I purchased Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to make a repair on my deck. I had a fence post that had some rotten wood at the bottom and I did not want to replace the boards. The supporting board seemed secure enough even though the rot had extended down below the spindle but I figured it was worth a try to repair it since I would otherwise have to pay someone to come out and replace the boards. I only paid a few dollars for the product and I already had stain to paint over it so I figured it if did not work that I could always have the boards replaced at a later date.
Description and Review
The Tube: I purchased the wood filler in a 6 fl oz tube. The tube is made of plastic and has a large round cap. When I unscrewed the cap I noticed that the product is completely sealed. To use it, you have to cut off the tip. It is sort of easy to squeeze out the contents at first when the tube is full but as you have less product inside it can be a challenge to get it out.
I feel like a metal tube would be better because you could roll up the bottom as the tube emptied out. Be careful to screw the lid tight between uses or the product will start to dry out. It can seem like it is on tight because after you use a good portion of the tube it sort of distorts the shape so you really have to push to screw on the lid completely.
The Wood Filler: The wood filler has a soft consistency but not runny. It is about like toothpaste but a little firmer. If you were to squirt out a ribbon it would stay firm and not leave any residue on anything it fell on until you pushed it down into the surface. I found it was really easy to work with. The color is similar to natural wood color and it almost appears gritty. When it dries it is very hard.
Application: It was very easy to apply after I scooped out all the rotten wood from my boards. I had a bit of a large cavity to fill so I did it about 1/4″ at a time. I allowed it to fully dry in between coats. It was easy to work with and mold. I found that using my fingers was the best way to get it inside the area that I needed to fill. That way I could feel what I was doing. You need to press it into the wood that you are filling rather than just squirt it into the hole. If you are filling smaller holes use a putty knife to push it down.
Drying Time: The drying time listed on the tube was about 2 hrs. I found it seemed dry faster than that but waited 2 hrs between coats anyway just to be sure. It was easy to tell if it was dry because it would get rock hard. After it was completely dry I waited till the next day to sand and paint the area.
Sanding: The instructions said to fill slightly higher than needed and then sand it down flush. That is what I did and I found it was easy to sand. I used a medium grit sanding block.
Staining over Wood Filler : After I was done filling and sanding the patched area, I painted over it with the solid color deck stain that we used on our deck. The stain adhered to the wood filler just like wood and there is no evidence of the rotted wood or the repair.
Clean Up: The wood filler is a Latex formula so you can clean up with soap and water. It washed off my hands with no problem but I found that the putty knife had some that was bonded on even though I washed it right after I was done. I think if I used this in the future I would just buy a cheap plastic putty knife and throw it away afterward. I ended up ruining my putty knife.
Final Thoughts and Rating
I found Minwax Stainable Wood Filler easy to work with and the finished result was great. I spent very little money and had a great outcome so I am giving the product 5 stars and recommending it. I would not hesitate to use it again in the future.