Every house gets the odd crack or hole in the walls. Our selection of the best wall fillers will make smoothing them out an easy task
Wall fillers are one of those terribly useful inventions that have a variety of uses. You can use them to fill in holes caused by picture hooks, small cracks as houses “shift” or for repairing other types of superficial damages. Indeed, the best wall fillers are designed to cover up any blemishes in your walls and ceilings, so that you’re left with a smooth surface for painting on.
There are a variety of different fillers on the market, including fine surface filler, interior filler, exterior filler and multi-purpose filler. These either come in powder form or as a ready-mixed paste. Paste is undoubtedly the easier of the two, but a powder will last longer and won’t dry out like a paste eventually does.
If you’ve got places around the house that could do with a little TLC, we’ve got a great selection of the best wall fillers below and our buying guide should answer any questions or queries you have about wall filler.
Best wall fillers: At a glance
- Best budget filler: Wickes Quick Drying Filler | £3.25
- Best quick drying filler: Brewers Quick Drying Interior/Exterior Filler | £5
- Best for covering a large area: Ronseal 5 Minute Multipurpose Ready-Mixed Filler | £9.99
- Best fine filler: Big Boy Filler Ultra Fine | £6.59
How to choose the best wall filler for you
What are the main different types of filler?
Let’s look at the three main types of filler:
Fine surface fillers – These fillers are used to cover up imperfections such as hairline cracks and scratches. It’s best used on fine scratches up to a maximum depth of 2mm.
Interior fillers – Interior fillers are used to fill in holes, cracks and other flaws measuring 2mm to 1cm. They can occasionally be used on larger holes if you’re dealing with drill holes.
Multipurpose fillers – Multipurpose (sometimes known as all-purpose) fillers can, as you might expect, be used for both fine cracks and larger gaps.
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Powder vs. ready-mixed paste
Both powder and paste have their uses when it comes to choosing a filler.
Powder filler is the most practical choice if you have a lot of surfaces to prepare. It’s cheaper than ready-mixed paste and you’ll get a lot of filler out of one bag. The main downside is that you need to prepare it before use by mixing the powder with water. Another issue is that once you’ve finished with the prepared filler, you can’t reuse anything that’s left over as it will just dry out.
If you’re filling smaller spaces or just don’t want the potential mess of powder, ready-mixed paste is the best solution. It’s practical and can be reused – just make sure you seal it tightly after use. However, paste is more expensive than powder and will already be pre-mixed in precise ratios to a particular consistency.
All the products in our guide are ready-mixed paste for ease of use.
There are also a variety of specialist fillers on the market, such as ones suited for outdoor use. Some of the more common ones are:
- Moisture resistant fillers – Designed to cope with humid environments, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- Masonry repair fillers – These are designed for outdoor use and have high mechanical strength, as well as coping well with the elements.
- Wood fillers – These are generally formulated with wood fibres to help make them suitable for wood repairs.
How to apply filler
Filling a wall doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow these easy steps:
- Clean the wall with sugar soap, which will help remove any loose pieces and dust from the wall.
- Using a filling knife, apply the filler into the cavity. Apply gradually from several directions to ensure a smooth coverage, and don’t forget to check for air pockets.
- Once filled, smooth the filler out by moving the knife over in different directions, starting from the centre of the filled area. Repeat until you have a smooth surface.
- When it’s dry, you can add a second layer if you need to. Or you can sand down the filler so it’s perfectly smooth and paint over it for a seamless finish.
How we test wall fillers
To test wall fillers properly, we use each product on any and every crack and hole we can find around our home. We first consider how easy the filler is to use, whether it goes on smoothly and is easy to apply, as well as how well it covers up damage.
We then consider the consistency of the filler, dry time, whether any reapplication is needed and how it looks once sanded. Alongside this, we award extra points to fillers that come in more than one colour and those that offer particularly good value for money.
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If you need a filler for delicate work, the Big Boy Ultra Fine filler is a seriously good find. It’s particularly suited to delicate jobs such as fixing vehicle body panels, window frames or small blemishes on walls.
