How Long Does Filler Take to Dry ? (Wall Filler, Wood Filler and Plastic Wood)

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When it comes to painting and decorating, wall filler is an essential tool. However, if you’re new to this type of project, selecting the perfect product can be daunting. To ensure your success and avoid time-consuming mistakes such as cracking or shrinkage when dry, make sure to choose the best quality wall filler available.

This way you can rest assured that its superior performance will save hours in tedious touch-ups down the track.

After years of professional painting and decorating, we’ve curated a list of our most reliable wall fillers that have saved us countless hours. Additionally, we’re including some expert tips on how to use these wall fillers; this knowledge will be especially useful when you need to select the right filler for your project.

Therefore, let’s delve into the details and provide a comprehensive selection of our top-rated fillers available in the UK today.

Read also: Caulk Before Or After Painting

How to Use Wall Filler


Before you begin patching any wall, it’s important to thoroughly clean the area. Utilize sugar soap for a thorough scrubbing, if this step is skipped, the filler will simply adhere to dust or dirt and not provide an effective repair.

Filling Holes and Cracks

With the help of a flexible putty knife, you can now conveniently patch in any holes and cracks. Start by applying an adequate amount of filler onto your tool and begin at the very edge of the aperture.

Gently press down your putty knife so that it gradually curves over then slowly apply moderate pressure as you run it all around the hole or crack to ensure a secure bond with no excess material left behind on top of the wall’s surface for easy cleaning up afterwards.

Once done, quickly take away any unwanted remains using a wet blade for an even smoother finish.

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Drying Time

The most common error when using fillers is not allowing them to dry out thoroughly. Refer to the filler packaging for the drying duration, and ensure you give it ample time, if filling a large area, it may need even more.

If feasible, leave the filler beyond what’s indicated on the label; this will make clean-up simpler and guarantee that it has securely attached to your wall’s surface.

Clean Up

Now that you’ve reached sanding the walls, make sure to wear a dust mask and open some windows for proper airflow. Utilize a large sanding pad which will touch both the wall and filler simultaneously; this will guarantee an even surface next to the wall with a perfect finish ready for painting.

Once done, it’s time to apply paint – if uncertain of how much is required. No problem. Use our easy-to-use Paint Calculator tool which accurately calculates just what amount needs purchasing so there won’t be any wastage or need for extra purchases.

How Long Does Wall Filler Take to Dry?

The amount of time it takes wall filler to dry significantly varies based on the size and depth of the filled area. Minor holes and openings can take less than an hour, while larger jobs may require up to 24 hours or more.

To expedite drying times, make sure you’re correctly mixing your chosen filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, turning up room temperatures or opening windows for air circulation will help speed up drying times as well.

It is paramount that you avoid touching filler as it dries; if not, you could generate indentations and imprints that require further filling. Whenever possible, complete all the application of filler several days prior to painting for a perfectly dry surface when sanding.

The Way to Fill Walls Large Holes with Filler

Have some deep-set holes in your walls that need to be filled? A deep-fill filler is the perfect solution. Easy to implement, it works just like standard fillers and doesn’t require multiple layers for application–just fill and let dry.

Before you begin, make sure you’ve cleaned the area with a brush so no debris interferes with the process. Begin by eliminating any shedding plaster or paint to secure a robust bond. Then, with a putty knife larger than the hole’s size, fill it up with deep-fill filler and press it into place. Making sure that your knife follows the wall will ensure you get an even surface finish.

Don’t hesitate to fill the hole with an abundance of filler, yet don’t let yourself be too extravagant. After that, moisten your putty knife slightly.

Next, begin scraping from the edges inwardly when filling in the missing space. Just dragging your putty knife above or below it should draw away any extra material clinging onto its surface; however, you’ll need to wait at least 12 hours for it to dry completely before resuming work on this area — give it a full day if possible. Once done and everything appears evened out properly, use sandpaper and then paint over t as desired.

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The Way to Fasten Drying of the Wall Filler

If you need to patch and paint your wall in a hurry, utilize a heat gun on the wall filler for fast drying. All you have to do is keep the tool around 8 inches away from the surface while moving it in circles.

You should be able to see results within several minutes – just watch out not to burn or shrink the material as this can cause cracks.

