Can You Use Wood Putty on Drywall? Everything You Need to Know!

Are you out of drywall spackle, and you’re wondering if you can use wood putty instead?

While there are differences between drywall spackle and wood putty, it’s possible to use wood putty on drywall. Drywall materials include plywood and wood pulp that wood putty can adhere to.

That said, there are a few pointers to consider before you begin.

Today, we share how and why you should apply wood putty on drywall. Learn about possible alternatives that can give you better results!

What is Wood Putty?

Wood putty is a paste-like substance carpenters use to repair imperfections in various surfaces. It can plug minor holes, nicks, and cracks in flooring, walls, and furniture.

Because of its malleability, you can mold and shape wood putty into the contours of the material. Over time, the wood putty will set and solidify. You then sand, drill, saw, and paint the wood as usual.

Wood putty blends with the surrounding wood if you stain and paint it. You may even use some brands of wood putty for outdoor installations!

Types of Wood Putty

Below are two of the most common types of wood putty.

  • Oil-Based Putty: Oil-based putty contains linseed oil, pigments, fillers, and binders. It’s durable and flexible but may take longer to dry.
  • Water-Based Putty: Water-based putties have less odor than oil-based ones. They can dry within a few hours and are more environmentally friendly.

Applying Wood Putty to Drywall

Using wood putty to fill holes in a wall is easy. All you need is putty, a putty knife, and sandpaper. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use wood putty on drywall.

  1. Clean the Surface

Before applying the wood putty, you must first clean the surface. Use a damp cloth or brush to remove dust and debris from the surface.

Ensure the area is dry and clean so the wood putty adheres without any issues.

  1. Prepare the Wood Putty

In case you have a powdered type of wood putty, you’ll need to add water and turn it into a paste. Check the instructions on the wood putty’s packaging to know how much water you should mix in.

Generally, the wood putty should be thick and malleable.

  1. Apply the Wood Putty

Next, take a small amount of the wood putty using a putty knife.

Press the putty firmly into the crack or hole on the drywall. Make sure to fill the whole gap, then scrape any excess off with the putty knife.

  1. Dry the Wood Putty

Drying the wood putty can take several hours based on the humidity and how much putty you use. Oil-based putties will take longer to dry than water-based putties.

Once the putty sets, it should feel solid.

  1. Sand the Wood Putty

Sometimes, wood putties expand as they dry. When this happens, the putty may pop out of the crack.

To remedy this, use sandpaper to smoothen the surface. The putty should be even with the rest of the drywall.

  1. Apply the Finishing Touches

Finally, apply primer to the patched area and paint over it as usual. Doing so allows you to cover the repair.

Once done, nobody should be able to tell that the drywall had cracks in the first place!

Benefits of Using Wood Putty on Drywall

Below are some of the advantages of using wood putty on drywall.

  1. Durability and Shelf Life

Wood putty is a durable material. With proper storage, it can last for a few years even in an opened container.

On the other hand, drywall spacklers may only last for up to a year. It dries out and becomes lumpy when exposed to air.

  1. Color Matching

Wood putty comes in many shades of brown. You’re sure to find a color that matches the backs of your drywall.

What’s more, you can stain wood putty and paint over it. Using wood putty over drywall makes color matching easier.

  1. Ease of Use

Wood putty is highly moldable and will get into all nooks and crannies. It’s easy to use for beginners.

All you have to do is spread it across holes in drywall, and you’re good to go!

  1. Absence of Smell

Water-based wood putty has little to no smell. You don’t have to worry about toxic fumes from a project.

In comparison, some people don’t like the smell of drywall spacklers. The gypsum dust and other ingredients in the spackle may smell like mold and chalk.

  1. Versatility

Wood putty has more practical applications than drywall spackle or mud. You may use it on your wooden floors, walls, and furniture.

Using wood putty on drywall means you don’t have to spend extra to cover a small hole in your drywall. The wood putty will work just as well!

Renovate the house concept, paint and repair home, wall, stairs, spirit level and tool bag, classic background decoration.

Precautions When Using Wood Putty on Drywall

Even though there are advantages, you should consider these when using wood putty on drywall.

  1. Adhesion

Depending on the brand, the wood putty may not stick as well as spackle on drywall. Wood putty comprises wood fibers and binders that adhere best on wooden surfaces.

While some drywalls, like plywood, are wooden, others, like asbestos-cement and gypsum boards, are not. In this case, it may be better to use drywall spackle with its plaster content.

  1. Temperature

Wood putty may not be as flexible as drywall spackle in hot weather. When you repair holes on surfaces, you should consider the expansion of the material due to fluctuations in temperature.

Drywall spackles can match the expansion of drywall boards. Compared to this, wood putty may dry too hard. As a result, the wood putty can break and crack when covering bigger holes.

  1. Humidity

Humidity can cause wooden surfaces to expand more than some types of drywall. Wood is hygroscopic, meaning it can absorb moisture from the air. The excess moisture causes the wood to swell.

Wood putty has the same reaction to humidity, making it better for wooden surfaces. Meanwhile, it may not react the same way as drywall does in high-humidity areas.

Using wood putty on drywall may not be ideal if you live in a humid place.

Possible Alternatives to Wood Putty for Drywall

Are you still looking for other options? Here are more alternatives to wood putty for drywall applications!

  1. Plaster

Plaster is a building material people may use to decorate and coat walls and ceilings. It’s made with gypsum, sand, and water.

Like wood putty, plaster has a paste-like consistency that can fill minor gaps and holes. The only downside is it takes longer to dry than wood putty and spackle.

  1. Drywall Patch Kits

In some cases, people use fiber-reinforced joint tape to cover larger holes in drywall.

A drywall patch is a mesh-like material that you place directly over large holes in drywall. It’s easy to use and convenient. All you have to do is stick it on.

You can use patches to bridge the gaps before applying the paint. Still, they leave the hole hollow unless you use a filler.

  1. Joint Compound

Joint compound, or drywall mud, is different from drywall spackle. Joint compound is for hanging new drywall up while spackle is mainly for repairing holes.

Drywall mud also has a thinner consistency than spackle. It’s more like frosting and is better for finishing corners. Yet, you can use it to repair holes when you’re out of spackle or wood putty.

The Best Alternative to Wood Putty for Drywall

There are many pros and cons to using varying alternatives to wood putty for drywall. However, there is one alternative that’s better than the rest.

Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty is a multi-purpose putty that can repair wood, drywall, stone, plaster, and tile. You can even use it outdoors to fill gaps in concrete!

What makes Durham’s Putty stand out is its durability. This putty will stick and stay on any surface, unlike other wood putties and spackles.

In addition, Durham’s Putty expands as it dries, filling uneven gaps. It’s easy to use as well. Just mix it with water, and you’re ready to go!

Other Uses for Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty

Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty excels because of its versatility. Aside from its compatibility with most surfaces, it also has other applications.

  • Arts & Crafts: Durham’s Putty is safe and suitable for kids projects. Artists may also use it to repair artwork, sculptures, and antiques.
  • 3D Printing: Durham’s Water Putty can add structure and strength to 3D printing projects.

One container of Durham’s Water Putty may be used for all kinds of projects. There’s no need to waste money on specialized repair putties when you can use just one!


Can you use wood putty on drywall? The simple answer is yes, you can! Wood putty will work just as well as drywall spackle, but you should also consider the brand.

Some wood putties may not adhere to the drywall because of the formulation.

Fortunately, Durham’s Putty is compatible with wood, drywall, cement, tile, and plaster.

Today, there’s no need to buy specialized putties anymore. You can save up and be ready for all repairs with Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty!