How to Make Wood Filler Dry Faster

What You'll Need
Water- or solvent-based wood filler
Putty Knife
Quick-drying wood glue
Sawdust filings

There are several ways to make wood filler dry faster. While solvent-based wood filler is dependable for both professional and novice woodworkers, recent advances in technology have made water-based wood fillers work just as well. Whether you choose to use a solvent- or water-based filler, check out the steps below to make your wood filler dry faster.

Step 1 – Preparing the Hole

Different methods that accelerate drying times can make wood filler shrink if the filler hasn't been applied properly. Clean the hole or crack you are going to fill, and free it of any dust or debris.

Adjusting the Temperature

In addition, make sure the area you’re working in is warm, but not humid. Colder atmospheres can create damp conditions, which will make the filler dry slower. Use radiators to warm the area, if you have them.

Step 2 – Mixing the Filler

If you’re mixing the wood filler with an epoxy resin, you can add a little more hardener to your mix. While adding more hardener will speed up the drying time, be aware that you must act quickly after mixing the filler. The more hardener you add to the mix, the less time you have to apply it properly.

Making Your Own Filler

You can also make your own fast-drying wood filler. Mix quick-drying wood glue and some fine sawdust filings from stock wood. This mixture will promote faster drying times.

Step 3 – Applying Filler

Apply the wood filler to the hole with the putty knife, and press the filler in tightly to the area. Apply the layers in thin coats to make it dry faster. The thicker you make the layers, the more water there is to be absorbed, which will lengthen drying times.

Layering the Filler

Continue layering until you’ve achieved a high build. Although applying thin layers make take more patience, it will aid in quickening the drying time. Only apply a fresh layer once you’re certain the previous layer has hardened.

Step 4 – Warming the Area

Speed up the drying time by using a warm-air supply. Aim a device like a hair dryer toward the filled area. Make sure it isn’t too hot, or it could harm the surrounding areas.

Step 5 – Sanding the Area

Once the area is dry, sand the area with sandpaper. Then, paint it to match the color of the rest of the area.