How To Stop A Crack In Wood From Spreading (2 Methods)

Wood is a widespread material for every household; Much furniture is made from wood, such as tables, chairs, decorative objects, kitchen utensils, and more.

There is no denying that wooden utensils are very durable. However, after a while, cracks will appear on the surface of the furniture.

These cracks detract from the aesthetics of the wooden furniture. Furthermore, their function is also reduced. So let’s explore how to stop a crack in wood from spreading.


What Causes Wood to Crack?

The leading cause of cracks in wood is moisture from rain seeping into the wood, causing the wood to expand. The wood then dries out due to warmer weather, causing the wood to shrink. Hence, sudden growth and contraction can cause ugly cracks in the wood surface.

2 Methods to Prevent Cracks in Wood From Spreading

1. Apply Wood Filler or Epoxy

Liquid epoxy filler is the perfect pick for deep cracks because it can easily seep into the wood. Besides, wood filler is also trendy because of its ease of use. In general, there are definite benefits to using one or the other.

Step 1: Epoxy or Wood Filler?

You cannot use epoxy and wood filler at the same time. The only approach is to choose either one because they give different results. So, it is necessary to understand their functions and effects to choose the one that suits you best.


Wood fillers are perfect for large cracks and missing chunks. Besides, wood fillers are easy to use and affordable. Furthermore, they allow you to sand and paint once they dry. 

Wood epoxy tends to work well on impervious areas. What’s more, they can penetrate deep and slim cracks because they are so thin and light. As a result, experts say epoxy is more effective than wood fillers in treating serious damage, such as a long crack.

In short, both methods prevent cracks in the wood very effectively. It is wise to choose based on the nature of the wood and the severity of the crack. 

Step 2: Protect Yourself

Working with epoxy and wood fillers is very dangerous can be dangerous. Thus, you must protect yourself by wearing protective gear before applying.

Epoxies are pungent and poisonous; Therefore, You need to wear a quality respirator to protect your lungs. Also, make sure you work in a well-ventilated area.

What’s more, it is vital to wear goggles to prevent chemicals from coming into contact with your eyes. Finally, do not forget to wear long-sleeved clothes and gloves to prevent chemicals from getting on your body or fingers.


Step 3:  Clean the Surface

Before applying epoxy or wood filler to the cracks, you must clean the surface to be treated first. Unfortunately, many people skip this step even though it is essential. It is best to clean furniture surfaces with water and a little mild detergent. Then let it dry totally.

Residual debris can prevent epoxy or wood filler from properly bonding to the cracks. So after the surface of the wood is dry, remove any debris. That way, you will know the extent of the crack.

Step 4: Fill the Crack

Epoxy consists of the hardener and the resin. Hence, you will have to mix them according to the manufacturer’s instructions to activate the epoxy. It is best to add a bit of color so that the mixture resembles the color of the wood.

If you choose wood filler, all you need to do is stir. Once it is ready, fill the crack.

To better understand how to use epoxy, check out this video.

Step 5: Allow Drying 

After applying epoxy or wood filler, it is wise to let it dry for at least a day. In most cases, epoxy dries faster than wood filler. Once it is dry, it is possible to lightly sand the epoxy if needed.

2. Appy Sawdust & Glue

This method is perfect for shallow and wide cracks in wood surfaces. Here’s how to apply sawdust and glue to prevent cracks from spreading.


Step 1: Prepare Wood Glue and Sawdust

Let’s start by preparing the sawdust for this project. You can buy a bag of sawdust from a carpentry store or make sawdust yourself from scrap wood. Besides, you should get expert help to choose a suitable wood glue.

Step 2: Apply Sawdust and Glue to Fill the Crack

There are two ways to apply sawdust and wood glue to the crack.

You can use glue to fill half of the crack, then cover the rest with sawdust. You should press down firmly on the sawdust so that the sawdust sticks well and completely covers the glue.

For the other option, fill the crack less than halfway with glue and then cover it with sawdust. After that, repeat this process until the crack is filled.

Step 3: Allow It to Dry

After filling the crack with sawdust and wood glue, you must let the glue dry for 1 day or longer. After it has completely dried, sand the surface to smooth it. Finally, remove the stain and complete the process.

Which Method Is Better?

There are definite benefits to using one or the other; It all depends on the severity of the crack.

You should use wood filler or epoxy when:

  • The cracks through the wood (choose epoxy)
  • The cracks are relatively thin and tiny (epoxy is best for thin cracks, while medium-size cracks should be filled with wood filler)

If you intend to sand or paint after treating the crack, you must use wood filler.

You should apply sawdust and glue:

  • The cracks are wide but not too deep
  • Finding sawdust is not too difficult for you

Bonus Tips On Stopping A Crack In Wood From Spreading

  • Make sure the surface of the wood is clean before applying.
  • After cleaning, wait for the wood surface to dry.
  • Remove all debris before applying wood filler or epoxy.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear protective gear (goggles, protective gloves, and more.)
  • Work on a dry and warm day, but avoid the sun.
  • If you choose epoxy, mix both resin and hardener before applying.
  • After treating the crack, make sure you give the wood enough time to dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do when epoxy gets on my skin?

During the construction process, the epoxy may be scattered around, even sticking to the skin. Fortunately, this substance does not cause direct damage to the skin. However, you should remove it as soon as possible.

If epoxy gets on your skin, it is wise to use vinegar to clean it. This substance can also get on surrounding surfaces such as floors or countertops. Do not worry! It is best to clean them with denatured alcohol.

2. How long does it take for the wood filler to dry?

It is best to leave the wood filler for 9 to 10 hours so it can dry completely. You can also check the product’s label you are using to see if it includes a recommended wait time. Trusted carpenters recommend leaving the filler overnight.

3. How long does it take for the wood glue to dry?

We recommend leaving the glue overnight and completely dry. Once the glue has dried, you won’t be able to tell if any cracks have ever existed.

4. What is the best wood filler?

Currently, there are countless types of wood fillers available. Therefore, it is a bit difficult to choose the most suitable type. These are the most popular wood fillers today:

  • Bondo Wood Filler
  • Minwax Wood Filler
  • Elmer’s Wood Filler
  • Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler
  • Timbermate Wood Filler
  • Famowood Wood Filler
  • GoodFilla Wood & Grain Filler 

5. What types of wood fillers are included?

Wood fillers come in two types: water-based fillers and solvent-based fillers.

  • Water-based fillers

They are made from gypsum, cellulose, or wood fiber. Water-based fillers are water-sensitive and emit less odor. Therefore, they are suitable for most furniture. In addition, water-based fillers are easy to clean and dry quickly.

  • Solvent-based fillers

They are made from vinyl and epoxy composites. They emit stronger odors and are more weather resistant. Therefore, it is suitable for outdoor projects. However, it won’t dry out and is a bit difficult to clean.

6. What are the common uses of wood filler?

We can use wood filler for different purposes. Here are some expected benefits we get by using wood fillers:

  • Clean the wood effectively
  • Smoothing Pores
  • Covering Scratches
  • Filling Holes
  • Fixing Rotten Wood
  • And more

Bottom Line

So, you have completed this detailed guide on how to stop a crack in wood from spreading. In general, cracks in wood surfaces are not too complicated to treat. So, if encountering such damage, calm down and apply the solutions mentioned above to solve the problem. However, you also need to choose the right solution for the best effect.

Thank you for reading! Please share this article if it contains valuable information for you.