How Long Does Bondo Take to Dry? (Find Out Now!)

Ever wondered why your Bondo repair takes ages to dry, or sometimes dries too quickly? Let’s dive into the secrets behind the drying time of Bondo on wood!

How Long Does Bondo Take To Dry

Are you new to using Bondo filler? If you ever wondered, How long will it take to dry wood? Don’t worry I am here to guide you as a well expert in the field.

Bondo is one of the popular fillers that can be used to fill small cracks and dents on wood surfaces to make it look nicer and smoother.

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    I was curious about the drying time of bondo filler and did experimental research to identify how long it takes to dry and how can make it dry faster with the help of professionals.

     So, let’s find out, How long does Bondo take to dry on wood?

    Bondo typically dries to the touch in 20-30 minutes when used on wood. For full curing, which is necessary before sanding or painting, it generally requires 1-2 hours. Environmental factors like temperature and humidity can affect the drying time.

    But there’s much to know. 

    Furthermore, I’ll show you how long Bondo takes to dry with and without harder, tips and safety precautions, etc. Plus, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions as well.

    Bondo products for wood
    Bondo products for wood

    Let’s get started with introducing Bondo.

    What is Bondo?

    For people who don’t know about “Bondo”, it is a well-known brand of wood filler and repair material. 

    A putty-like material called Bondo, formerly known as Bondo Body Filler is used to fill in and fix dents, dings, and flaws on the wood surfaces.

    Smoothing out damaged areas on a wood exterior before painting is a common step in wood finishing.

    It can be applied to other kinds of surface restoration and repair like metal in addition to wood applications.

    The two components of Bondo: a hardener and a filler are combined to make a durable strong bond. 

    This compound can be applied to the damaged area, to get a smooth and seamless finish, which can be shaped, painted, and sanded after it heals.

    If you need to know more details about Bondo filler, visit the Bondo wood filler resource guide!

    If you don’t have Bondo wood filler, don’t worry, you can make a DIY wood filler at home.

    How Long Does Bondo Take To Dry With Hardener?

    Bondo begins to harden and cure immediately after application. 

    The initial drying and hardening process can take for Bondo with a hardener between 20 and 30 minutes

    During this time, the Bondo wood filler hardens but may not be completely cured.

    The time varies depending on the use. Body fillers are frequently applied thicker and require more time to dry. Glazes, on the other hand, are typically applied in thinner coats and dry much faster.

    For the complete curing process, you’ll have to wait nearly 24 hours. Keep in mind that lower temperatures and higher humidity can slow down the drying and curing process, so take your specific working conditions into account.

    Did you know fact about the drying time of Bondo
    Did you know fact about the drying time of Bondo

    How Long Does Bondo Take To Dry Without Hardener?   

    If Bondo is used without a hardener, it will not dry properly and remain tacky or semi-fluid indefinitely. 

    This is because the chemical reaction necessary for Bondo to harden and cure effectively requires the hardener. Without it, the Bondo lacks the chemical components needed to solidify, rendering it ineffective for its intended purpose.

    As you can see hardener is a necessary component for Bondo to function properly.

    If you try to use Bondo filler without the hardener, it won’t dry and you won’t get the desired results for filling, repairing, or shaping surfaces.

    As a result, it is critical to always mix Bondo filler with the correct amount of hardener according to the product instructions to ensure proper drying and curing.

    Factors that Affect the Drying Time of Bondo

    Bondo’s drying time can be influenced by a variety of factors. The following factors can influence how quickly or slowly Bondo dries and cures to ensure proper drying and curing.


    Humidity levels in the workplace can affect drying time. Higher humidity can slow the curing process, whereas lower humidity can accelerate it. 

    Humidity levels between 40% and 70% are considered ideal.

    Bondo Product Type

    The drying and curing times of various Bondo products may vary.

    Some Bondo products are designed to dry and cure faster than others, so it’s critical to choose and follow the specific instructions for the product you’re using.


    Temperature has a significant impact on the drying time of Bondo.

    Warmer temperatures generally result in faster drying and curing, whereas colder temperatures can slow the process. 

    For best results, work in a temperature range of 15°C to 27°C).

    Mixing Ratio

    It is critical to properly mix the Bondo filler and hardener at the correct ratio. Deviating from the recommended mixing ratio can cause drying and curing issues. 

    Make sure to always read and follow the product packaging instructions.

    Application Thickness

    The thickness of the Bondo application can affect drying time. Thicker layers may take longer than thinner layers to dry and cure. 

    So, it is critical to adhere to the recommended application thickness as specified in the product instructions.

    Primer and Paint

    If you plan to paint over the Bondo filler repair, the type and brand of primer and paint you use will affect drying times.

