Can Non Hardening Wood Putty be Painted? Everything You Need to Know

Do you love to work on DIY wood projects but struggle with getting that perfect finish when it comes to filling in imperfections and nail holes? Well, you’re not alone. Many DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike ask the same question: can non-hardening wood putty be painted? The answer is absolutely yes! But, there’s a catch. Putting on paint directly on non-hardening wood putty is blasphemy and a recipe for disaster.

In this article, we’ll explore everything about using non-hardening wood putty and how to paint it with ease. Painting over non-hardening wood putty gives you a smooth, polished look that’s perfect for any wood surface. But, as with most things, there’s a right way to do it. From understanding the properties of non-hardening wood putty to knowing the best techniques to paint it, we’ve got you covered.

So, if you’re ready to level up your wood game, let’s get started. But, before jumping into the nitty-gritty details, let’s first dive into the basics of non-hardening wood putty and why it’s a crucial tool in any DIY woodworker’s arsenal. Trust me; you won’t want to miss a single word of this article.

Types of non-hardening wood putty

Non-hardening wood putty, also known as plastic wood, is a material used to fill holes and repair damaged wood. Unlike traditional wood fillers, non-hardening wood putty does not dry or harden over time, making them easier to work with. Here are the different types of non-hardening wood putty:

  • Oil-based: This type of putty is made from a blend of oil, resins, and calcium carbonate. It is ideal for filling large gaps or cracks and is suitable for use on both interior and exterior wood surfaces.
  • Water-based: Water-based putty is a popular choice for smaller repairs or touch-ups. It is easier to work with and less messy than oil-based putty. However, it is not suitable for exterior use as it can easily dissolve when exposed to water.
  • Epoxy-based: Epoxy-based putty is a two-part putty that requires mixing before use. It is more durable than other types of non-hardening putty and is ideal for use on high traffic areas such as floors, doors, and windows.

Choosing the right type of non-hardening wood putty depends on the extent of the damage and the surface it will be applied to. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to strength, flexibility, and drying time. It’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using and to select the right type of putty for the job.

Here’s a comparison table of the different types of non-hardening wood putty:

Type of Non-Hardening Putty Advantages Disadvantages
Oil-Based Durable, suitable for exterior use, ideal for larger repairs Takes longer to dry, requires solvent for cleaning up
Water-Based Easy to work with, less messy, ideal for small repairs or touch-ups Not suitable for exterior use, can dissolve when exposed to water
Epoxy-Based Durable, ideal for high traffic areas, can be sanded and painted over Requires mixing before use, more expensive, not ideal for large repairs

Ultimately, the choice of non-hardening wood putty will depend on your needs and preferences. Consider the size and scope of the repair, the location of the damage, and the desired outcome. With the right type of putty and proper application techniques, non-hardening wood putty can help make your wood surfaces look as good as new.

Working with Non-Hardening Wood Putty

When it comes to repairing wood surfaces, non-hardening wood putty is a popular choice. Unlike other types of wood fillers, non-hardening wood putty stays pliable and can be easily manipulated even after it dries. However, painting non-hardening wood putty can be a bit tricky and requires proper preparation.

  • Clean the Surface: Before applying non-hardening wood putty, make sure the surface is clean and free from any dust or debris. Use sandpaper to remove any loose or peeling paint, and wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or grime.
  • Apply the Putty: Use a putty knife to apply the non-hardening wood putty to the damaged area. Apply enough putty to fill the void, but be careful not to overfill it. Smooth out the putty with the blade of the putty knife.
  • Let It Dry: Allow the putty to dry completely. Non-hardening wood putty typically takes longer to dry than other types of wood fillers, so be patient and wait until the putty is thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step.

Once the non-hardening wood putty has completely dried, it’s time to prepare the surface for painting.

Sand the Surface: Use sandpaper to smooth out the surface and create an even finish. Sand the area lightly, being careful not to sand away too much of the putty. Sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid creating any scratches or marks on the surface.

Prime the Surface: Apply a coat of primer to the surface. This will help the paint adhere better to the putty and create a smoother finish. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

If you’re interested in using non-hardening wood putty but are unsure of which brand to choose, consider looking at reviews from other DIY enthusiasts. You can also consult with a professional carpenter or painter for recommendations on which products to use.

When working with non-hardening wood putty, it’s important to take your time and follow the proper steps. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can create a flawless finish that lasts for years to come.

