Woodworkers are a generally thrifty and innovative group of people, and always coming up with ways to save time and money and often use wood to make things that suit their own needs. The one thing I learned the hard way is the lids on metal cans, like paint cans do not always seal 100 percent and if you don’t use up what’s in them, they can dry out, or even just dry to a point where they have to be thrown out because they cannot be rejuvenated. I learned that you can fix this by using a thin sheet of plastic from a plastic bag to help seal and preserve the contents.
This is how I have managed to keep my only container of wood putty or filler for 20 years or so … and speaking of wood fillers …
I have not had good experience with wood fillers, so I try not to use them (as you can see). It’s been so long since I have even looked at them, I don’t even know what is on the market anymore or how good they are, but here is my past experience with wood fillers.
There are 2 kinds of wood fillers, water-based and petroleum based. I have not found one that takes stains or dyes the same way the wood does, so they are always off color to some degree, then you have to fuss around trying to get the colors to match. Over the years, most woods change color, they often darken, especially woods with more tannin like Oaks. When you have applied any filler to a project, as the wood darkens or changes color over the years, the wood filler does not so in time the wood fillers often standout because they are now a different color than the wood they were originally applied to. Another problem with any fillers I have used, no matter the base, they always dry out, some take longer, but they all dry out and as they sit in wood that is organic and moves and breaths according to the amount of moisture in the air which caused wood movement. Most of these fillers will fall out over time or at least crack because they can’t move like the wood does. This creates another problem of wood fillers falling out or creating unsightly cracks (and they are likely discolored now too)