Elmer’s Wood Filler – Things To Know, How To Choose, and Brand Review

Elmers Wood Filler reviews

Every homeowner knows how important a wood filler is and how versatile its uses are. But first things first for those who are coming across this word for the first time. What is a wood filler? It is a gummy substance widely used to ‘fill’ in the crevices of a wooden structure. It is a popular craft material widely used by DIY wooden project makers and commonly used by commercial shops. For anyone with a knack for DIY wooden projects, it is impossible to not have heard the name of Elmer’s. It is so because they are the leading manufacturers of wood fillers, home craft items, and glues on a large scale using cruelty-free ingredients since their wake. For anyone searching for a standard wood filler, the Elmer’s Wood Filler has always been the first suggestion and always will be and in this article, you will know why.

Water Fillers

Basics about Wood Filler

Cracks, crevices, or holes can surface up anytime on a wooden structure. A wood filler comes to your rescue in more than just one way. So, what are the types of wood fillers? There are two primarily: water-based and solvent-based.

Water vs. Solvent Fillers

Both can be used for the same primary purpose – filling in crevices, but there are some major differences between the two.

  • Water-based ones will primarily contain cellulose, wood fiber, or gypsum. They are generally less pungent than solvent-based fillers for the primary reason that they seldom release any volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Most of the time, water-based fillers are considered more versatile. This is because of their readily water-soluble property which can be advantageously used as a thin filler. Lastly, they take only around 15 minutes to dry and can also be readily cleaned by employing only soap and water.
  • Solvent-based fillers generally are manufactured using vinyl or epoxy. They emit a significant amount of VOC and are thus highly pungent. Unlike water-based wood thinners, these dry in about an hour or more and the cleanup process is also not very straightforward and requires acetone or turpentine. Surprisingly, solvent-based fillers are pricier than the other type since they are practically water-proof, humidity-proof, and also tolerant towards extreme heat, cold, and corrosion. Consequently, these are the best types for exterior wooden projects.

Nonetheless, both can be ideal for all kinds of applications – filling tiny pores or even bigger crevices seen by the naked eye to give a smooth finish. After application, you are supposed to sand the surface for a better finish. Whichever type of wood filler you choose to work with, there are some obvious considerations to make first. 

Water vs. Solvent Fillers

Consistency

The very first one comes to be the consistency – thick or thin. A thick filler is ideal for filling larger holes or voids. On the other hand, a thinner consistency is used for minor crevices and pores not seen by the naked eye. As mentioned above, if you are using a water-based wood filler, you can make the consistency to be thinner just by adding a bit of water. However, this is not handy in the case of solvent-based wood filler and often yields inconsistent results.

Color

Most commonly, wood fillers come in shades closely resembling natural wooden textures to blend naturally and give a picture-perfect finish. However, you also get white ones. If you are not going to paint the wood, it’s best to go for a wood filler with a color closely resembling your wood piece. Otherwise, white is the best go-to option since it will get camouflaged by the color you will paint the wood with. Just make sure, you’re choosing a paintable wood filler.

Application

A major parameter in deciding your project’s placement – interior or exterior. Most wood fillers bear the tag of “interior” or “exterior” or both for clear demarcation. The exterior-use fillers generally are solvent-based as they are resistant to environmental conditions.

 Wood Filler

Why choose Elmer?

History of Elmer brand

Elmer’s is a US-based brand that was acquired in 1929 by a company called Borden in Westerville, Ohio, USA. Surprisingly, the introduction of wood fillers into their product line came much later and what made this company gain the limelight right after their establishment was Elmer’s Glue. But, you will be more fascinated when we say Elmers’ makers (or predecessors) were actually in the dairy industry! Yes! The sharp shift to their product line from the dairy industry to manufacturing glue was inspired by a small ingredient that was common to both the products – casein. At that time, casein was the protein used in the manufacturing of glue (now, it has been replaced by synthetic ingredients). The brand name soon gained much limelight for their glue products and came to be known as ‘Elmer’s glue’, becoming a leading manufacturing company in the glue market. 

The brand was released independently in 1999 when Berwind Corporation took over in 2003, and Newell Rubbermaid in 2015. But, the logo of Elmer’s continued to be in the use, and still, now it is the logo that brought fame to all their later-introduced products. Cutting short to their product line history, soon after their glue hit the market to become the most widely used product, they extended their product line to producing resin adhesives. After World War II, they experimented with a lot of different glue items made for both household and commercial purposes. 

Carpenters Wood Filler

By 1991, they started their venture into the kid’s crafts category. In 1994, they shifted their focus on developing the most celebrated adhesive-related products for home repair use, school use, hardware, and others. From 2000 to 2002, Elmer’s acquisition of two individual companies called the Ross Products and Hunt Corporation further strengthened their base in the adult arts and crafts sector. They expanded to crafts products for children to improve cognitive development in their early childhood phases. Soon after, they introduced a bunch of different wood fillers, display boards, paint markers, and glues (of course!). Their products have always been cruelty-free and produced using natural plant-based materials which appealed to the common public even more. Moreover, the quality and expenses were far reliable and reasonable than any other brand at that time and continue to be.

