How to Fix Dried Up Wood Putty

Written by danny donahue
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How to Fix Dried Up Wood Putty
Cracked wooden surfaces can be repaired with wood putty. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Wood putty is used to fill holes and cracks in wooden structures. It can also be used to cover nail and screw heads to give wood a smooth, unbroken appearance. There are two types of wood putty: oil and water based. Each type will dry out and become unusable if left out in the air. Water-based wood putty will dry out much quicker than oil based. Putty may seem wasted once it dries. But many putties can be reconstituted so you can continue to use them and eliminate waste.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stone mortar and pestle
  • Water
  • White spirit
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask

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  1. 1

    Place the dried putty into a mortar. Remove any debris from the putty.

  2. 2

    Hold the handle end of a pestle. Crush the wood putty into a fine powder with the head of the pestle.

  3. 3

    Add a few drop of water to the ground powder. Mix the water and putty with the same crushing movement of the pestle.

  4. 4

    Continue adding water and crushing it into the putty. Repeat the process a few drops at a time until the putty reaches its original consistency.

Tips and warnings

  • White spirit should be used instead of water when attempting to reconstitute oil-based putty.
  • Rubber gloves and safety glasses are required when mixing putty.
  • A dust mask is required along with rubber gloves and safety glasses when working with oil-based putty.

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