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bergerdude 03-26-2010 10:49 AM

fill wood...wood putty or drywall mud!?
At first glance it sounds silly. Wood putty is made to fill wood.
Drywall mud is for drywall. experiences with wood putty is that it is expensive, dries slow, hard to spread, difficult to sand.

This is for interior chair rail. I got some cherry chair rail for free...but it has many gouges and even some cracks I need to repair.
The trim will be painted staining will not be an issue.
(Cherry trim...painted over? was free!)

Anyway...5 minute drywall mix....dries fast, easy to sand or smooth with a sponge. It may shrink. It is not all that hard.

So what are the thoughts? I think drywall mud will be faster.
I will paint the chair rail with white latex paint, 2 a smooth finish IS desired.


DangerMouse 03-26-2010 11:06 AM

I did the exact same thing at my old home, and it worked well. Paint covered it just fine.
(baseboards dinged up pretty badly)


MrBill_DIY 03-26-2010 05:54 PM

I did the same thing, but with spackling, which is almost as easy to sand and tougher than drywall mud.

DangerMouse 03-26-2010 06:14 PM

Actually, I used Spackle in the tub too.... should have mentioned that. Thank for reminding me!


bergerdude 03-27-2010 12:22 PM

Spackle...ok what about drywall MUD?

DangerMouse 03-27-2010 12:28 PM

I don't see why it would not work.... but of course, I could be wrong too. I've used drywall mud in a lot of places it was never meant to be, most worked out fine! Never anything important, of course....
Since it's your own project, the worst thing is you may have to re-do it is all. But I think you'll be ok.
Primer first!


zman22 03-28-2010 08:54 PM

I love this site,
So I was reading this post and was thinking that I should finally fix that ding (that I caused) in some floor moulding during installation. I was nailing away with finishing nails and the hammer missed and put a noticeable ding in the moulding. What you guys are saying is that drywall spackle should do the trick to smooth it over. It will hold ?
BTW: A friend lent me his finishing nailer. I hooked it up to the compressor and could'nt believe how much easier it was to use than to hammer away. Gotta love the right tools for the job. :)

Termite 03-28-2010 10:04 PM

Sorry guys, but drywall mud for wood putty isn't an ideal way of doing things. Drywall mud shrinks and it is much less durable than the wood it is filling. It won't resist the wood's subtle movements, and I suspect that years down the road the bond between the wood and the mud won't be all that great. It also absorbs the paint at a different rate than the wood, so a couple of primer coats would be a must.

Agreed, wood putty isn't the best thing to use either in a lot of cases.

You know what works better than anything out there? BONDO. Yeah, auto body filler. It is rock hard, doesn't shrink as it dries, and will be more durable than the wood you put it in. It can be laid in really thick or paper thin. It is easily sanded after application. Use a plastic putty knife to apply it. Whenever I need to fill an open knot, crack, dent, or uneven seam on painted work...I use bondo. Mix it to the consistency of peanut butter.

zman22 03-29-2010 03:58 PM

Too good to be true.....
OK, never tried Bondo myself but this sounds like it would be a strong repair. That it can be sanded really helps. Would this be a good fill for molding cuts? I mean I never seem to miter those 45 degree cuts quite accurately and always have little gaps that need touching up around doors.
BTW: Thanks for the info :thumbup:

DangerMouse 03-29-2010 04:09 PM

Bondo! hehehehe Whodathunkit? Great idea KC. Kinda expensive to keep around just for that though. LOL
zman, yeah, those 45 angles can be a real PITA. Especially if you don't have good tools to work with.
(I LOVE my 12" DeWalt compound miter saw!) Many years has it served me well, and never severed me either!


tpolk 03-29-2010 06:47 PM

bondo and two part epoxy resin, millwork shops best friends

rgentil32 03-30-2010 09:22 PM

saw dust and wood up until workable consistency... sand it nice...take your time...the only time i have messed up wood is when in rush...if you think you are going too slow...slow down...wood putty...especially synthetic stuff is not use putting apples w oranges...different types of materials going on there...

moorewarner 04-01-2010 09:41 PM

Bondo is a good trick, it's a regular tool and good to know about. I use it often when I really need strength, busted up jamb/lock set, moving/fixing hinge mortice's lot's of other spots.

But for dings, nail holes, gouges, trim seams and gaps it's overkill. It sands but not well, make sure you put it on tight or you will be sanding all day. It's also messy and sticky to work with, and you have little setup time.

For general cosmetic filling I highly recommend this,

Get your self a 6" drywall knife and a 4" tapered and use the 6" like a hawk and work off of that.

It holds it's shape, you can recreate trim profiles. It sands like a dream. It wont flash your paint. Give me a tub of that ($20 at Lowes or HD) and I can make any trim, no matter how dogged, look right as rain.

It is rated for interior/exterior, wood, metal, drywall plaster. I use it on walls when I want a patch that needs more strength than mud.

Get the gallon tub, it holds its moisture better (you can re-wet it with a few sprinkles of water as well) and you can use it just about every where.

And it cleans up easily with water.

I have trim work going on five years old now that looks as good as the day it was done (with Bondo used in certain key spots as well :thumbsup:).

Best $20 you ever spent. :thumbsup:

slickgt1 04-02-2010 09:38 AM

I like auto body filler. Bondo, whatever. Get the proper sander for this and you can sand, shape this no problem. The dry time is ultra quick too. I have had great success repairing really damaged window sills.

DangerMouse 04-02-2010 09:46 AM

Speaking of bondo..... What do I do with this gallon of bondo that the other can came up missing?



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