Occasionally, I have a project that requires wood filler to fill in gaps or knot holes. As inconsequential as it may seem, the product and color you choose can have a big impact on whether or not the filler seamlessly blends into the project or stands out like a sore thumb.
First and foremost lets talk about color. When it comes to choosing a color, you are almost always better off going with something that matches the darkest hues of the wood. There are two reasons for this. One, no matter what the manufacturer says, stain doesn’t take to wood filler exactly the same way that it does for the wood. Typically, the stain doesn’t absorb into the filler as well as the wood. If you have perfectly matched the lighter colors of the wood, the filler will still come out lighter than the rest of the whole piece thereby highlighting your correction. Two, if you are off just a little bit and the filler dries lighter than the rest of the wood, your eye will be drawn to the lighter area.
***This also brings up a general rule of thumb for woodworking: Our eyes are always going to be drawn to lighter colored repairs or fixes than darker, no matter what fix it is. Darker colors can match knots or imperfections in the wood. Rarely, are imperfections a light color. When in doubt go dark!!***
Now, lets talk about products. There are two main categories of products out there: Solvent based (Dap or Famowood have solvent-based products) and water based (I’ve seen Elmers products at Home Depot (but it’s limited in color) or Famowood also has a water-based product)