How To Make Wood Filler Without Sawdust

I’m sure you’ve possibly come across several tutorials explaining how essential sawdust is to the wood-filler-making process. Yeah, no doubt, it is quite crucial.

However, do you also know you don’t always have to use sawdust to make wood filler? Trust me, it is very possible and that’s exactly what I will be putting you through today.

This post is all about showing you how to make wood filler without sawdust and you really want to relax while you’re being provided with the necessary information where this is concerned.

The major ingredients required to make wood filler without sawdust include; petroleum jelly, wood glue and corn starch. All you need to do is start by pouring the cornstarch into a mixing bowl, followed by the glue. Ensure you have these two ingredients in a 1:1 ratio, in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

After mixing, get the formed compound and knead well until you’ve obtained a dough-like consistency. Thereafter you can proceed to add petroleum jelly so as to remove stickiness. Then complete the whole process by wrapping the DIY filler in plastic wrap while leaving it for 24 hours to sit properly.

If you want to get more detailed information on how to fully achieve what has been briefly explained above, then you really want to continue reading because trust me, you’re in for the thrill of a lifetime.

Not only is learning how to make wood filler without sawdust the only thing you’ll be provided with here, but we have also been able to gather enough information regarding how to make sawdust for wood filler as well as other alternatives to a wood putty or filler that will definitely get that hole split in wood fixed in a matter of minutes. You can see it’s one exciting topic you really don’t want to miss. Let’s dive in already.

How To Make Wood Filler Without Sawdust

Steps on how to make wood filler without sawdust

As promised, below is the detailed step-by-step guide to making wood filler without sawdust.

Needed materials and tools.

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Wood glue
  • Cornstarch
  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic wrappers
  • Gloves
  • Paper towel
  • Worksurface
  • Plastic protector

Step 1: Measure and pour in the same ratio.

The very first step to carry out when wanting to make wood filler without any sawdust is to pour into the mixing bowl, the appropriate measurement of cornstarch and wood glue in the same ratio.

Be sure to measure and pour the cornstarch first in order to avoid getting the wood glue stuck in the measuring cup.

The cornstarch here, will basically serve as a replacement for the sawdust.

Step 2: Mix the ingredients

Once you’ve measured the cornstarch and wood glue into your mixing bowl, get your mixing spoon and the measured materials together. Keep mixing until you’re left with a cookie dough texture.

Once you’re done mixing, scoop out the cornstarch-wood glue mixture and allow it to sit on the surface of your work table.

Step 3: Begin to knead

Now, you want to knead the mixture like you would if you were baking bread or trying to have a dough. Continue doing this until it has stopped sticking to your finger or palm.

Step 4: Add petroleum jelly

This is where and how petroleum jelly comes in handy. Add about two teaspoons of petroleum jelly if you used a 1:1 ratio of wood glue and cornstarch. By doing this, I mean adding petroleum jelly to the mixture, you will eliminate stickiness and get a smooth texture.

Meanwhile to achieve this smooth texture that you desire, gently work the petroleum jelly into the formed compound using your hands and try to check occasionally, that the dough-like compound isn’t crumbly on the inside. Ideally, we should have it stretch like “Taffy”.

Note: Try as much as possible not to add excess petroleum jelly as it can delay curing.

Step 5: Wrap in plastic and put in a plastic bag.

Get your plastic wrap and completely wrap the compound in it. Once you’re done wrapping, place in a plastic bag while you ensure all the air in the plastic bag is out before sealing the bag. After this is done, let it sit for 24 hours.

Now that you’re done, you want to clean your tools and work area with paper towels. This will help prevent the wood glue from drying out and leaving it very hard to clean once it sets. Once you have the filler cured, get it out of the plastic bag and warm for a bit before using it.

Also Read: Top 6 Best Sander for removing paint from wood

How To Make Wood Filler Without Sawdust

Wood filler and wood putty replacements.

