Durham's Water Putty Review

Wood filler is a weird thing to love, right? However, there are so many uses for this stuff and the name isn’t kidding — it really does dry as hard as a rock. Many wood fillers remain relatively soft when dry and are easily dented, chipped, or cracked. This one’s different. Read on for the full review of Durham’s Water Putty.

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What is Durham’s Water Putty?

Durham’s Water Putty is a powder that can be mixed with water to create a paste or putty. The amount of water used will determine the consistency. Simply use a putty knife to apply the putty to a desired area and let it dry. Use this product to fill holes in wood, concrete, stone, plaster, or tile. Once it’s completely dry, it can be sanded, polished, painted, and drilled through. Unlike other wood fillers, it doesn’t shrink as it dries. This means it won’t pop out of place or leave an undesirable empty rings around the edges. It has countless uses and at less than $10/can, it’s something everyone should have in their collection.

You can get it here on Amazon, but you can also find it at Home Depot and Lowes.

My first experience using Durham’s Water Putty:

I first used Durham’s rock-hard water putty while I was completing one of my first big DIY projects – a dresser makeover. I wanted to change the drawer pulls but the holes left behind by the old drawer pulls weren’t spaced appropriately for the new ones. Thus, I needed to fill them and potentially drill through a portion of them for the new pulls. After conducting some research, I decided to give Durham’s Rock Hard Putty a try.  

What I like about Durham’s Water Putty:

  1. One of the coolest things about Durham’s Water Putty is that you have complete control over how much is mixed at one time. Thus, there’s very little waste and basically zero risk of the remaining product drying up and becoming unusable. I can’t tell you how much wood filler I’ve had to throw away because I didn’t seal it back up completely.

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  1. Another great thing about this product is that a little bit goes a long way. One container could last you a lifetime if you use it for occasional repairs or projects. I usually only need a tablespoon of the powder at a time. When mixing Durham’s Water Putty, I use a little disposable cup and stir it with a plastic spoon or knife.
  1. As alluded to in the name, once this putty dries, it’s really hard! It dries pretty fast, too. You can always add a touch of vinegar to the putty mixture to slow the drying process but you definitely want to begin using it as soon as it’s mixed.
Drilling through Durham's Water Putty
  1. Durham’s Water Putty advertises that the hardened product can be sawed and drilled through, and to be honest, I was skeptical at first. However, the first time I drilled through it, I was amazed. It didn’t budge, crack, or chip at all. I’ve used this on several wood projects since and it’s been amazing for each one. It’s also really convenient that it can be used on both indoor and outdoor projects (although it’s recommended that it be painted over for outdoor projects).
Drilled hole through Durham's Water Putty
  1. One of the last notes about Durham’s Water Putty is that it can be molded to reproduce missing trim pieces or create new designs. This could prove especially useful in crafting projects, various hobbies, and home DIY projects.


  1. One of the limitations of this product is that it can’t be stained with traditional stain and be expected to match the surrounding product. The putty will indeed change color but not in the same way that the surrounding wood will, leaving mismatched tones. Instead, you can mix some dry powder pigment, water-based stain, or water-based paint in with the putty to achieve the desired color. It’s not recommended to mix with oil-based products. I usually just choose to paint over the entire project.
  1. The second limitation to this product is that, although the instructions say you can use it in drywall holes, it really only works in little nail holes. I didn’t have success when trying to fill a hole in drywall that was the size of a quarter. The hardened putty simply didn’t have enough support on the backside to keep it from popping out the back. The edges of the thin drywall material just didn’t provide enough surface area for it to stick to. For larger holes up to 3″ in diameter, I recommend this drywall repair kit.
  1. That leads me to the next limitation of this putty: when the product label says “sticks and stays put”, it is not to be confused with a glue-like ability. It will not fuse two non-porous materials together. I tried using this stuff to stick a metal cap to a metal post and, while it dried really hard, it didn’t stick at all. It just didn’t have anything to sink its teeth into. For metal bonding, I recommend this gel Gorilla Glue.

Here are some cool ways in which this wood filler/putty can be used:  

  • Fill chips and dings in wooden furniture
  • Fill cracks in tile
  • Repair picture frames or jewelry boxes
  • Fill nail holes in walls
  • Seal cracks along door frames and trim
  • Repair broken stepping stones
  • Fill knots in wood projects
  • Fill screw holes in wood or concrete
  • Repair holes or scratches in luxury vinyl or tile flooring
  • Mold into decorative pieces or figures


Despite its few limitations, Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty is one of my absolute favorite products. You can easily create the optimal consistency for your project, mix as little or as much as you need, and sand/paint it for a beautifully finished look. It’s rock-hard durability and fast dry time make it an ideal product for repairs, DIY projects, and crafts.

If you liked this review you may also enjoy: 2022 SW Paint Color Of The Year Review: Evergreen Fog

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