How To Fill in Gaps on a Wooden Table: Smooth Solutions

Wooden tables are beautiful, but over time they can crack or become damaged. How do you fill in those gaps created by the damage on your wooden table? Fortunately, this process isn’t difficult. Anyone can learn to repair damaged wood in a few simple steps. Although it may seem like your poor table is scrap, you’ll be amazed at how fast and completely you can fix any damage, gaps, cracks, or holes. Even spots where a knot in the natural wood has come out completely can be repaired. All it takes is the right information and materials, plus a little patience, and you’ll soon have a fully fixed wooden table. I will walk you through the process step by step, so you never have to worry about damaged wood again. You’ll love the results, and you won’t need a new table. 

How do you fill in gaps on a wooden table? You fill in gaps in a wooden table with wood filler. The process for filling gaps mostly involves adding the compound into the space and then smoothing it out along the surface. Although it takes a bit of time to dry, and you may need to sand and color or paint to make the effect blend perfectly, filling gaps in a wooden table is simple, and anyone can learn to do it. 

Steps For Filling Gaps in a Wooden Table

There are several ways to fill the gaps in a wooden table. Fortunately, all of them are similar, and the biggest differences are safety and the material you use to fill the gaps. Below I have detailed the process for using filler putty. Typically the filler putty gives you the best option for color matching your tables.  

  1. Choose your materials. I recommend filler putty, but some people prefer to use a combination of sawdust and wood glue to do this job. You can get filler putty sticks or a larger container in a neutral color if you plan to fix more spots or paint over it when you finish. 
  2. If you are using filler putty sticks, carefully blend the colors you need to get an exact color match. You can do this by folding the two shades together until they mix completely. This is very similar to playing with clay as a child. Sometimes you will get lucky and find a single putty that matches perfectly, in which case you can skip this step. 
  3. Overfill the hole. You want to get putty into every part of the gap and allow it to come above the surface of the table. Overfilling allows you to sand the table down later without damaging the surface or creating a dip. 
  4. Using a putty knife, smooth out the overfill to cover the gap completely and smooth, so it is nearly flush with the table. You can do this manually, but a good putty knife will give you a faster and more even surface with less effort. 
  5. Dry for eight hours or as long as the package recommends. 
  6. Once your filler is dry, you need to sand it flush with the table surface. A grit from 120 to 220 is usually excellent for this purpose. 
  7. Stain, seal, or repaint your table to restore the original appearance with no gaps. 

A set of Katzco Furniture Repair Wood Fillers from Amazon will match almost any wood color or pattern. This kit comes complete with plastic scrapers for smoothing and brushes. You will appreciate this hundred-percent effective and permanent solution for wood repairs. Read the reviews for yourself by clicking here. 

What is the Best Wood Filler for Tables

When filling gaps in wooden tables, the ‘best’ filler is a matter of opinion. Many woodworkers prefer the sawdust method for color matching reasons. However, they have easy access to perfectly matching sawdust that came from making the table. 

Similarly, epoxy fans usually are not looking for a color match. Instead, this offers the opportunity to fill gaps with colors or even glittery patches that are very visually dynamic. This leads to lovely tables with unique character. 

That said, for my money, I prefer a good putty fill. Using putty is simple and quick. Moreover, it allows you to create a perfect match. Plus, putty is easy to access and work with, and it is made for the exact purpose of filling wooden spaces. 

Goodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler is perfect for gaps and smoothing a raised grain pattern. Although Goodfilla is made for professional woodworkers, anyone can use it to fill gaps in a table. This high-quality, well-trusted brand comes in numerous color options and gives an easy stain or paint finish. Have Amazon deliver to your door by clicking here. 

What Can I Use to Fill in Gaps in Wooden Table

When it comes to filling the gaps in a wooden table, or any wood surface for that matter, there are several different materials you can use to do the job. I prefer filler putties since they allow for a quick, simple solution. Not only do filler putties work fast, but they also give you the chance to color match your wood for a truly professional-looking finished repair. 

Whether you’re looking to fill the seams between boards, a gouge, burn, or crack, the process is the same. You will literally fill up space with a material and then sand it so the surface is smooth again. However, choosing the material is up to you. There are a couple of other widespread options for filling gaps in your wooden tables. 

First, you can fill a gap with wood glue and sawdust. This is a common solution for people who are doing woodwork themselves. When you cut and build your own table, you already have sawdust available from the cutting process. Mixing sawdust into wood glue is easy, and it will give you a color match because the sawdust is produced by cutting the wood. Therefore it is the same wood.

Secondly, you may opt for epoxy filler. Perhaps you have epoxy around for other projects already, or you want to fill your gaps like the artists who create the beautiful tables from pieces of wood and colored epoxy. Regardless, this is also a good option. 

However, if you choose epoxy instead of other options, you will need two things you don’t use for glue and sawdust, or filler. Primarily you will need a good respirator, but you also need a well-ventilated area. The fumes from epoxy are toxic, and you do not want to damage your body in the process of fixing a gap. 

Choose a well-known and trusted epoxy such as Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound is ideal. This two-part compound mixes to create a superb filler for gaps and other smoothing issues in wooden tables. Best of all, this epoxy is shrink-free, so you don’t need to worry about any gaps when you’re done filling the space. To learn more on Amazon, click here. 

Will Polyurethane Fill Cracks in a Wooden Table

Just as you can fill gaps or cracks in a wooden table with wood glue and sawdust, you can use polyurethane. The process is identical, though the material is different. You simply fill your gaps and then add sawdust to the top of the gap to provide a color-matched surface. 

When your polyurethane and sawdust blend is dry, you’ll need to sand. Since polyurethane works well on wooden surfaces, it is easy to see why it’s a good choice for filling gaps and cracks in your tables. I recommend this method if you have sawdust from building the table and when you already plan to use polyurethane. Otherwise, a good wood filling putty works just as well and gives an easy to stain, polish, or paint surface when you’re finished.

How Do I Cover Seams in a Wooden Table

Covering the seams in a wooden table is exactly as simple as filling in other gaps. You will use the same process and materials to fill spaces between the boards to fill a crack in the wood. You can use epoxy, glue, or putty to make those seams disappear.

Often in woodwork, you are left with spaces between boards as a result of the building process. Getting two pieces of wood to lay precisely without any space between is a master-level skill that most builders do not possess. Nevertheless, those little seams can be infuriating and difficult to clean. 

Final Thoughts

There’s no good reason to live with gaps in your wooden table when you can fill them instead. Though it may seem daunting to try a new DIY repair project, I assure you that gap-filling is easy. Literally, all you need to do is take up space in a gap, smooth your material, dry and then sand the surface.

Regardless of how the surface is damaged, the solution is the same. However, please keep in mind that vertical surfaces such as walls or table legs are harder to repair with a liquid such as epoxy, glue, or polyurethane. Instead, get a putty or remove the piece and lay it out horizontally for repairs. 

If you own wooden furniture, tables, or even wood paneling, you will eventually encounter gaps, dings, gouges, or cracks. By filling those gaps with a good wood repair compound, you can have a beautifully smooth, functional surface for years to come. 

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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