    Factors that affect the drying time of Bondo
    Factors that affect the drying time of Bondo

    Differences Between Bondo Dry Time, Cure, and Set Time

    It is critical to understand the distinctions between dry time, cure time, and set time when using Bondo and similar automotive body fillers. 

    There are different stages in the product’s hardening and drying process.

    Bondo Drying Time

    The dry time is the time after the Bondo filler has lost its wet or tacky feel and is no longer sticky to the touch.

    The drying time of Bondo can take 20-30 minutes.

    When Bondo has reached the dry time, it is generally safe to touch without becoming sticky. It may not, however, be fully cured or ready for sanding and painting.

    Cure Time

    Bondo’s cure time is the amount of time it takes to chemically harden and reach its maximum strength and durability.

    In other words, the time required to fully set and become stable.

    The curing time of Bondo can take 1-2 hours.

    Bondo cures even after it has dried to the touch. This time varies depending on the Bondo product, temperature, humidity, and application thickness. 

    It is critical to allow Bondo to fully cure before sanding, priming, and painting.

    Set Time

    During the set time, Bondo begins to firm up and harden.

    It happens shortly after application and is affected by factors such as temperature and the type of Bondo product used.

    The setting time of Bondo can take 1-2 hours.

    Bondo becomes solid enough to be shaped, carved, or carved into the desired shape during the set time. 

    However, it is not completely cured, and additional drying and curing are required for optimal results.

    Tip for using Bondo to repair wood
    Tip for using Bondo to repair wood

    How to Make Bondo Dry Faster?

    Accelerating the drying process of Bondo can help you finish your repair or restoration project faster. Here are some tips to help Bondo dry faster.

    1. Apply Heat

    Heat lamps or heat guns can be used to gently warm the Bondo repair area.

    Be careful not to overheat or scorch the Bondo, as this can cause adhesion issues and it may burn and flake off. To avoid overheating, use a moderate heat setting and keep the heat source moving.

    You might also notice that the Bondo dries on top but not underneath.

    2. Use More Hardener

    Bondo will dry faster if more hardener is applied. It is generally not a good idea to add more hardeners to Bondo.

    Because, excessive hardener can cause Bondo to cure too quickly, which can be problematic if you’re working on a large or intricate repair. 

    You might not have enough time to properly apply and shape the Bondo before it hardens.

    3. Control Temperature and Humidity

    You can work in an environment with a temperature of 15°C to 27°C and a humidity level of 40% to 70%. These conditions allow Bondo to dry and cure more quickly.

    Direct sunlight can be used if the weather permits and you are working outside. The warmth of the sun may speed up the healing process. 

    However, excessive UV exposure can have a negative impact on the quality of the repair.

    4. Apply Bondo in Thinner Layers

    Because thicker applications take longer to dry and cure, work in multiple thin layers rather than one thick layer if possible. This can also contribute to a smoother finish.

    5. Mix It for Longer

    Drying times can be sped up by mixing the Bondo for longer than usual. More air passes through the filler as you fold and mix it.

    One of the primary factors that speeds up the hardening of body filler is air and this will significantly reduce the amount of time required to apply the body filler.

    6. Use Fast-Curing Hardeners

    Some Bondo products include a variety of hardeners, including fast-curing options. Using a quick-curing hardener can drastically reduce drying time. 

    Make sure to use the right hardener for your Bondo product.

    How to make Bondo dry faster on wood
    How to make Bondo dry faster on wood

    How to apply Bondo Properly?

    Safety first! Always wear the appropriate safety equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses. 

    Work in a well-ventilated area if working with Bondo in an enclosed space, make sure to wear a respirator.

    1. Gather All the Tools and Materials

    Here’s the list of supplies you will need to apply bondo,

    • Appropriate safety gear (gloves, safety glasses, respirator if needed)
    • Bondo filler and hardener
    • Wood that need to be filled or repaired
    • Mixing stick
    • Putty knife
    • Sandpaper (with various grits)
    • Primer and Paint
    • Tack cloth

    Now let’s see how to apply Bondo on your surface in detail.

    2. Surface Preparation

    Begin the process by thoroughly cleaning the repaired surface. Get rid of any dirt, rust, or loose paint on wood. 

    You can use a tack cloth or any other alternative to remove dust from the wood surface. Before proceeding, ensure that the surface is clean and dry.

    3. Sanding

    You need to roughen the surface slightly with sandpaper to improve Bondo adhesion. Sand the area around the repair and brush the edges.

    4. Mix and Apply Bondo

    Read the Bondo product instructions and find the proper filler-to-hardener ratio.

    Typically, a golf ball-sized amount of filler is combined with a pea-sized amount of hardener. 