Be warned that this is an extremely sticky filler, which can make applying it a little more challenging. However, because it’s sticky, it’s well suited for use on metal, wood, bridging fillers and masonry, as well as some types of PVC as it will grip onto surfaces easily. The manufacturer claims it shouldn’t crack under stress due to its elasticity and it’s also supposedly corrosion resistant.
The produce comes in two parts – a tub of putty plus a tube of hardening compound so that you can achieve a highly professional result.
Key details – Size: 250ml; Type: Ready-mixed paste; Use: Interior /some exterior / vehicles
2. Wickes Quick Drying Filler: Best budget filler
Price: £3.25 | Buy now from Wickes Wickes’ filler is incredibly good value for money at only £3.25 for a 330g tube. The filler is a nice, bright white, which makes it easy to see where you’ve applied it. It’s also packaged in a neat squeezable tube for easy application. Another great selling point of this filler is the fact that it dries in around 15 minutes, making quick work of any small jobs around the house. It’s crack and shrink resistant and sands down easily to form a smooth surface for painting or finishing.
The simple tube design and screw on cap makes it easy to keep the filler from drying out, but we did notice that it’s quite hard to get the filler out of the tube in the first place. As the filler is fairly thick, you really have to squeeze hard to get it out, which can be a little frustrating. We would recommend working the tube well with your fingers before you try and apply the product. Despite this, if you’re on a tight budget it’s well worth the little extra bit of effort.
Key details – Size: 330g; Type: Ready-mixed paste; Use: Interio
3. Brewers Quick Drying Interior/Exterior Filler: Best quick drying filler
Price: £5 | Buy now from Brewers
Brewers Quick Drying filler is a ready-mixed paste that’s ready to sand and paint after just 15 minutes. In fact, it dries so quickly that you can’t hang around applying it. It’s suitable to use on both interior and exterior surfaces, which is quite an unusual feature, as most fillers are either one or the other
You’ll get coverage of 130ml per m2 at 1mm thick and it comes in a bright white for easy viewing. The product is water and humidity resistant, making it ideal for small surface repairs in the bathroom. It’s also suitable to use on a wide range of substrates including, concrete, cellular concrete, cement, concrete block, brick, plaster, plasterboard, gypsum board, primed wood, stone, polystyrene, old painted substrates and fibreglass. It’s definitely one of the more versatile fillers on the market. Like the Wickes filler, Brewers is in a tube, so make sure you knead it well with your fingers before use.
Key details – Size: 200ml; Type: Ready-mixed paste; Use: Interior/exterior
4. Ronseal 5 Minute Multipurpose Ready-Mixed Filler: Best for covering a large area
Price: £9.99 | Buy now from Screwfix Ronseal’s filler is highly flexible, extremely lightweight and very easy to work with. It’s touch-dry in just five minutes, although it takes longer to dry fully. The filler is suitable for interior use and can be used on plaster, stone, concrete and wood.
As this filler is multipurpose, it can be used to fill almost any size hole and it won’t sag once it’s dried. It also doesn’t require sanding, as it dries to an extremely smooth finish. There’s also enough in the container to cover at least two decent sized rooms with a high number of cracks and holes. We did find this filler took longer to dry completely than the packaging stated and would recommend leaving at least 24 hours for it to be fully cured.
Key details – Size: 600ml; Type: Ready-mixed paste; Use: Interior
4. Toupret Patch and Repair Filler Quick Dry: Best for deep cracks
Price: £8.66 | Buy now from Brewers This decorator’s favourite is ideal for deep cracks, holes, gaps and scratches. There’s no shrinkage or depth limit and you don’t need to use primer beforehand. Toupret’s filler is suitable to use on a variety of substrates including, plasterboard, old painted surfaces, gypsum plaster, cement, concrete, cellular concrete, breeze blocks, bricks and stone. It’s ready to paint in just three hours, making it ideal for those with a lot to do in a short amount of time. It’s also ideal for last minute touch-ups due to its quick drying time.
We found that the filler needed a skim over the top before sanding but, once this was done, sanding produced a smooth finish to the surface being treated. It’s also good value for money at just over £8 for 1kg of filler.
Key details – Size: 1kg, 2kg and 5kg; Type: Powder; Use: Interior