I’ll go with the opinion of a multitude of woodworkers and give Famowood’s collection of wood fillers the number one spot. They have been the first choice of professional woodworkers for over 50 years. Their solvent-based fillers are pre-tinted to match 18 different colors. The water-based line, which is newer, comes in 10 colors. The great thing about a pre-tinted filler like this is that even if you are staining over it, you’re starting with something that matches your original wood. These wood fillers are strong, providing a surface that can be sanded, worked and screwed into. If you want professional results, go with what the professionals use.
I’ve used this product for years, but this is the first time I’ve seen it offered in a kit like this. Color putty comes in 16 tinted shades, which area all included in this kit. These are oil-based putties, intended to match the natural wood tones. They are usually used for filling nail holes, matching the grain’s color. Since wood is actually multi-colored, you can use a combination of different color putties on the same piece of wood. If you don’t have a perfect color match, you can easily mix two different colors together by kneading a small quantity of both colors together. Your mixed colors will keep for a long time in a sealed container. Putties can be thickened by adding Painter’s Whiting and thinned by adding mineral spirits. An excellent product, especially when you get the full kit.
Timbermate is a relatively new product in the American market. It’s made in Australia and is a truly wonderful product. As a fully water-based product, it can be rehydrated by adding more water or cleaned off with water. If it becomes frozen, it can be microwaved to make it usable once again; not something common to most water based products. By watering it down, it can also be used as grain filler, for open-grained wood, like oak. Unlike other fillers, that claim to accept stain, this one actually does. There are two drawbacks to this product, but by no means should either of them prevent you from buying it. The first problem is that it will make black streaks on your project if you use a steel putty knife. You have to use a plastic or stainless steel one. The other problem is that it stinks. But, once it dries, that stink is gone. Excess product can be picked back up off your project and put right back in the can, ready for next time. This allows you to use 100 percent of the product, which won’t go bad on the shelf. As the product dries, it lightens, so it may not appear to match your wood any more. Never fear, applying finish (such as urethane varnish) will darken the color, making it match the rest of your project.
If you don’t know DAP as a company, then you haven’t been around painting or woodworking very long. Since 1865, DAP has manufactured glues, caulking, fillers and many other chemical products for the construction industry. Their wide range of products can be found literally anywhere. For the number 2 pick, I’ve gone with an old standby, DAPs Plastic Wood® filler. I remember my dad using this stuff when I was a kid. The thing that impressed me was that he could pull a screw out of a stripped out hole, squirt some plastic wood into it, and put that screw right back in, ending up with a better, stronger bond than the screw itself could have in the wood. I’ve used DAP® Plastic Wood® myself since I was a teenager. Their solvent-based, stainable wood filler comes in 10 different natural wood colors. This is a product with a history of quality and reliability, which you can’t go wrong in using.
I’m putting something a little bit different in here for the number five pick. One of the problems that most people have with wood fillers is in matching the colors. That’s why I’ve basically stuck to pre-colored wood fillers (except for Elmers). Even wood fillers that claim to be stainable usually aren’t; at least not totally so. This is a wood filler kit, designed more for repairs on damaged, chipped or scratched wood furniture that’s already been finished. the 20 different colors of wax filler will allow you to match just about any wood finish that you can find. Just keep in mind that this is a soft filler, so you can’t screw into it once it’s applied.