Here is a curated list of some of the products and compounds that can serve as alternatives to wood filler and wood putty.

  • Using Drywall Mud

This is one very effective alternative for wood filler. The Drywall Mud compound is used in the wall of many homes. Here’s how to make use of dry mud as a wood filler replacement for your wood project.


  • Putty knife
  • Drywall compound
  • 240 grit sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Bucket
  • Stir stick

Step 1: Mix and stir

Pour the desired amount of drywall compound into the bucket and mix properly with water. Drywall compounds that are commercially available, usually give information on the right amount of water to add. Ensure to stir until the mixture forms a paste-like consistency.

Step 2: Apply the mixture

Once you’ve been able to obtain a paste-like compound texture, all you need to do is use the putty knife to apply the drywall mud compound onto the affected wood surface and spread evenly.

Once spread, carefully remove any excess drywall mud using a damp cloth. This would help prevent it from drying out because when it does, it usually seems difficult to remove.

Step 3: Sand the wood

Now that the drywall mud has been successfully set, it’s time to sand. You want to sand the wood using fine 240 grit sandpaper.

When sanding, ensure you sand along the direction of the grain and not against it in order to prevent the formation of stretch marks on the wood surface. You can check for high spots with your bare hands to ensure that sanding is properly done.

Step 4: Paint

Once you’re done with the repair and sanding, there’s a need to paint over the repaired surface. In most cases, you may need to go as far as giving the entire wood a whole makeover.

  • Using Chalk Dust and Painter’s Whiting.

Chalk Dust and Painter’s Whiting are made from calcium carbonate which makes them an excellent wood filler alternative. Below are the necessary requirements to get the project done successfully;

  • Linseed oil
  • Paint (similar to the wood color)
  • Putty knife

Using linseed oil

Linseed oil and chalkdust can be used as a substitute for your wood filler. Pour the linseed oil into a mixing bowl and pour the chalkdust also, into the same bowl.

Using your putty knife, stir the mixture and ensure the chalkdust is only being added in parts until you’re able to achieve a putty-like consistency.

Using paint

Pour the right amount of chalkdust or painter’s whiting as required on a non-stick surface and pour a little drop of paint into the center. Using your putty knife, mix thoroughly until you get a putty-like compound.

Once you have your putty-like consistency, take it up and knead into it using your fingers. Once you’re done kneading, you can go ahead to use the formed putty for its intended purpose.

  • Using Sawdust and Shellac or Sawdust and Woodglue.

Once you’re able to make a perfect wood filler replacement with sawdust and wood glue or sawdust and Shellac, then there will almost be no need to bother yourself with commercial wood filler ever again.

Choosing wood glue

If you’re going for wood glue and sawdust as the filler alternative, you should know that the resulting filler might be darker than the initial wood once you’ve completed the project. And this is because sawdust has a larger surface area, which causes the wood area to absorb more stain than other areas.

One of the solutions to this difference in color is to ensure that you create shavings of a larger diameter than your sawdust while you mix them when creating the sawdust and glue mixture. This will reduce the sawdust surface area which would also lead to a reduced stain absorption property.

Using Shellac

Here, all you need is clear shellac and you’ll have your project go smoothly. You won’t have to worry about the filler not matching the wood color if you use wood from your project. Also, shellac tends to dry faster than wood glue.

Never use natural shellac as it is orange and will not match the color of your wood. Lastly, when mixing, always aim for a cornbread consistency. Don’t have it too dry not too sticky.

Conclusion: How To Make Wood Filler Without Sawdust

Now that you know sawdust doesn’t necessarily have to be present when making wood filler, why not get started on that project already while you still stand a chance to get the same outcome as a wood filler made of sawdust would give.

This article has also provided you with some of the alternatives to wood filler and wood putty so you don’t have to go through the rigorous process of making sawdust from scratch. I hope you find this piece insightful.

Important Reads: