The 7 Best Nail Hole Fillers for MDF and Wood Trim

nail hole wood filler

Despite its simple name, nail hole wood filler is a surprisingly diverse and useful substance.

This is basically a material that looks like putty, allowing you to professionally repair and fill the wood, drywall, or even plaster.

Available in a variety of different consistencies and textures, it can dry at different rates so that you can use them for varied needs.

In this guide, I’ll go over some of the best options out there for filling trims made of MDF wood. And how you should actually use them to fill the nail holes.

Also, I will go through the common uses and types of wood filler so that you can better understand what the product is used for.

With that being said, let’s jump right in!

The 7 Best Nail Hole MDF Wood Fillers

Choosing the right wood filler is key to success when it’s about filling gaps in the MDF wood trim.

However, if you are fairly new to the woodworking market, you may not know much about the best available options that can serve your purpose.

My detailed nail hole wood filler review will hopefully help you find the highly endurable nail hole filler for filling nail holes in a trim stain.

Just go through these products and pick the one that suits you best.

1- Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty

Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty, 3.75 oz, White, 3 Ounce
  • WOOD PUTTY – Minwax Wood Putty is a non-hardening, pre-mixed putty...
  • REPAIR CRACKS – The durable wood putty is ideal for filling nail...
  • WHITE PUTTY – The oak wood putty is pre-mixed to color-match Minwax...

*Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufactured by America’s leading brand (MINWAX) in wood finishing and wood care products, Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty is one of the best popular products on our list for filing wood in the most natural way.

For more than a decade, the products from Minwax have been known for providing better protection to the wood while keeping its natural beauty intact.

Without worrying about getting your wood damaged, you can hence use this filler for preparation, cleaning, maintenance, and wood repairs.

I usually love to use this pre-mixed putty to match Minwax wood finish stains as it comes in various different colors like white, cherry, ebony, natural pine, golden oak, and many more.

These colors make my task very quick and provide a long last finish by bonding well to the wood permanently.  

Right from repairing nail holes in wood to fixing gouges and scratches, you can use this non-hardening product without any sanding work.

The fact that it does not require any sanding makes this best wood filler product very easy to use and clean, even when you want to cover minor defects in painted, stained, bare, or finished wood.

Available in 3.75-oz and 1-lb packages, you can choose the one that satisfies your job requirements.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• No need for sanding
• Available in various colors
• Great for fixing up the small holes
• Doesn’t cause any irritation to the skin
• Takes a long time to dry
• Good for only tiny holes

2- Bondo 20082 Wood Filler

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

*Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler 20082 is another great choice for people who want to repair or fix nail holes in or around their homes.

No matter if you want to fill the hole in a wood piece or cracked drywall, this product works pretty well.

Also, it works finely for filling the edges of the new plywood when making the furniture.

Once it is dry, it can easily be sanded, planed, drilled, routed, sawed, or shaped just like a real wood piece.

The users who used it before claimed that it worked very well for restoring the damaged section of wood on their doors, windows, and fences.

Few of them also used it to fill the tiny holes in their wooden furniture and even shutters.

Particularly when you have a low home renovation budget, you can use it for repairing the damaged wood rather than replacing the whole piece of wood.

Few users complained about its hardening time which is very less. This means you need to use it in just a few minutes as soon as it’s mixed.

However, the good thing is hardening time can be controlled a bit by varying the hardener ratio.

Available in a 1-quart-can, you can buy this all-purpose Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler putty with confidence.

It’s formulated to paint or stain the wood more naturally than most similar wood-filling products.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Easy to use
• Dry very fast
• Good for fixing holes
• Can be used for fixing large areas as well
• Can’t resist water-based stains
• Can harden fast even before you apply

3- Donald Durhams Rockhard Water Putty

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

*Last update on 2024-04-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As the name implies, Donald Durham’s Putty is a rock-hard water-based putty that can be easily used for patching small holes in the wood.

This gypsum-based wood filler is resistant to scratches and becomes very hard when mixed with water.

The good thing is when you use it for filling; it does not shrink or crack due to the fact that it has great bonding strength.

And for this reason, homeowners, carpenters, painters, handymen, and crafters are using this awesome filler for filling all kinds of holes as well as cracks no matter it’s in MDF wood, furniture, plaster, stone, cement, or concrete.

It’s also a great product for hobbyists who want to repair objects in their craft projects.

By maintaining fine details and shapes, this product also offers long-lasting, reliable results that are highly durable.

Last but not least, Donald Durham’s Putty is easy to store.

Since it comes as a powder (in 1-lb and 4-lbs packages), it can last indefinitely, provided you keep it well sealed in its container.

As you need, just mix the right quantity in water and try to eliminate the wastage.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Easy to use water putty
• Once set in place, it stays in place
• Can be used to fill and repair a variety of surfaces
• Comes with great bonding strength and does not shrink
• Not good for outdoor use
• Comes only in natural wood color

4- FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

FamoWood, Natural 40022126 Latex Wood Filler-Pint, Pack...
  • Dries in 15 minutes
  • Won't crack or shrink, solvent free – low odor and easy water...
  • Can be sanded, drilled or planed

*Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The brand FamoWood is strictly dedicated to fulfilling the growing demand for wood filler products while creating a negligible impact on the environment.

As a result, FamoWood is their latex (water-based) wood filler that is not only environmentally safe and sound but also one of the best on the market.

This professional quality wood filler product is nontoxic and odorless. It takes stains and paints like real wood, no matter whether you use it indoors or outdoors.

The good part is it dries within 15 minutes of application, and you can paint as well as stain it without causing any signs of shrinkage, cracking, or crumbling.

Once applied, the FamoWood nail hole wood filler can be sanded, drilled, or planed without any trouble.

Also, this non-messy wood filler for staining is available in 24 Oz. Pkg, and it’s super easy to clean up just by using soap and water.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Dries in 15 minutes
• Easy to clean, sand, and drill
• Good for interior/exterior use
• Does not shrink, crack or crumble
• Lid very hard to open
• Does not take stain in many cases

5- Goodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler

Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler - White - 8 oz By...
  • ⚒️ HIGH QUALITY & MONEY SAVING: Save time and money with this wood...
  • ⚒️ HARDY & CONSISTENT: As any woodworker will tell you, they throw...

*Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler by Goodfilla is another great product that can be easily used to fill nail or screw holes in wood and drywall before painting.

This wood filler before painting helps you repair all kinds of holes and patches so that you get the most desirable finish from your paint job.

The good thing about this white nail hole filler is its quick drying time and excellent adhesion to the wood surface.

This means that only with one application you can expect a flawless finish that does not shrink, sink, or crack after you paint or stain.

Available in a variety of sizes and colors, you can pick USA-made Goodfilla wood filler for your everyday DIY use or even for professional purposes.

No matter whether you need a wood filler for painting, repairing your furniture, floor to finish, or a craft to finish this can serve your purposes very well for a long (all thanks to its unlimited shelf life).

Lastly, you can use this product indoors as well as outdoors with all confidence since it’s completely non-toxic, green, and comes with zero VOC.

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Innovative and easy-to-use
• Easy to sand, non-toxic, and zero wastage
• Satisfaction guarantee, refund up to 365 days
• Can be mixed with any pigment, tint, stain, or dye
• Smells bad for many
• Issues with packaging
• Not good for large holes

6- Erase-A-Hole Repair Putty for Wood & Drywall

Drywall Repair Putty: A Quick & Easy Solution to Fill...
  • Fills holes and cracks in walls fast with a quick use applicator so...
  • Hand held applicator is compact and portable, perfect for your home...
  • Special custom blend of ingredients won’t shrink or crack meaning...

*Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Want to get rid of small holes in your drywall?

Nothing can beat Erase-A-Hole Drywall Repair Putty.

Erase-A-Hole is a known brand that offers a wide range of products for fixing holes in your walls, plaster as well as wood.

If you want to quickly fill those ugly holes without wasting any time and energy, this is one of the quickest and easiest applicators available on the market.

Available in a tube stick, it’s a special blend of ingredients that won’t shrink or crack, even while sanding.

This means that all your DIY repairs stay fixed for a longer time.

One good thing that I loved while using this easy-to-use handheld filler was its portability.

Since it’s very compact, I can keep this thing in my handyman toolbox to use it wherever and whenever required.

You can also fit it in your toolbelt, painter’s pants, or on a ladder to fill the pinholes and plaster wall cracks quickly when repainting your walls.

You simply need to apply it in a circular motion and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. Your wall is then ready for a repaint.

Simply speaking, with this Erase-A-Hole filler, you need not have to wait for any professional to repair those small holes because now you can do it all yourself!

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Handheld compact applicator
• Fills all the holes and cracks in a flash
• Minimizes shrinking and withstands sanding
• Easy to use and comes with a two-year guarantee
• Stick may break if not used correctly

7- J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty Stick

J-B Weld Tan KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty, 1 oz....
  • J-B WELD KWIKWOOD: A hand mixable two part epoxy putty stick that is...
  • CURE AND SET TIME: After kneading the two part formula together by...
  • PRODUCT FEATURES AND STRENGTH: J-B Weld KwikWood has lap shear...

*Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

J-B Weld KwikWood Wood Repair Stick is another great hand-mixable epoxy putty that’s specially formulated to repair and rebuild wood.

From fixing your old cracked chair to filling the holes in a picture frame or filling nail holes in your MDF wood trim, this highly versatile product works super-fast and is amazing.

You can even use it for dry rot, knot holes, screw holes, insect damage, PVC trim board, gouges & cracks on the window and door frames.

When mixed, cured, and dried (within 25-20 minutes), your wood can be easily shaped, tapped, filed, sanded, drilled, and painted.

All due to its long-lasting permanent bond that is stronger than wood.

Overall, JB Weld is a reputed brand known for its heavy-duty adhesives in repairing and restoring wood while woodworking and painting.

You can buy and use their J-B Weld KwikWood with all the confidence to DIY fix all types of furniture, wood, and plaster just with a single use.  

What I LikeWhat I Didn’t Like
• Contain no solvent
• Dries within 15-20 minutes
• Does not shrink, crack or rot
• Fix all kinds of holes- small or big
• Bit of smelly
• Hard to take the stain
trim and mdf wood filler

How to Prepare a Nail Hole Filler?

Well, preparing a wood filler for nail holes isn’t as tough as you may think.

Things you will need are:

  • Solvent
  • Wood filler
  • Putty spatula

Depending on the kind of wood filler you pick and the type of wood you want to put it into, the solvent you use can be water-based or alcohol-based (such as thinner).

If you want, you can even stain or pigment it using a common wood stain or an enamel.

When ready with your things…

  • Mix the right amount of filler with the solvent using a putty spatula or a thin piece of plywood.
  • When mixing, ensure that the end result is something like a consistent and malleable putty. It should neither be too diluted nor too dry.
  • The right consistency will help in penetrating through the cracks very easily without getting the material wasted.

Remember – once prepared, your MDF wood filler will going to dry very quickly.

So, without wasting your time, go and apply it wherever you need to.

It’s good to fill even the smallest crack if you have got some excess filler left in the end, rather than going it wasted.

How to Fill Nail Holes in Wooden Trim?

While placing wooden trim (such as baseboards or around the window) provides a necessary barrier to protect the walls, it’s good that you take time to fill in the nail holes to create a smooth surface.

The holes themselves may be quite small or rather large, depending on the size and type of nail used.

But the question comes what do you use to fill in the nail holes themselves, and how do you go about fixing them properly?

The answer to the first question may be a putty, caulk, or filler that does the job correctly.

What follows are some simple, inexpensive ways to fill in the holes and divots created by the nails in wooden trim while installation.

Step 1 – Consider the Size of the Holes

Start by asking whether it’s worth the effort to fill in the holes in the first place.

For those who use an electric brad nailer, for example, that was calibrated to perfection, the size of the divots may not even be noticeable.

While all nail holes are apparent when viewed up close, you should stand at the closest reasonable distance that you expect anyone to see them and judge whether they are worth filling in.

You may find that they are virtually invisible, which means that the effort and expense of doing tiny corrections are simply not worth it.

If you find that you can see them and they are noticeable, then you are ready for the next step, which is getting the right material to fill in the areas.

If they are quite small and you are planning on painting the MDF wooden trim, then the paint alone may be enough.