Elmer Wood Fillers – Features

Elmer’s has a range of interesting wood filler products in their inventory that encompasses diverse features making them useful for different groups – DIY project makers, carpenters, and more. A feature common to all Elmer’s wood fillers is the drying time and texture which is around 1-2 days and the curing makes them sufficiently hard for any project. Elmer’s has managed to be on top of the industry in terms of quality and promise. Their wood fillers have the most impressive features that anyone can ever need.

Application

Elmer’s have a range of wood fillers made of water base as well as the solvent base. Hence, their products are ideal for any kind of project – interior or exterior. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler (Interior E842L ) is the most widely wood in the USA for home repairs for their solvent-free manufacture. The best thing is that they also mention on their packaging what are the instructions for use and whether it is an interior only or made for both purposes. For example, the above-mentioned product is interior-only and has a hard-dry texture that is long-lasting on single-use. 

On the same note, you also get both interior and exterior application in a single tub of Elmer’s wood filler – like the Elmer’s Stainable Wood Filler E892. This is also solvent-free in its composition but is made with real wood fibers and is ideal for exterior applications because it is resistant to shrinkage and cracking. Whichever tub you pick up, Elmer’s has mentioned its application for ease of use for the customers.

Wood Filler

Paintable and Sandable

Elmer’s wood fillers are not only sandable but also paintable in nature. This is a huge relief for DIY woodworkers as well as professional craftsmen when a tub of high-quality paintable yet sandable wood filler for decks is hard to find. Most of Elmer’s wood fillers – whether it’s an interior application or exterior) are manufactured to hold stains and paints prominently and yet undergo sanding to give a picture-perfect finish. The quality is so high that the filler can withstand even a very high-speed sander after it has cured properly and set with the wood piece. 

The staining is also very smooth and gets perfectly camouflage with the wood piece to give a put-together look without bumps. You can easily understand when it is ready to be painted, stained, or sanded – it will give a dried look. The presence of real wood pieces in the filler makes it blend with the wood piece being used easily. In this light, the ELMER’S Probond Wood Filler review states that it is one of the most professional wood fillers in easy-to-use tube packaging that is paintable, stainable, and sandable. However, most of their products are equally true to their claim of being stainable and can be used with paints. Just make sure you check the packaging before buying that it mentions ‘stainable’ or ‘paintable’.

Carpenters Filler
Image Source: LifeSavvy

Resistant and tough

The Elmer’s wood fillers are manufactured superiorly to be tough and resistant to cracking or shrinking which makes them the ideal choice for any wooden project. Moreover, the consistency and hardening are such that they even hold screws and nails together on a wooden structure.

Easy cleaning

Elmer’s Wood Fillers come with another useful feature which is easy cleaning. If you mess up, you can easily get the filler cleaned using water (if it mentions cleanable using water on the packaging). Most of their products can be cleaned using a little bit of water as mentioned in their packaging. Not only this but the fillers can also be thinned using water. If your product is not frequently used or had been stored for a very long time, it may appear to have become a bit thick in its consistency. At this time, you can use a pinch of water to bring it back to its normal consistency. Similarly, if you want a thin, pancake batter-like consistency for your work, you can do the same. 

FAQs

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First, make sure the packaging you are buying is apt for your specific purpose – interior/exterior, stainable or not, solvent-based or water-based, the color of the product, etc. While applying, make sure the color of the filer is closely resembling your wood or if you are going to paint, skip this step. Next, make sure the void you are going to fill is free from dust and debris. Put a generous amount of the filler into the void (according to the void’s size) and even the surface with a putty knife. Let the drier set for 1-2 days which is the average drying time for Elmer’s wood fillers. You are ready to go (or paint)!

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Elmer’s wood fillers have a shelf life of about 1.5-2 years from the manufacturing date.

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You get both water-based and solvent-based wood fillers from Elmer’s.

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Yes, they have a white wood filler – Elmer’s white wood filler E855. 

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It depends on your requirement. The basic difference between wood filler vs wood putty is that the former contains real wood pieces that harden the void but putty doesn’t have the same effect.

Conclusion

While many things go into buying an ideal wood filler, if there’s one brand that encompasses all useful features into their products, that’s Elmer’s. Whether you are a carpenter or are into DIY wooden projects, you must have heard about Elmer’s wood putty or Elmer’s wood filler that are widely popular in the wood world. In this article, we have tried to break down the basics of using a wood filler, choosing the ideal one, and even some of the best features that Elmer’s have incorporated into their widely renowned range of wood fillers. 

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