Bondo Wood Filler Reviews- a Closer and Detailed Look

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Cracks, nail holes in wood, rotted wood, or missing or damaged parts are some of the challenges you will face when working with wood. Therefore, before you paint the wood or start on a new project, it is imperative to take care of the flaws to end a smooth finish. We have looked at different fillers, and we have found Bondo filler to be the best in the market. However, before we give our Bondo wood filler reviews, let us answer what a wood filler is if you are wondering.

What is a Wood Filler?

A wood filler is pulverized wood particles used to hide the flaws and imperfections on the surface of the wood before the wood is used on projects or before it is painted. A wooden surface needs to be smooth and even for the project to look neat and presentable.

Most wood fillers are water-soluble and are mixed into a thick solution before being applied to the flaws to repair and prep the wood for a new project. Now that we know what a wood filler is let us jump straight into Bondo carpenter's wood filler reviews.

Bondo Wood Filler Reviews

Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler, Sandable in 15 min,...
  • Make quick, durable repairs to damaged and rotted wood
  • Cures fast; sandable in 15 minutes for fast same-day repairs
  • Stainable and Paintable in 25 minutes.
  • Bondo formula accepts paint and stain beautifully
  • Durable 2-part solution provides permanent and non-shrink...

1. Quick Drying

Bondo is used for projects both indoors and outdoors. Drying time is a vital factor that determines a lot of things. The 3m Bondo wood filler gives you control over the drying time because it comes with a hardener. You can regulate the drying time by controlling the hardener par part that you will add to the filler.

Bondo filler takes about 5 to 7 minutes before drying up completely. Therefore, you have that much time before you finish the other flaws and start working on the filler. You can use a thicker consistency for deeper holes to increase the drying time. The filler comes with the versatility that you need when working with wood.

Bondo is made for both indoor and outdoor use. However, when working outdoors, the chances of the filler drying faster are higher because of wind and other factors. The dry time will largely depend on the consistency of the mixture and the environment you are working in.

2. Water Proof

Some wood projects are meant for outdoor purposes. Furniture, doors, windows, and other outdoor projects. The filler can be used confidently because it is water-resistant once primed or painted. Not every brand of wood filler is good for use outdoors, especially if it is water-based. Fillers mixed with water soak up moisture when left outdoors and might not be effective in the long run.

The waterproof feature of Bondo gives you the confidence to venture into more outdoor wood projects without the fear of failure in the long run.

3. Strong

With Bondo, you will get value for your money. The professional carpenter's wood filler creates a strong bond on the wood surface, looking like real wood. As a result, Bondo sticks to the damaged parts without falling off after a while. In addition, the filler does not crack when exposed to the elements, unlike other wood fillers.

Wood repair is made easy with Bondo because it will fill holes left behind by nails and screws, leaving behind no traces of trauma or history on the surface of the wood.

The only downside to the strength of the wood filler is that it might not be easy to sand once the mixture is dried up. Try and sand within the first 15 minutes or at most 30 minutes after application. You will end up with a repair that looks like real wood.

4. Minimal Shrinkage

Unlike water-based wood fillers, Bondo has very minimal shrinking once applied. Whether used interior or exterior, the wood filler dries up fast, reducing the action time to only a matter of minutes. This gives the filler just enough time to dry without shrinking.

When you apply two layers on the surfaces you are working on, the filler dries up with the same mass as when you first applied it on wood.

5. Sanding

Natural wood is easy to sand as wood fibers come off relatively easily when exposed to abrasive materials. Bondo, however, is not the best wood filler for sanding. The wood filler dries up pretty fast and does not leave enough time for sanding if you are working with multiple holes or flaws.

Bondo dries up in a matter of minutes, between 5 to 7 minutes. Best wood fillers dry up fast, but it comes at a small cost of a more difficult sanding.

6. Odor

The odor would be the biggest downside of the wood filler. The odor tends to be very strong for the first one or two hours after applying the filler. After that, you can use the filler for both interior and exterior furniture but in a well-ventilated room.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wood Fillers

a) Can You Paint Wood Fillers?

Yes, you can paint a wood filler. Fillers are not the same as the color of the wood. Therefore, you need to paint the wood fillers to achieve a consistent look on the furniture. Wood will absorb paint differently from the wood fillers. Therefore, the best wood filler should take on paint without flaking after a short while.

Wood is porous. Therefore, you need to prepare the filler to make it a bit more like wood. You can prepare the filler to buy, sanding it down after application. Sanded fillers have a similar consistency to the wood and will be more receptive to the paint than non-sanded fillers. Water-based fillers take paint more readily. Be sure to prime the filler and the wood before painting.

b) What can I use Instead of a Wood Filler?

There are alternatives you can explore when you do not have access to a wood filler. You can use sawdust and glue to fill up cracks and holes. Sawdust has the same consistency as wood. Use fine sawdust and mix with wood glue to get a similar surface to the wood. Stuff the mixer in the holes and cracks.

You can use chalk dust as a replacement to make wood putty. Mix a small mound of chalk dust with some paint and paste it in the appropriate places. Another interesting thing you can use is another wood. Large enough cracks can take pieces of wood as fillers. You can reinforce the pieces of wood with some wood glue and a little bit of filler.

You can use epoxy in the place of a wood filler. The epoxy you should use is the kind that is used for fiberglass. You can explore other ways to fill the holes and damaged parts. Carpenters are handsy and creative and are trained to solve problems.

c) Is Bondo a Good Wood Filler?

Bondo filler works great as a wood filler. However, you will need to put up with the fast drying nature of the filler. The filler takes about 7 minutes to dry up. It would help if you had a work plan before using the filler. The other downside is that it has a bad odor. However, the odor does not affect the fact that you will have your repairs done.

The wood filler comes with a tube of cream hardener, giving you an easy time when looking to make repairs. In addition, the filler has a good shelf life and is the best home solutions wood filler that can work long times apart when stored carefully.

The filler dries faster than a latex wood filler. That places it an advantage over the competitors. A latex wood filler will take up to 15 minutes to dry up completely.

d) What Thickness Can I use?

When applying the filler, you need to do it in layers. Do not apply the filler for the thickness more than a quarter-inch deep in a space more than half an inch wide. Larger holes will be harder to fill with a strong bond because the filler will be bonding with itself and not the wood. The filler would fall off, especially if it's water-based. The priority is to bond the filler with the wood, to create a strong, long lasting repair.

Final Take

Every product has its downsides and its strengths. Bondo, luckily, has more strengths that are the reasons why you should consider getting the filler. Bondo is strong, forming a lasting bond with the wood after application. Bondo is solvent-free and comes with its cream to mix with. You do not have to worry about coming up with magical solutions that should work somehow. Bondo has your back.

Bondo is not great for grain filling because, again, it dries up too fast. However, Bondo is perfect for outdoor projects because it will not be affected by moisture. Water-based fillers absorb moisture from the atmosphere compared to other fillers. Bondo can be used on the doors and windows and other furniture both indoors and outdoors.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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