    Combine and mix the two ingredients thoroughly, but avoid over-mixing, as this can result in faster curing.

    Use a putty knife or a similar tool, to apply the mixed Bondo to the damaged area of wood. Fill any holes or imperfections by pressing them into the repair area. 

    To begin, apply a thin layer of Bondo, and then add additional layers as needed.

    5. Shaping

    Now you can shape the Bondo if needed while it is still in the “set” stage, meaning it is firm but not fully cured. 

    To achieve the desired shape, use shaping tools such as putty knives. Check that the surface is smooth and even.

    6. Drying and Curing

    Allow the Bondo to dry according to the directions. Typically, drying of Bondo will take 20-30 minutes. However, it is not completely cured at this point.

    7. Sanding

    When the Bondo has dried, smooth it out and blend it with the surrounding surface with sandpaper. 

    For a smooth finish, start with coarser grits and work your way up to finer grits.

    8. Apply Primer and Paint

    Apply a primer to the sanded area to improve paint adhesion.

    After the primer has dried, paint over the repaired area to match the rest of the surface.

    Tip for using Bondo on wood
    Tip for using Bondo on wood

    If You Forgot To Put Hardener In Bondo, What To Do?

    If you forget to add a hardener to Bondo or mix it without it, take it off and reapply it.          

    Scrape off as much body filler as possible with a putty knife before removing the remainder with a panel wipe and rags.

    You can speed up the process by using the methods mentioned above.

    How Do You Tell If Bondo Is Dry?

    Just check the Bondo. When the Bondo is completely dried, It should be uniform in color and texture, with no wet or shiny spots. 

    Bondo appears matte and solid when dry, as opposed to the glossy appearance it has when wet.

    Dry Bondo will not feel sticky or tacky to the touch, and your fingertip will glide smoothly across the surface. It will feel sticky if it is still wet.

    What Won’t Bondo Stick To?

    There are some materials and conditions to which Bondo may not stick or adhere properly such as wet or moist surfaces, oily or greasy, loose or flaking paint, extremely smooth surfaces, and non-porous surfaces.

    Does Bondo Adhere to Concrete?                       

    Yes. Bondo is compatible with concrete and therefore you can use it to repair cracked or damaged areas.

    The key to better adhesion is proper Bondo mixing and surface preparation. When the mixture is complete, apply it to the affected area. Bondo is useful for repairing both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

    Patience is essential because jumping the drying process could damage the repair work.

    Bondo is a definitely effective solution for repairing wood surfaces when used correctly. It is important to take your time and follow the instructions for a long-lasting repair.

    Congrats folks! Now you know exactly how long does Bondo take to dry under different circumstances in detail.

    So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.


    Does environmental temperature affect Bondo’s drying time?

    Yes, higher temperatures tend to speed up the drying process, while lower temperatures can prolong it.

    Can the drying time of Bondo be accelerated?

    Applying heat gently, such as with a heat lamp or heat gun, can help Bondo dry faster, but care must be taken to avoid overheating.

    How does humidity impact Bondo’s drying time?

    High humidity can slow down the drying process of Bondo, whereas low humidity conditions can speed it up.

    What happens if Bondo is applied without a hardener?

    Without a hardener, Bondo will remain tacky and won’t dry properly, failing to achieve the necessary hardness for repairs.

    Is the thickness of the Bondo application important for drying time?

    Yes, thicker applications of Bondo may take longer to dry and cure compared to thinner layers.

    How can I tell when Bondo has fully dried?

    Bondo is fully dried when it is no longer tacky to the touch and has a uniform, matte appearance.

    What are the consequences of applying Bondo too thickly?

    Applying Bondo too thickly can lead to issues like cracking, shrinking, or even detachment from the surface.

    Can Bondo be used on surfaces other than metal, like wood or concrete?

    Yes, Bondo is versatile and can be used on various surfaces including wood, metal, and concrete, but surface preparation is key for effective adhesion.

    How long does Bondo last after application?

    Properly applied and maintained Bondo can last for several years, but it’s not a permanent solution and may eventually need to be reapplied or repaired.

    Did I cover all you wanted to know about: How Long Does Bondo Take To Dry

    In this article, I deeply discussed how long does Bondo take to dry and how you can make it dry faster without ruining your project.

    Bondo dries to the touch in 20-30 minutes if the manufacturer’s recommended filler-to-hardener ratio is followed and to fully cure you may wait for the next 1-2 hours. It is important to allow Bondo to fully cure before sanding with either hand or power tools.

    Furthermore, I answered some frequently asked questions as well.

    You can also use Caulk instead of wood filler for filling and wood restorations.

    Hope you learned almost all the things you wanted to know regarding Bondo drying. Give it a try and get a nice and smooth surface like a pro!

    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! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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