Characteristics of non-hardening wood putty

Non-hardening wood putty is a popular choice among woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts who are looking for a versatile and easy-to-use product that can help them fill holes, gaps, and cracks on their wood projects. Here are some of the characteristics of non-hardening wood putty:

  • Flexibility: Non-hardening wood putty remains pliable and flexible even after it dries, which makes it a suitable option for filling gaps and joints that are expected to move or expand over time, such as those in doors and windows.
  • Ease of use: Non-hardening wood putty is easy to apply and shape, even for beginners, and can be smoothed out with a putty knife or a damp cloth for a seamless finish. It also sands well and can be stained or painted over to match the surrounding wood.
  • Water resistance: Non-hardening wood putty can withstand exposure to water and moisture without losing its shape or adhesion, making it a great choice for outdoor projects or areas that are prone to dampness.
  • Multiple applications: Non-hardening wood putty can be used for a variety of applications, including filling nail holes, cracks, gaps, and knots, as well as for repairing damaged veneers, molding, and frames.

Can non-hardening wood putty be painted?

One of the main advantages of non-hardening wood putty is its ability to be painted over easily, even after it has dried. However, to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish, it is important to follow these steps:

  • Clean the surface: Before painting over the non-hardening wood putty, make sure to clean the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust, dirt, or debris.
  • Prepare the surface: Depending on the type of paint you are using, you may need to apply a primer or sealer to the surface before painting. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for more information.
  • Apply the paint: Use a brush or roller to apply the paint evenly over the surface, making sure to cover the non-hardening wood putty completely. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat, if necessary.
  • Finish the surface: Once the paint has dried, you can apply a clear coat or topcoat to protect the surface from scratches and damage, as well as to give it a smooth and glossy finish.


Non-hardening wood putty is a versatile and useful product that can help you achieve a seamless and professional-looking finish on your wood projects. Its flexibility, ease of use, water resistance, and multiple applications make it a top choice for many woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts. Additionally, non-hardening wood putty can be painted over easily, as long as you follow the proper steps and use the right type of paint and finish.

Pros Cons
Remains flexible even after drying May shrink or crack over time
Easy to apply and shape May not be suitable for large holes or gaps
Can withstand exposure to water and moisture May require multiple coats for a seamless finish
Can be painted over easily May not be as durable as hardening wood putty

In summary, non-hardening wood putty is a valuable addition to any woodworker or DIY enthusiast’s toolkit, providing an easy and versatile way to fill gaps, joints, and cracks on wood projects. With proper preparation and application, non-hardening wood putty can be painted over easily for a seamless and long-lasting finish.

Preparing Wood Surfaces for Non-Hardening Putty

Before applying non-hardening putty on your wood surface, it is essential to prepare the area properly. Failure to do so can lead to peeling and flaking of the paint, causing an unsatisfactory finish. Here’s how to prepare your wood surface for non-hardening putty:

  • Clean the Surface – Before applying any putty, ensure the wood surface is clean, dry, and free of any dirt or debris. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to sweep off any dust or dirt.
  • Sand the Surface – Sand down the wood surface to remove any rough areas, bumps or raised grain. This will help the non-hardening putty adhere properly to the surface. Use a fine-grit sandpaper, and when sanding the wood surface, always follow the direction of the grain.
  • Fill the holes – If you’re using non-hardening putty to fill in small nail holes, use a putty knife to apply the putty and ensure it is level with the surface. Make sure you do not overfill the holes, as this could cause shrinkage over time. Allow the putty to dry fully before sanding to create a smooth surface.

Once the surface is ready, you can apply the non-hardening putty. It’s essential to work in small sections, applying the putty in a thin layer initially, ensuring no air bubbles are present, before building up the putty to the required level. Always ensure that the putty is level and flush with the surrounding area to ensure a seamless finish.

Remember, preparation is key when using non-hardening putty, and the steps outlined above will ensure your wood surface is properly prepared to achieve a flawless finish.

The Painting Process for Non-Hardening Wood Putty

When it comes to painting non-hardening wood putty, there are a few key steps to ensure the paint properly adheres and the finish lasts.

  • Clean the surface: Before painting, make sure the area around the putty is free of dirt, sawdust and any other debris. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth or use compressed air to remove any dust.
  • Priming: Apply a coat of primer to the putty. This will help the paint adhere better and create an even finish. Make sure the primer you use is compatible with the type of paint you will apply later.
  • Painting: Once the primer is dry, you can begin painting. It’s best to apply thin, even coats of paint rather than one thick coat. This will prevent the paint from cracking or peeling later. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
  • Sanding: If necessary, sand the painted surface between coats. This will create a smoother surface and help the next coat of paint adhere better. Use a fine-grit sandpaper and be gentle to avoid damaging the putty or surrounding wood.
  • Finishing: Once you have applied the final coat of paint, allow it to dry completely. You can then apply a clear coat or sealant to protect the painted surface from scratches, moisture, and UV damage.

