MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Elmer's Wood Filler

by Stefan Jones

As seen in MAKE 02 Toolbox

  • $2 (US, estimated)

Tool photo.

I build a lot of models from balsa and basswood. These are grainy, porous woods that soak up paint and look awful unless filled and sanded. I've tried a lot of fillers through the years, and they've all lacked something. Some require many coats. Others are a bear to sand. The best I've found is Elmer's Wood Filler. It can fill the grain of most woods with one coat, dries quickly, sands beautifully, and takes paint nicely.

You can find this versatile stuff in almost any hardware store. It comes in light and dark color varieties, in small and large tubs. It's water-based, fairly benign, and easy to handle. I've used it out of the tub as a gap-filling putty and thinned down as a brush-on filler.