Repairing small dents and scratches in your home is a simple DIY task; in fact, choosing the right filler is probably the hardest part of the job! Here’s a short description of the different fillers available to help you make the right choice.
Repairing cracks and small holes in walls is fairly easy and well within most people’s abilities. But the confusing range of fillers on the market can be enough to put anyone off.
Fillers are pretty much the same, and in reality many of the promises displayed on the packaging don’t add up to much. Wall fillers come in two main forms: ready-mixed and powder. Acrylic is a recent addition to the market, but its uses are limited. Here are the main features for an informed choice:
A ready-mixed filler can save you time and the trouble of mixing your own, but is usually more expensive. One advantage is the smooth consistency but it does mean you can’t make a slightly dryer or wetter mix if needed.
One problem with ready-mixed products is that once the tub is open, the contents begin to dry out. You can avoid this to some degree by placing only what you need on a sealed surface and replacing the lid, but if you leave a part-used tub for a long period the contents will harden. Avoid dry bits falling into the remaining filler by wiping the inside of the tub before closing.
You’ll need time for mixing powder fillers but they tend to be cheaper and will last a long time if you reseal the plastic bag after use. The quality varies a little more than in ready mixes and cheaper products can be grainy. Avoid this by choosing middle to higher priced products.
If holes are deep, save money by using a cheaper product first and, once dry, a better quality filler to fill the dip left after the first layer has shrunk. Powder fillers can be mixed to a slightly wetter or dryer consistency, but avoid going too far either way to retain the integrity of the filler.
This comes in tubes and is mainly for filling gaps between two materials such as skirting boards and walls, but it isn’t the wonder product it is often claimed to be. Acrylic filler works best in small gaps but it will often crack or pull away if too thick or the surfaces move too much. The quality of acrylic fillers varies, but stick to recognised brands and you’ll be OK.
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