How To Fill Gaps In Wood

Wood furniture can add warmth and charm to any home. However, over time, wood can develop gaps and cracks that can be unsightly and even affect the structural integrity of the piece. In this article, we will discuss how to fill gaps in wood to restore the beauty and function of your furniture.

Why Do Gaps Form in Wood?

Gaps can form in wood for a variety of reasons, including changes in humidity and temperature, natural settling, and wear and tear. Regardless of the cause, gaps can be filled to prevent further damage and improve the appearance of your wood furniture.

Materials Needed to Fill Gaps in Wood

Before we dive into the process of filling gaps in wood, it’s important to gather the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Paint or stain (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fill Gaps in Wood

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Before filling any gaps, it’s essential to prepare the surface. Start by cleaning the wood with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Once the wood is clean, use sandpaper to smooth the surface around the gap. This step will ensure that the wood filler adheres properly.

Step 2: Apply the Wood Filler

After preparing the surface, it’s time to apply the wood filler. Use a putty knife to scoop the wood filler out of the container and apply it to the gap. Be sure to press the wood filler into the gap, ensuring that it fills the entire space. If the gap is deep, you may need to apply the wood filler in layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding another.

Step 3: Sand the Surface

Once the wood filler has dried, use sandpaper to smooth the surface. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move to a finer grit until the surface is smooth and even.

Step 4: Paint or Stain (Optional)

If desired, you can paint or stain the wood to match the surrounding area. Allow the paint or stain to dry completely before using the furniture.


Q: Can I use wood glue to fill gaps in wood?

A: No, wood glue is not recommended for filling gaps in wood. Wood filler is a better option as it is designed to expand and contract with the wood, preventing further damage.

Q: Can I use wood filler on exterior wood surfaces?

A: Yes, there are wood fillers designed specifically for exterior use. Be sure to choose a product that is waterproof and weather-resistant.

Q: How long does wood filler take to dry?

A: Drying times can vary depending on the product and depth of the gap. Generally, wood filler can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight to dry completely.


Filling gaps in wood is a simple process that can restore the beauty and function of your furniture. By following the steps outlined in this article and using the right materials, you can fill gaps in wood like a pro. Remember to always prepare the surface, apply the wood filler properly, and sand the surface before painting or staining. With a little patience and effort, your wood furniture will look as good as new!