wood filler. Ensure you know the material you’re fixing to get the suitable filler.

Drying time

Drying time determines how fast you can complete your project. Some fillers dry within minutes or hours, while others, such as wood putty, may take a few days. Go for a filler with a reasonable drying time based on your project.

Pre-mixed or not

Some fillers come pre-mixed, while others need you to blend the ingredients following the manufacturer’s instructions. Each has its pros and cons.

It helps to buy a product that requires mixing it yourself because it allows you to add additional substances to boost durability. You can also make minor changes to suit personal preferences. 

Amount of filler you need

Wood fillers come in different sizes. Buy a wood filler size compatible with your project. If you need to cover small holes, opt for a smaller size, and if you need to repair rotted wood to fill massive holes or cracks, pick a larger container.


The filler for nail holes comes in different colors. Go for a filler that matches the decor of your home.

Better still, buy a wood filler you can stain to match the nearby surfaces and stop it from sticking out like a sore thumb.

Nonhardening or hardening

Some products dry quickly after application, while others are soft and hardened with time. Select a filler you can efficiently work without losing the material.  

A non-hardening putty is malleable and gives you ample time to be creative. On the other hand, a hardening wood putty dries rock hard after the specified time and will not be liable.  

Indoor or outdoor use 

Some fillers are suitable for exterior use only, while others are appropriate for interior use only. However, some are flexible and can work excellently indoors and outdoors.

Settle for the flexible one because it’ll give you more value for your cash since you can use it as needed.


Consider the surface texture you’re working on to help you pick a filler with the correct adhesion. Filler adheres differently based on the roughness or smoothness of a surface.

For example, non-hardening filers are ideal for finished wood, while non-hardening ones are perfect for rough surfaces.

How to Prepare Wood Filler

Off-the-shelf wood fillers are simple to use, and you can pigment some to match the colors of the wood you are working on. Here’s how to make your DIY wood filler.

Materials Needed

  • Putty knife
  • Cardboard or scrap wood
  • FIne-grit sandpaper
  • Electric sander, file, or rasp
  • Tack cloth
  • Craft stick
  • Wood glue

To make sawdust, sand a section of sample wood that resembles the project material with an electric sander. Remove impurities from sawdust. Place the sawdust on cardboard.

Add wood glue and stir gently with a craft stick until you achieve a cookie dough consistency. Apply the filler to your project and sand it with fine-grit sandpaper. Wood glue hardens quickly. You’ve ten minutes to prepare and use the wood filler.

How to Use Wood Filler on Nail Holes

Best Putty for Nail Holes

Wood filler comes in two varieties: water-based and solvent-based. Water-based fillers are creamy in texture and are simple to apply and remove. Solvent-based fillers are oily and sticky, making clean-up challenging if you wait for them to dry. 

Solvent-based fillers benefit from drying rock-hard and are much stronger than their flaky water-based counterparts. However, the filler does not need to be super strong for nail holes.

Here’s how to use the water-based wood filler. The process may differ based on the product you’re using.


  • Water-based wood filler 
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Putty knife

Step 1: Prepare the wood filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2: Many nail holes have a tiny space to fill, so applying the filler with your finger is better. Apply a small amount of filler to your index finger. Use a putty knife to fill big screw nails.

Step 3: Insert the filler into the nail hole and swipe it around. Repeat as needed to fill the nail hole fully. It’s best to gently overfill the nail hole, leaving a tiny, smooth ridge over the space.

Step 4: One advantage of using a pasty water-based filler is using it as sandpaper. Sand off the excess and dents with your finger after the paste has hardened for about 15 minutes. You can also use a clean cotton cloth as a sanding tool.

If you do an excellent job with your finger, using actual sandpaper might not be necessary. However, sandpaper will always produce a better finish.

Step 5: Sand the filler lightly with extra-fine sandpaper in a few gentle passes. You’re simply smoothing out the filled area, which removes excess filler from the wood around it.

Step 6: It is unnecessary to extract any wood. Use a clean cloth or a self-adhesive cloth to clean the surface. If you rub too hard with a tack cloth, you may risk embedding wax into the surface. After thoroughly cleaning the surface, it’s time for primer, seal, paint, or stain.


What to fill nail holes with?

Fill nail holes appropriately and permanently using spackling paste on plaster walls and drywall. You can also use wood putty on finished wood. You can use everyday household items such as toothpaste or bar soap to make a quick repair.

What is the best filler for screw holes?

Fill the screw holes with spackling or wall joint compound using a putty knife. Let the spot dry before lightly sanding it. Cover anything bigger with a bridging substance before applying the patch for maximum strength. 

Read: What screws to use for cabinets?

What is the best way to fill nail holes in trim?

Apply a small amount of filler to your index finger. Insert the stuffing into the tiny hole and swipe it around. Repeat as needed to fill the gap. It’s advisable to slightly saturate the spot, leaving a subtle, smooth hump over it.

Which one is better: spackle or wood filler for nail holes?

They may do the job for some time, but each serves a specific purpose and has a preferred location. Opt for caulks for corners, wood filler for flat areas, and spackle for drywall.

Read also: What kind of caulk for baseboards?

What is the best spackle for nail holes?

The best spackle should have toothpaste-like consistency and fill everything, including a six-inch hole. It should dry in thirty minutes, making hole repairs a breeze.


Over time, even the strongest walls, wooden furniture, and wood floors in every house will take a beating, leaving small cracks, gashes, and rough gouges.

Although holes in a wall may seem intimidating, it is one of the most straightforward DIY repairs you can do if you find the best putty for nail holes.

Our top pick for the best nail hole filler is 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair. It’s sandable, paintable, easy to use, and works as marketed.