Can You Use Caulk Instead Of Wood Filler?

can you use caulk instead of wood filler

Caulk is a flexible material used to fill gaps, cracks between woodworks, plastic, and metals. Wood filler is also used for the same applications as caulk.

When I was filling gaps in trim with wood filler it took a long time for the application process, and I was curious to use caulk instead of wood filler. Likewise, let’s find out, Can you use caulk instead of wood filler?

I did some research and here’s what I’ve found:

Yes, you can use caulk instead of wood filler for filling wood gaps, cracks, frames, trims, corners, and sealings. Both caulk and wood filler is used to fix cracks or gaps. Mostly caulk is used to fill gaps in corners and edges while the wood filler is used to fill gaps, cracks in flat surfaces.

But there’s more to know.

In this article, we’ll explore can you use caulk instead of wood filler by taking many different applications and finding out can caulk be used as a filler.

Furthermore, we’ll discuss how to fill cracks in wood with caulking properly.

We’ll answer some frequently asked questions about using caulk instead of wood filler as well.

So, let’s jump in!

Can Caulk Be Used as Wood Filler?

Yes, caulk can be used as a filler. Caulk can cover up many wood filling and fixing tasks as a wood filler.

Therefore, the wood filler can easily be replaced by caulk for filling so many kinds of wood gaps, and trims.

But some applications caulk act differently than the wood filler.

For example,

  • Even though wood filler does a great job when filling nail holes and other holes in wood, caulk is terrible because it tends to shrink and cause a divot over time.
  • On the other hand, wood filler isn’t the best option when filling gaps in trims, because it takes lots of time for the application and sanding process. But caulk will do the job perfectly.

So, let’s find out the differences in applications between caulk and wood filler.

Caulk UsesWood Filler Uses
Fill small cracks and gaps in baseboards, door, window frames, and trimsFill nail holes
Fill inner corners of moldingsFill outer corners of moldings
Use to fill corners and gapsFix holes in woodworks
Seal window frames 

As you can see there’re some applications wood filler can be replaced by caulk and caulk can be replaced by wood filler as well.

Therefore, both adhesives are significantly important for many woodworking tasks.

Pros and Cons of Using Caulk Instead of Wood Filler

Here’re the advantages and disadvantages you’ll get by using caulk instead of wood filler.

ProsCons
Waterproof when dryStrong odor
Fill holes and cracks effectivelyCannot withstand extreme temperature changes
No color change over timeTends to shrink over time
Seal crack openingsSilicone caulk isn’t paintable
DurableCannot be sanded
Easy to use 
Prevents insect attacks 

How To Fill Gaps in Wood with Caulking?

Caulk is excellent to fill gaps, cracks, and holes in woodworks. Let’s find out how to fill gaps in wood with caulking.

Here’re the things you need to caulk wood like a pro.

  • Silicon caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Wire brush
  • Damp cloth
  • Utility knife
  • Paper towel

Here’re the steps you need to follow to fill wood gaps with caulking.

  1. Clean the area
  2. Trim caulk tube and prepare
  3. Apply to the area
  4. Let it cure properly

So, let’s discuss each of the above steps to get good knowledge about how it should be done without making errors.

1. Clean the Area

First of all, take the wire brush and clean the cracked area, hole, or wood gap to remove dust and debris.

Caulk doesn’t adhere well to dusty surfaces. Therefore, gaps won’t fix properly and ruin the whole woodwork.

Rotted wood and paint residue will be eliminated by wire brush and make the surface ready to take caulk.

After than wipe the entire surface using a damp cloth and let the area dry completely before stepping to the next step.

2. Trim Caulk Tube and Prepare

Now get the caulk tube and trim the tip of it using the utility knife. The trimming area depends on the type of application you’re going to use.

For small holes or cracks, trim no more than 70% of the width of the wood hole or crack. If you cut it too big it is sloppy. If you cut it too small you don’t get enough out.

Once you have trimmed the tip of the tube, insert a tube into the caulking gun. Make sure to place the tip of the caulk nozzle into the hole.

3. Application of Caulk

After installing the caulk tube to the caulking gun, squeeze the caulk bead into the opening section of the caulking gun and make the caulk come out.

Then place the gun opening close to the wood hole or crack and fill the hole completely with caulk.

You need to make sure the hole is filled completely with caulk because caulk will get hardened quickly and you won’t get another chance to fill the missing spots.

4. Let It Cure Properly

As soon as you filled the wood hole with caulk, wipe the excess using a paper towel. Otherwise, excess caulk will get hardened and elimination can be difficult.

After you wipe the surface let the area dry and cure properly.

Mostly curing time displayed in caulk label. Once the surface is properly cured you are good at priming or painting the surface.

Best Caulk Tubes for Wood

I have researched a lot about caulk tubes and found the best caulk tubes available in the stores that can use to fill wood gaps and cracks easily.

They are,

  • Flex Shot rubber adhesive sealant caulk
  • Dap 18110 acrylic latex caulk with silicone
  • GE sealant and adhesives GE5000
  • Gorilla clear 100 percent silicone sealant caulk
  • Sashco 10016 big stretch caulk

Best Caulking Guns for Woods

Selecting a good caulking gun is a challenging task because some of them will waste your caulk and don’t apply enough pressure on the caulk tube to move the caulk smoothly.

Here’re my personal best caulking guns available in the stores.

  • Bates caulking gun
  • Edward tools drip-free caulk gun
  • Red devil extreme duty caulk gun
  • Newborn 930 GTD drip-free smooth hex rod caulk gun
  • Newborn 250 super smooth caulking gun

So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions under can you use caulk instead of wood filler.

Can You Use Caulk Instead Of Wood Putty?

Yes, you can use caulk instead of wood putty in most cases. Wood putty is used to fill small spaces.

Outdoor furniture with small cracks and holes can easily get fixed by applying wood putty.

Likewise, caulk is also used to fix small holes cracks and get the smooth surface we want. But not like wood putty, an area that has applied caulk cannot be sanded.

This is the only difference you’ll notice when using caulk instead of wood putty.

Plus, caulk will act as a sealer that gives extra protection from the water damages not like wood putty.

What Can I Use Instead Of Wood Filler?

There’re some alternatives you can use instead of wood fillers. They are,

  • Wood glue – Fill holes using toothpicks and wood glue
  • Wood glue and sawdust mixture
  • Wood putty
  • Caulk

The above items can be used when you don’t have wood filler with you to get the same result almost.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Can You Use Caulk Instead Of Wood Filler?

In this article we’ve deeply discussed Can you use caulk instead of wood filler and what type of applications we can use caulk instead of wood filler.

I recommend using wood filler to crack gaps in flat surfaces and caulk for corners and edges.

By applying the right product to the right application, you’ll be able to get a nice and smooth wood surface with minimal issues.

Furthermore, we have discussed how do you fill cracks in wood with caulking, the best caulking tubes in the stores, and the best caulking guns.

Plus, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about using caulk instead of wood filler as well.

Hope you have gained good knowledge about Can you use caulk instead of wood filler.

So, let’s give a try to fix small wood gaps and cracks using caulk instead of wood filler as our next woodworking project. Have fun in woodworking!

Related Posts

Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him!

Leave a Comment