But if you want it to be perfect or you want a smooth surface for the paint, then consider the following…

Step 2 – Choose Between Water-Based or Solvent-Based Wood Filler

There are advantages and disadvantages to using either water or solvent-based fillers.

You will need to decide which one is right for your needs, but it is true that water-based versions have some exceptional aspects.

Water-based wood fillers are soft, easy to use, and can be applied quickly.

The downside is that if you have to spread them over a wide area, they can fall apart. But, considering that nail holes tend to be quite small, this is not much of a downside.

While solvent-based filler is far stronger when it hardens, it’s also more difficult to apply.

Oily, sticky, and messy, cleaning up after using a solvent-based filler will probably have you going for a water-based one the next time out. This is especially true if you are going to cover the trim with white paint or a colored stain.

Unless you need to cover some wide gaps, a water-based filler is generally the best choice.

Step 3 – Use Your Finger for Filling (Putty Knife Not Needed)

While a putty knife has many uses, your finger is arguably far better when it comes to applying MDF wood filler for nail holes.

This is because putty knives become difficult to use with small holes compared to large surfaces.

You can save a considerable amount of time and effort by applying a little wood filler to the tip of your finger and smearing it into the nail hole.

After the filler has dried, you can use your fingers again to sand away the excess amount lightly. If needed, have a cotton glove that will easily sand down the excess filler after it has dried.

Protection should be as important as filling the holes itself.

So, it is recommended that you use vinyl or nitrile gloves with MDF wood fillers, as the residue left behind is simply easier to deal with if you are wearing the right gloves.

Taking off the glove and letting the residue dry before shaking off the substance is far easier than washing it off the skin.

If you aren’t comfortable, you may not need gloves when applying water-based MDF wood filler because water-based products tend to wash off the skin fairly quickly with few issues.

Of course, the same cannot be said for solvent-based fillers and paints that do require gloves.

Step#4 – Sand the Surface to Get the Better Finishing

After using your fingers (or a playing card), lightly sand the surface area using real sandpaper.

Fine sandpaper will do the job as you can lightly remove the excess filler and create a smooth surface and better finish.

Once finished, use a tack cloth to clean away any remaining material, and then you can start with the wood primer, sealant, stain, or paint.

What are the Common Wood Filler Uses?

If you are planning to use a wood filler for the very first time and are wondering how it can help you out, let’s start by discussing some of the most popular wood filler applications.

You may be surprised at just how versatile this product can be in your home renovation job…

1- Filling Holes

Small cracks and small nail holes or even holes made by insects are common in wooden trims and in skirting boards.

If you see signs of wood rot (yellowish or brown spongy to touch wood), you can easily fix them using a wood filler.

No matter how deep a hole you’re trying to fill, you can count on this substance to get the job done fairly quickly and easily.

These small repairs will actually prevent your painted window trim from rotting further. And when you are done filling the hole, simply leave it or paint over it if you want a more natural-looking finish.

2- Wood Glue

In need of wood glue but don’t have any? Wood filler can get the job done in a pinch.

Of course, it’s not quite as cheap as wood glue, but it may come in handy if you already have it around.

3- Fixing Flooring

If your hardwood is looking a bit old and grainy, using wood filler to polish and restore its shine could prove to be a good move on your part.

To start, apply a thin coat of an oil-based wood filler onto your floor and give it time to set – avoid water-based wood filler as a floor polish, as it can damage your floors.

Once dry and ready, use high-grit sandpaper to buff your floor and restore its shine.

Depending on the type of wood on the flooring and the extent to which it’s damaged, you may also opt to dye, stain, or refinish your floor with a sealant.

4- Repairing Furniture

Have some outdoor furniture that’s beginning to rot? You can apply wood filler to make the piece look as good as new.

To use, simply peel away the bit of wood that is beginning to tear away and replace it with thick heavy-duty wood filler.

Remember that you shouldn’t do this for furniture that bears weight, however, as wood hardener is generally accepted as a more appropriate substance for the task.

For light jobs, however, wood filler is a great way to restore your furniture to its proper beauty.

5- Smoothing Wood Grain

Don’t like the look of your hardwood floors?

It could be that your wood is made up of long and wide grains that make it appear cheaper and less aesthetically pleasing.

