How to Color Your Wood Filler

What You'll Need
Medium-grade sanding sponge or sandpaper
Grinding sander
1 inch paint brush
Dust mask
Tack Rag
Wet/dry fine grade sandpaper
Wood filler
Putty knife
Wood stain or varnish

If you are undertaking a project that involves wood, you may wish to include wood filler to shape contours in the project or to cover any flaws in the wood you are using. When you are finished with your project, you will need to ensure that the filled repair is the same color as the wood around it. Therefore, you need to know how to color your wood filler.

Step 1 – Preparing the Wood Surface

To prepare the surface of the wood, use a grinding sander or sand paper with a block to smooth it out. Make sure that the rougher areas are prepared enough to bring the surface to the same level as the rest of your wood project. Use fine grade sand paper to smooth the entire wood surface to a velvet finish. As you run your finger tips over the entire surface, you should feel no bumps or splinters.

Step 2 – Preparing to Fill the Cracks

Take the tack rag and wipe down the wood. The rag is slightly sticky and any remnants of dust will adhere to it as you wipe. It will leave your wood surface clean and free from minute pieces of debris. Brush or vacuum away any dust from holes in the wood so that the wood filler has a good surface to adhere to.

Step 3 – Filling

Once the cracks have been filled, use a putty knife to smooth the surface. As the filler dries, you may find that it shrinks into the crack or hole to leave a slightly depressed surface compared to the rest of the wood. This is not a matter for concern. Simply wait until the filler is completely set and lightly sand it. Clean the dust away and use a little more filler to build the area up to match the wood surface. Once it is dry and set, sand it down with a grinding sander until you can no longer feel the join between the filler and the wood.

Step 4 – Staining and Varnishing

If you have chosen to stain your wood, make certain that the stain you buy is a direct compliment to the wood you are staining. For example, if you are using wood filler on natural pine wood, you will need to make that the stain you buy is the same color as natural pine. The same applies for cherry, oak, maple and anything else you might be using.

Treat the wood filler in the same way as you treat the wood. There is no difference between them once you have filled the cracks or holes and your filler is now effectively part of the wood surface.

Take the paint brush and apply wood stain over the surface of the wood, including the filled area. Brush according to the grain of the wood. You may need to give the wood a couple of coats of stain, but make sure that the first coat is dry before applying the second coat. If the filled area looks lighter or darker after application, further coats can be applied although 2 coats is usually sufficient. You should now have a beautifully finished piece of wood work.