Wood putty is a malleable product used to fix dents, scratches, and other wood flaws. It is used to fill wood holes and other wood imperfections. It is an eyesore when your wood surface has dents, scratches, holes, and other flaws especially if you plan to paint the wood surface.
You have to fix these imperfections and wood putty is a great option. When you want to use wood putty to fix wood imperfections, the question that come to mind is does wood putty dry? Does it give enough structural strength needed for the project you want to undergo?
In this article, we will give answers to these questions as knowing the answers to these questions will help you decide on how best to use wood putty in your wood project.
Does wood putty harden?
Wood putty consists of pliable resins whose chemical structure does not harden over time. It can contract and expand along with the wood which makes it a good option for outdoor projects. It doesn’t contain sawdust that would solidify into a compact material when dry.
If you are looking for a filler that hardens maybe for large wood cracks, then you may consider other wood fillers as they contain sawdust or fibers that solidifies into a compactible component when dry. They give good structural support to the wood project and allow for sanding to create smooth surfaces.
Wood putty doesn’t harden. When applied to wood, it gets dried and sets after a while retaining its flexibility. This flexibility makes the wood putty unaffected by the expansion of wood or even changes in wood structure. Temperature and humidity can change the wood shape; wood putty adjusts to the development.
In the original component of wood putty, it doesn’t harden, it is a non-hardening paste used to fill minor wood flaws after the woodworking project has been completed. It changes dimensions according to the environmental humidity and temperature level.
It doesn’t allow for sanding because of its malleable nature and you may also not be able to paint it successfully, the paint will chip and peel off but thankfully there might be no need for painting as wood putty comes in different tints, you only have to choose which suits your wood project.
However, the hardening of wood putty can be induced by adding suitable hardeners that will make it dry faster and also make it dry in a more solid form other than the usual standard. Before looking at how we can induce the hardening of wood putty, let’s look into how beneficial the standard wood putty is to our work projects
Benefits of Non hardened Wood Putty
The non-hardened putty is beneficial in so many ways which include;
* The flexibility helps prevent it from damage during wood expansion. Where the wood surface expands, wood putty is also flexible enough to handle the expansion so it is safe from breaking away from the wood during this expansion process.
Outdoor wood is exposed to weather elements that may cause it to expand or contrast, using hardwood filler may cause the filler to break away during this expansion as it won’t be able to adjust to the change, unlike the wood putty that is flexible enough to adjust to the changes making it more durable and reliable.
* The flexibility also prevents the wood from being damaged as a hardwood filler that doesn’t change shape can cause the wood to crack and get damaged.
* Another benefit of non-hardened Wood putty is that it is used on finished woods and is available in different tints to suit different wood colors.
* Wood putty is weatherproof; it adjusts in relation to the weather due to its flexibility. If used outdoor, it will adjust to the wood shape and size, unlike other wood fillers. It is a good filler used for outdoor projects.
How long does Wood Putty takes to Dry?
* A wood putty takes about 2 to 8 hours to dry depending on humidity and temperature level and does not get hard in the process of drying.
* Drying of wood putty is also determined by the thickness of the wood putty, the thicker it is the longer it will take to dry so if you are working within a time limit you may have to make it in thin layers so it can get dried on time. If you apply a lesser amount to your wood surface it gets dry faster.
* The type of wood putty you use will also determine how fast it get dried. The water-based wood putty dries faster than the oil-based wood putty so your choice of wood putty determines how fast it gets dried and of course, your choice should be dependent on the wood project you are undergoing and the drive shouldn’t be on how fast you want it to get dried.
If you are working within a time limit and you want the wood putty to get dried faster, you may adopt one of these methods
How to get wood putty dried faster
* If you want wood putty to get dried faster, you may need to make it in thinner layers. The thicker it is, the longer it takes to dry as there’s a lot in it that might take longer to dry.
You must ensure that the layers aren’t too thin for the purpose you want to use it. You have to give priority to the project than the drying time.
* Expose wood putty to sunlight
The heat from sun will also help wood putty dey faster so it is recommended that you apply wood putty during daytime so that the heat from the sun can dry it on time. Too much heat can soften the wood putty and at the same time, too low heat can make the drying process longer. The heat from the sun is suitable enough to get the wood putty dried on time.
* Keep the work area clean as some impurities may also not allow wood putty to dry fast enough. Make sure you clean the surface area well enough before applying wood putty. Get rid of debris and dirt before applying wood putty by wiping off with a clean damp cloth
* Another way to get wood putty to dry fast is applying hardeners to the wood putty. You may need to take extra precautions in adding the hardener to the wood putty because if you add excess hardeners, you might end up ruining the process.
* Sanding your wood surface before applying wood putty is also a way of getting the wood putty dried quickly. Sanding can smooth the surface and remove dumps that may affect the drying process.
How to Induce Hardening of Wood Putty
Wood putty doesn’t harden as we have learned because of the chemical component in it. It consists of pliable synthetic resin that doesn’t harden but there is a way to Induce the hardening of wood putty which is the addition of hardeners to wood putty.
Adding Hardeners to Wood Putty
You can induce the hardening of your wood putty by adding suitable hardeners to it. Hardeners will make it dry faster and also make it dry into a more solid form other than the usual standard.
Epoxy resin is the best hardener to add to your wood putty if you want it to solidify and even get dried faster. In adding hardeners to your wood putty, you must ensure that you mix it properly. Mix resin
properly with the wood putty and ensure that you mix in the correct ratio. You may seek the help of professionals if you are new to woodworking so that you don’t make mistakes in the preparation.
You have to follow correct ratios so as not to spoil the product so ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Where the hardener you have added is more than the required ratio, you may be left with nothing and might have to start over again. You have to also be careful as adding hardeners may make the wood putty harden very fast. There are other hardeners that can work for this project so you may seek help if you want to explore varieties.
Although wood putty doesn’t harden, it contracts and expands to fit humidity and temperature level so it’s the best option for outdoor wood projects. Wood putty is used for minor repairs and helps cover wood imperfections. Another good thing about using wood putty is that it comes in different tints so you just have to pick one that is suitable enough for your wood project. It’s important to note that there are varieties of wood putties and some of them may harden so if you are interested in wood putty that hardens you may need to explore the options available.
The best option for hardeners is Epoxy resin, it may be used where you want a wood putty that hardens. It is used when a high level of strength and durability is required in the wood project.