What Grit Sandpaper to Use on Wall Filler?

For the ultimate result when filling, a 120-grit sandpaper is your best bet. Make sure to invest in quality sandpaper – not only will it last longer, but you’ll also use fewer sheets as you go about prepping those areas for paint.

Best Internal Wall Filler UK

Toupret interior filler is simply the finest product of its kind. Whether you need to fill a few small holes or gaps, this product will certainly do the job. It adheres quickly and securely to paint and plaster, sands easily for a smooth finish, won’t shrink over time, sets fast in 30 minutes -allowing you to move on with your project without delay- plus it’s remarkably strong even after curing; able to hold nails and screws firmly. And best yet: One 2kg box provides more than enough filling material per room so that you can get everything done within one purchase alone–and be ready for sanding immediately afterwards.

Best External Wall Filler in the UK

Our team’s mission was to fill gaping holes in masonry walls when painting, and we have discovered the best exterior filler out there. Due to its lack of thickness bounds, you can use it for tremendous setbacks just by using a single pass. And most importantly, not only is this product resistant to external weather conditions – but also won’t crack or shrink over time.

Our product takes 24 hours to fully cure, though the surface sets up in only 30 minutes so you can easily sand your walls as soon as possible. If you're planning on painting any masonry in your home, be sure to take a look at our article regarding different types of masonry paints - it's an intriguing read that may prove very useful.

Best Flexible Wall Filler in the UK

If your home is prone to seasonal shifts that cause cracks, then this wall filler was designed for you. It’s formulated to move with the walls and prevent further damage. Plus, its convenient design allows it to fit into any standard-sized caulking gun while featuring a fine tip so you can fill in even the tightest crevices. This product guarantees long-lasting protection against shifting foundation issues.

This product adheres to nearly any surface, including wood, brickwork, painting and varnish. It is a steadfast yet flexible bond that will stand the test of time for years to come – perfect for speedy repairs or small-scale projects when you don’t have much time on your hands. All you need is this caulking guy and you’ll be prepared to apply the filler accurately.

Read also: Best Paint Brands In the UK

How Long Does It Take For Wood Filler or Plastic Wood to Dry?

Uses of Wood Fillers

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Have you ever found yourself struggling to repair dents, scratches or uneven surfaces on wood? Wood fillers and plastic wood provide the perfect remedy. Not only do they help level out deeply-dug grooves, but also allow you to shape damaged wooden edges too. Whether it’s a hardwood floor, furniture piece or cabinet – these products are essential tools in any DIY enthusiast’s toolbox.

Difference Between Wood Fillers And Plastic Wood

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Many people often mistake wood fillers and plastic wood or wood putty for the same product, yet their structures are distinctively different. While both materials can be used to correct minor damages to wooden surfaces, they each bring unique advantages when it comes to repairs.

Wood Fillers

Wood fillers are made up of small particles and fibres bound together with a binder and thinner. As the liquid evaporates, it leaves behind the hardened binder that holds these pieces in place. Therefore, if you have big dents or openings – wood filler is your go-to solution.

What’s more? After application, all you need to do is sand it down for an even finish. Not only can wood fillers be used to paint, but they are also compatible with stains. However, since these products solidify and harden over time–which is why they make such a great option for interior projects—using them outdoors may lead to breakage and create the same problem you’re trying to fix in the first place.

To ensure your outdoor project goes smoothly, double-check labels before applying as some variants offer weatherproof protection.

Read also: Wood Windows Repair (Guide)

Plastic Wood

Plastic wood, also known as putty, is available in the form of a malleable paste. It never fully sets when dry so it can be manipulated to fit any minor changes that may occur after application.

Furthermore, this makes plastic wood ideal for filling small cracks and scratches due to its non-hardening properties which make sanding impossible – perfect for outdoor furniture which has to withstand weather-related expansion or contraction.

Fortunately, wood putty is weatherproof and can be applied indoors without any worries. Another benefit of using this product is that it comes in a variety of colours so you can select one which perfectly matches your wooden furniture.

Additionally, its texture provides resistance to paint meaning it won’t flake off over time. With all these benefits combined, utilizing wood putty is an ideal way to make repairs on wooden surfaces with ease and efficiency.

How Long Does Take For Plastic Wood/ Wood Filler to Dry?

