How to Make Wood Filler with Sawdust

A handful of sawdust.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Sealed container
Quantity of sawdust
Disposable container or cardboard panel
Wood glue

If your home contains wood furnishings, you will find that wood filler can be very useful for repairing minor damage on a range of different items. This substance is easily applied with a putty knife and can be stained to completely eliminate the appearance of gouges or dings. You will find that it is an especially cheap and easy remedy for any accidental damage when you make it for yourself instead of buying it.

Step 1 – Assess Task

In order to determine how much wood filler you require, inspect the furniture to check the full extent of the damage that needs to be repaired. Be aware that the sawdust should be mixed with three times as much glue to create the filler and this must be taken into account to help to determine how much sawdust is required.

Step 2 – Gather Sawdust

Woodworking producing sawdust

If you undertake a high volume of woodworking projects, this is likely to produce a significant amount of sawdust, whether you use manual or electric tools. Rather than let this go to waste, collect it to use for a wood filler. Take a clean and dry dustpan and brush to gather by the sawdust from where it has fallen and store it away in a sealed container. For small repair jobs, seek to collect at least a handful. When choosing sawdust to use for the wood filler, it is best to select some from the same type of wood the furniture is made from.

Step 3 – Sift Sawdust

To ensure that the wood filler is effective, you must ensure that it does not contain any shavings or large pieces of wood. Spread the sawdust out on a flat surface and carefully sift through it to remove any larger pieces of debris that you have inadvertently collected along with it.

Step 4 – Add Glue

Next, transfer the sawdust to the container to mix the components while keeping a small quantity aside. Using glue as one of the elements in the mixture will mean that the container will be difficult to clean so ensure it is disposable. A large scrap piece of cardboard should be sufficient.

Gather the sawdust together into a pile and add a small amount of glue. Be sure to carefully choose the type to mix with the sawdust. Avoid any that comprise color and those that cannot accept stain when they dry, such as PVA. This will result in a repair site that appears as a void in the wood if you later apply stain to the furniture that the wood filler has been applied to.

Step 5 – Mix

Using wood filler

Use a dowel to combine the mixture as you gradually add more and more glue, making sure that you thoroughly combine the two components. Continue in this manner until a putty-like substance, that can be manipulated with clean fingers, is formed. A substance that appears too wet can be rectified by adding more sawdust and one which is too dry can be rescued by adding more glue. Ensure it is thoroughly combined before use, but use it as soon as it is ready to prevent it from drying out early.