A Simple Guide to Using Glue as Wood Filler

Working on wood projects comes with a variety of challenges. But fear not. With every new challenge, knowledge is gained. Situations might arise when you need to fill up pores, holes, or cracks in wood. Thanks to wood fillers, fixing these defects is easy, but what happens when you don’t have one around?Don’t fret; wood glue will do the trick.

You can use wood glue as a filler. All you need to do is mix sawdust with the wood glue, apply the mixture to the crack or hole, allow it to dry for 24hours, then sand it. After sanding, you can decide to stain or paint. However, the converse is not the case; wood filler cannot be used as wood glue.

Here, we’ll focus on everything you need to know to get wood glue to function as a filler. So, stay glued to this page.

Can You Use Wood Glue as a Filler?

First, you need to understand the primary function of wood glue and wood filler.

As its name states, wood glue is an adhesive specially designed to glue pieces of wood together. This adhesive can also serve filler purposes when used the right way.

One way to use wood glue as a filler is by mixing the glue with sawdust and applying it to the hole or crack in the wood. The sawdust fills the crevice in wood, while the wood glue acts as a binding agent.

Although wood glue can be used as filler, using wood filler in the place of wood glue is not possible. Wood filler lacks weatherproofing, UV resistance, and adhering properties. Additionally, there are currently no DIY procedures that can combat these deficiencies.

Filler Glue for Wood

Now that you know that you can use wood glue as a filler, it’s crucial that we provide Amazon recommendations to ensure that you don’t go off choosing wood glue that won’t be up to the task.

Gorilla Wood Glue

Gorilla is no new name in the wood glue scene, and over the years, this brand has shown that it knows more than a thing a two when it comes to making functional wood glue.

This PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) glue Passes ANSI/HPVA Type II 100% waterproof making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Its natural color also means you don’t need to worry about the repaired area having a different color from the rest of the wood.


  • This wood glue comes in a natural color
  • Its slow drying time makes it possible to make adjustments
  • It causes no skin irritation


  • It has a long curing time of about 20-30minutes

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue

If you’ve ever used the Titebond II, then you should know about Titebonds gluing strength. The Titebond III offers something better than just regular water resistance; it is 100% waterproof, meeting the NSI/HPVA Type I water-resistance specification. Also, this glue was the toughest in the market until Gorilla stepped into the scene.

This product cleans up with water, and you can finally say goodbye to the annoying foaming experience you’ll likely experience with other lower-quality glues. The TItebond III is certified non-toxic and FDA-approved for non-direct food contact.


  • Sanding is easy when you opt for this product
  • It will work well for almost all wood types
  • It is suitable for low-temperature applications


  • This glue does not dry clear
  • It is more expensive than Elmers

Elmers Wood Glue

The next best thing to the Titebond III is the Elmers wood glue, a wood glue that makes filling crevices in wood easy. This max variant is different from the regular Elmers. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use since it resists mold, mildew, and heat. Elmers stands out as being stainable and waterproof. 


  • It is non-toxic
  • It is cheaper than several other top wood glue out there
  • It does not crack and the bonds created are stronger than wood
  • You’ll notice that it dries clear


  • It doesn’t work well in non-climate-controlled applications

Creating Wood Filler Out of Glue

Creating wood filler out of glue is easy; we’ll show you how to make one in 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Source for the best wood glue

Many people tend to forget that not every glue can be used to create wood fillers, so be sure to get the glue that is recommended for gluing wood. The products reviewed above are typical glues that are perfect for creating wood filler. Not only do they have excellent bonding properties, but they also perform well if the wood is used outdoors.

Step 2: Create sawdust using scrap wood

The next thing you want to do is make sawdust using scrap wood from the project. Sand the scrap wood until you attain the desired quantity suitable for the filler project. Sanding the scrap wood to create sawdust is better than using wood shavings because wood shavings don’t mix well.

Step 3: Add wood glue and mix

Once the scrap wood is sanded to create sawdust, add wood glue in the right proportion, then mix it with your putty knife to create a slurry or paste.

There you have it; you now have a DIY wood filler.

3 Tips Using Glue as a Filler

Here are three tips from the pros. Adhering to them will help ensure that your glue can become the filler you desire.

Tip #1: Use very fine sawdust as filler

Ensuring that the sawdust is smooth ensures that the crevice or hole is filled. This sawdust should be created using an orbital sander or 180-240 grit sandpaper.

Tip #2: Always test the mixture on a test piece

Testing before using is a good way to avoid costly mistakes when working with wood. Don’t be in a hurry. After all, for the mixture to fully cure, you’ll require an additional 24hrs after applying the DIY filler. So don’t rush.

Tip #3: Match the glue with the workpiece

Last and crucial to the success of the project is matching the glue with the workpiece. Choose a transparent glue, and if you don’t find one choose a color that closely matches the color of the wood from the project. Also, using sawdust created with wood from the project is an excellent idea for matching the repaired section with other workpiece areas.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it sure is easy to use glue as a wood filler. All you need is the right glue, a little sawdust, and you’ll have a glue filler that can compete or even perform better than several others out there.

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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