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When attempting a wood repair, you must be patient and wait for the filler to dry before continuing. The drying time varies depending on what type of filler was used; typically, it is faster with fillers than putty. But precisely how long will this waiting period last?

The Time Takes For Wood Fillers to Dry

Working quickly is key when it comes to wood fillers; they dry at lightning speed and only take 30 minutes to a maximum of 6 hours before becoming hard and durable. This not only allows you to complete your application with ease but likewise means that there’s no requirement for any extended periods of waiting – you can start painting or refinishing immediately.

Even better still, water-based options require even less time to solidify so multiple layers are capable of being applied without the need for prior drying.

Water-based wood fillers require a minimal wait time of merely an hour before they harden and solidify, while oil-based fillers may need up to six hours. Additionally, you must allow the first layer to set for roughly 20 minutes prior to applying any additional layers. With these quick drying times and simple principles in mind, it is easier than ever to make sure your wood filler achieves its desired effect efficiently.

The Time Takes For Wood Putty to Dry

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When selecting wood putty, drying time is a vital consideration. Depending on the type, the drying process can take anywhere between 24 to 8 days. For those opting for water-based finishes, water-based wood putty provides speedier results – only taking up to 24 hours in optimal conditions.

On the other hand, oil-based finishes require oil-based wood putty that typically needs twice as long to dry; however, this depends heavily on temperature and humidity levels present during application.

How to Shorten the Drying Time of Wood Fillers and Wood Putty?

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Do you have a woodworking project that needs to be completed on time? If so, then you surely want to reduce the amount of time it takes for your fillers and putties to dry. Luckily, there are various approaches available that can help.

1. Apply in Warm Weather

To effectively speed up the drying process of your wood filler or putty, it is best to apply it on a warm day. Early summer months and sunny spots are optimal for achieving fast-drying results without subjecting the material to intense heat. Warm weather allows you to experience quick drying within minutes.

2. Warm the Filler

To expedite the drying process of your Filler when applied to wood, heat up the substance with a heating gun or thermostat prior to application. This method is especially useful during hot weather for more efficient results.

3. Apply Even And Thin Layers

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For the fastest drying time, apply multiple thin layers of wood filler evenly. If you need a thick layer for superior results, it’s best to spread several thinner coats rather than one large coat when using oil-based putty. Also, give each layer a few minutes to partially dry before adding on additional layers.

4. Sand the Area Properly

To ensure a flawless finish, use a sander to smooth out the wood surface and create an even base for your wood filler. Doing so will allow you to apply thin layers that dry quicker than before – thus reducing any unwanted furrows from forming.

5. Use a Fan

A circulating fan will reduce the humidity and improve air circulation, greatly decreasing the time it takes for your filler to dry.

6. Add a Hardener

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For a faster drying process, you can incorporate Hardener into your wood putty – though be sure to blend in the ideal proportions as too much could compromise its flexibility. Epoxy resin is an especially popular hardener to include for a stronger result.

7. Clean And Dry the Wood

To expedite the drying process of wood, make sure to remove any impurities before applying filler. This can be done by thoroughly cleaning and pre-drying the wood beforehand. While it might not speed up the process drastically, this technique will still yield positive results in a short time frame.


Does wood filler dry as hard as wood?

When dry, wood filler hardens to a level that is not quite as rigid as hardwood, but is still sturdy enough to rival other softwoods and plywood. You want your wood filler to have some flexibility so that it can move with the grain of the wood – if it’s too stiff then it will easily crack or chip away.

How long does wood filler take to dry before sanding?

To ensure that your wood filler remains intact, allow it to dry for at least thirty minutes before sanding. However, take care not to press too hard with the sandpaper as this can potentially strip away the layer of unset filler.

If you are using oil-based fillers then wait several hours prior to proceeding with the task of sanding. For optimal results when sanding by hand, you’ll want to give the oil-based wood filler a minimum of five hours to dry. However, if using an electric sander, it’s best practice to grant the filler at least seven hours before beginning your project.

How long does wood filler take to dry before painting?

Depending on the type of wood filler chosen, it can take between 30 minutes and several hours for the surface to be ready for painting. Always read your manufacturer’s instructions carefully in order to achieve optimal results.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.