It’s important to note that non-hardening wood putty may absorb paint differently than the surrounding wood. To prevent this, you can use a sealer on the wood before applying the putty. This will create a barrier and prevent the putty from absorbing too much paint.

Step Description
1 Clean the surface
2 Apply primer
3 Apply thin, even coats of paint
4 Sand between coats if necessary
5 Apply clear coat or sealant

By following these steps, you can successfully paint non-hardening wood putty and create a smooth, durable finish.

Common mistakes to avoid when using non-hardening putty

Non-hardening wood putty is a popular option to fill nail holes, cracks, and gaps on wood surfaces before painting. While it is easy to use, there are some common mistakes that DIYers make that can affect the final result. Here are some things to keep in mind when using non-hardening putty:

  • Not cleaning the surface: Before applying the putty, make sure to clean the surface thoroughly. Remove any dirt, dust, or grease that could affect adhesion. Use a damp cloth or a commercial wood cleaner if necessary.
  • Overfilling the holes: Non-hardening putty is designed to shrink as it dries, which means that applying too much putty can cause it to sink or crack. Always apply the putty in thin layers, and fill the holes slightly below the surface. Let it dry completely before sanding and applying a second layer if necessary.
  • Not sanding properly: Sanding is an essential step to ensure a smooth and even surface. Use fine-grit sandpaper after the putty has dried, and sand in the direction of the wood grain. Avoid over-sanding, as it can remove too much putty and cause unevenness.

Choosing the right putty for the job

Another common mistake is to use non-hardening putty for applications where it is not suitable. Non-hardening putty is not recommended for areas that will be exposed to water or humidity, as it can soften and lose adhesion over time. In these cases, it is better to use a hardening putty or an epoxy-based filler that can withstand moisture.

Comparison table: Non-hardening vs. hardening putty

Non-hardening putty Hardening putty
Drying time Fast Slow
Shrinkage May shrink slightly No shrinkage
Water resistance Poor Good
Strength Fair Strong

It’s important to choose the right type of putty for the job to ensure a long-lasting and durable finish.

Tips for achieving a professional finish when using non-hardening putty

Non-hardening wood putty is a versatile material that can be used to repair holes, scratches, and other surface flaws in wood. While it is an easy product to work with, achieving a professional finish requires some skill and technique. Here are some tips to help you get the best results:

  • Choose the right color: Non-hardening putty comes in a variety of colors to match different types of wood. Make sure to select a color that closely matches the wood you are repairing to achieve a seamless finish.
  • Clean the surface: Before applying non-hardening putty, make sure to clean the surface to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. This will ensure that the putty adheres properly to the wood.
  • Apply the putty: Take a small amount of putty and press it into the hole or scratch with a putty knife. Make sure to fill the entire area and smooth the surface with the knife.
  • Let it dry: Non-hardening putty typically takes several hours to dry, so be patient and wait until it is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.
  • Sand the surface: Once the putty is dry, use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface of the wood. This will help blend the repaired area with the surrounding wood and create a seamless finish.
  • Apply primer: Before painting the repaired area, apply a coat of primer to help the paint adhere better. Let the primer dry completely before painting.
  • Paint the surface: Finally, paint the repaired area with a high-quality paint that matches the surrounding wood. Apply multiple coats if necessary to achieve a consistent finish.

By following these tips, you can achieve a professional-looking finish when using non-hardening putty to repair wood surfaces. With a little bit of patience and practice, you can master this technique and make your woodwork look as good as new.

Can Non Hardening Wood Putty Be Painted? FAQs

1. Can you paint over non hardening wood putty?

Absolutely! Non hardening wood putty can be painted over with ease.

2. Do you need to prepare the surface before painting over non hardening wood putty?

It is always best to prepare the surface before painting. Make sure the putty is dry and sand any rough edges before painting.

3. Can you use any type of paint to cover non hardening wood putty?

Yes, you can use any type of paint to cover non hardening wood putty.

4. How long does non hardening wood putty take to dry?

Non hardening wood putty can take anywhere from 24-48 hours to dry depending on the thickness of the putty.

5. Can you sand non hardening wood putty after it dries?

Yes, you can sand non hardening wood putty after it dries to create a smoother surface.

6. Will painted non hardening wood putty crack or peel over time?

Painted non hardening wood putty should not crack or peel over time as long as it was properly prepared and painted with high-quality paint.

7. Can non hardening wood putty be used on outdoor projects?

While non hardening wood putty is not specifically designed for outdoor use, it can be used on outdoor projects as long as it is properly sealed and painted.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read about whether or not non hardening wood putty can be painted. We hope that we have answered any questions you might have had. Remember to always prepare your surface before painting, choose high-quality paint, and to seal any outdoor projects properly. Don’t forget to check back for more helpful tips and advice!