Home Repair Tips & Techniques

When and how to use Elmer’s wood glue.

Interior Application: Use interior wood glues for indoor gluing projects where protection from exterior exposure is required. The temperature of all components must be above 55º F. Surfaces must be clean, dry and free of dried glue, oil and any coating. Parts should fit tight. Apply glue liberally and evenly to the surfaces to be bonded. Join parts and clamp together. Clamping pressure should bring surfaces together and there should be some glue squeezed out from the joint. Remove excess wet glue with clean, dry cloth. Clamp for one hour or more. Let dry for 24 hours before handling.

Exterior Application: Exterior glues are designed to withstand outdoor weather elements such as temperature and moisture. The temperature of all components must be above 55º F. Surfaces must be clean, dry and free of dried glue, oil and any coating. Parts should fit tight. Apply glue liberally and evenly to the surfaces to be bonded. Join parts and clamp together. Clamping pressure should bring surfaces together and there should be some glue squeezed out from the joint. Remove excess wet glue with clean, dry cloth. Clamp for one hour or more. Let dry for 24 hours before handling.




What’s the proper way to apply wood filler?

Prepare the damaged area by removing loose paint and wood chunks. Sand all rough edges with medium grit sandpaper. Apply wood filler using a putty knife starting at the edge of the damaged area and pressing the filler into the damaged area. Overfill slightly to allow for shrinkage and sand the repair area flush. Shallow repairs can be sanded after 15 minutes and deep repairs after 2 - 8 hours of drying.




How to test wood filler for staining

Using a scrap piece of wood, drill or otherwise create a hole in it. Apply the filler with a putty knife and let it dry thoroughly. Hand sand it with medium grit sandpaper (avoid high speed sanding). Apply desired stain by following the stain’s label instructions.




When to use wood filler vs. epoxy repair

Water-Based Wood Fillers: These fillers are designed for indoor applications for filling holes and gouges in wood. Water-based fillers are ready to use and do not require mixing hence they are more user-friendly. They can be sanded and stained and painted with latex or oil-based paints. Typical uses are for filling dents and holes in furniture, base boards and molding and kitchen cabinets.

Epoxy Wood Filler: These fillers offer superior outdoor performance with structural strength. They are more resilient and durable and adhere to variety of surfaces. Epoxy requires pre-mixing resin and hardener before use and has limited working time after mixing, typically 15-30 minutes. It may start hardening after two hours but it will take 24 hours to attain full strength. Typical uses are filling holes, dents, splits in wood on decks and outdoor furniture. These fillers are also great for building missing wood in rotted areas.




What can I do if my wood filler begins to dry out?

If there is a crust on your wood filler, remove it first and just add a small amount of water to your filler and mix it thoroughly. Repeat this process until you get it to a workable consistency. Be sure not to add too much because that can ruin your wood filler.