If you find this to be the case, you can put a coat of wood filler over your wood and polish it out so that your MDF wood gains a more premium look.

This is a popular technique for hardwoods such as white oak, which tend to be longer and wider and generally less attractive.

You may find it even better to apply a wood stain on top of your wood once you are done with the filler.

When all is said and done, your MDF wood should have a nice polished surface that really catches the eye.

What are the Different Types of Nail Hole Wood Fillers?

Repairing furniture or other wooden items or merely building something from scratch will make you discover you need to fill holes.

And it is only reasonable to experience such issues, as holes can represent gaps or variances in the MDF wood or where the nails go in.

With this information in mind, let’s now take a more in-depth look at some specific types of wood fillers so that you can get a better idea of which type will work for you.

1- Cellulose-Based Wood Fillers

Used for both wood filling and staining, cellulose-based fillers are the most common and versatile on the market.

Cellulose-based wood fillers can be found in any hardware store and generally come in the form of mixable powders that can be added to either alcohol or water solvents.

Relatively inexpensive, these last for years and are great for products that need a long-term fix.

2- Vinyl-Based Wood Fillers

Easily the least durable of the different types of wood filler, vinyl-based wood fillers are a mix of poly-acetate and calcium carbonate.

These wood fillers are best applied in small coats, as thick coats are prone to cracking. In most cases, it’s best to paint over these for added protection.

The best part about vinyl-based wood fillers for MDF is that they make great outside products due to their plastic consistency.

3- Gypsum-Based Wood Fillers

Gypsum-based wood fillers remain a popular indoor option because of the superior shine they provide to a surface.

Consisting of minerals, this wood filler powder can be mixed with solvents to shore up holes and provide a nice aesthetic touch to your wood.

The downside to this type of filler for wooden trim is that it can easily stain, meaning you’ll likely have to paint over it for long-term benefit.

Moreover, because it lacks weatherproof functionality, it’s not a suitable option for outdoor use.

4- Epoxy-Based Wood Fillers

Water-resistant and quick-drying, epoxy-based wood fillers are great for outdoor use and work marvelously as a binding substance.

Made from petroleum, this putty is highly effective at filling and sealing MDF wood and can resist wear and tear to a high degree.

And that’s the reason you can use them for fixing tiny holes in your deck or siding.

Wood Filler vs. Wood Putty: Which is Better for Nail Holes?

While both these terms are interchangeably used in place of one another, wood filler and wood putty are different.

Below I’ve shared with you my insight on the difference between wood fillers and wood putty.

Let’s see what’s best for your wood project.

A wood filler is created with chemicals such as latex, clay, lacquer, epoxy, or polyurethane. These are mostly water-based and great due to their malleability.

One of the advantages of using wood fillers for nail holes is that it is a firmer compound that sets in extremely fast and allows you to sand or stain the product. And the best part about using wood fillers is that their cure time doesn’t exceed ten minutes. 

Wood putty, on the other hand, is obtained with a mix between calcium carbonate and an oil-based compound. It is meant to be used only with oil-based finishes, meaning that it isn’t as malleable as wood fillers are.

One of the pros of using wood putty is the fact that they are incredibly resistant. This means you can use them for outdoor furniture, as they won’t get damaged easily. Also, wood putty is more affordable than wood fillers.

A downside of wood putty might be the fact that it requires a lot of time to set in. Depending on your project, the cure time for wood putty can range from two days to two weeks. 

Is Spackle and Wood Filler the Same?

Spackling compounds and wood fillers are not the same.

While wood filler (and wood putty) is used to fill the holes and gaps in the wood, spackle is majorly used for repairing the holes and cracks in the plaster or wall.

In a pinch, you can use products such as caulk, soap, and even toothpaste for filling – these are great alternatives to spackling if you want to fill the small holes and gaps in your wall.

However, if you want to fill the hole in the wood (like a push pin hole, dart hole, etc.), these may not be a reliable option to choose due to the fact that they may shrink and cause a divot over time.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the different uses and types of wood filler could go a long way to making sure you get the right product for the job.

By using the information contained here, you can be confident in a job well done.

Knowing this, make sure to use this guide as your ultimate reference for finding the type of wood filler that’s right for you, especially when dealing with MDF trim.

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