How to stop a crack in wood from spreading – detailed guide

In our article, we will discuss ways of stopping cracks occur and how to stop a crack in wood from spreading. People know that wood tends to break in some time due to aging and moisture. In spite of this fact, consumers could fix this issue effortless.

Luckily, we can offer several approaches of avoiding cracks in wood and protecting it from more harm. Just use the tips in our article to understand how to stop a crack in wood from spreading.

We need to say that the most effective method is to remove the crack with wood putty and wood filler.

So, also people can use commercial fillers – we talk about them later below. Apart from it, consumers can create DIY filler through own materials from your garage and workshop.

However, some methods don’t apply wood fillers. And they are engaged in removing broken edges and putting bow-tie liner. All of this help to know how to stop a crack in wood from spreading.

How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

Types of fillers for fixing cracking wood

There are major types of wood fillers below. Meanwhile, it is also epoxy resin.

Water-based wood fillers

So, you can use these fillers without any problems. You can clean and dry them fast. The polishing allows to finish the process and get a clean and even wood surface. Later we will talk about boiled linseed oil.

How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

Petroleum-based wood fillers

We need to note that this type of fillers is smooth that’s why people shouldn’t polish items after usage. Through own content, including petroleum, the fillers resist moisture better to avoid wood crack. Besides it, in some cases, consumers use fine grit sandpaper for sanding of other types of fillers.

Epoxy resin fillers

Generally, such type of fillers can be used in liquid and putty forms. Note, that this material dries pretty fast, depending on the used quantity: the volume for polishing may get around 15 minutes. Epoxy resin filler fills large cracks correctly and after that slight decay will disappear finally.

So, try to escape excess wood glue. As for the epoxy: it can be delivered with various range of colors.

How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

Powdered fillers

We would like to say that these fillers only suit to small cracks, holes, and checks and don’t work well with large cracks.

These products are offered in powdered form. You should add water to the powder, then stir it and finally make a paste. It is applied as a wood filler. Also, use masking tape for better sticking the filler into the wood.

Wood putty

This material is already flexible and smooth. As it consists of petroleum, wood putty withstand changes in temperature and moisture. Anyway, it helps to reinforce split wood.

Homemade fillers

People may do own custom wood filler with components they likely have in their garage. But we need to pay attention that these items are better used for small cracks. Actually, this is effective and cheap material in some issues. Also, you can apply the wood glue method.

It means that it is necessary to add the glue and sawdust together. Later you will know about this way more detailed.

How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

How to fill the crack in a wood guide

Meanwhile, epoxies and wood fillers mostly have a liquid form that’s why they are perfectly fitted for filling cracks and entire crack that is long and thin. As it is liquid all small spaces may be poured without large problems.

However, you should know what differences between such products are. By the way, don’t forget to remove all the excess filler.

Wood filler

The filler material is ideally suitable for wood with large chinks and cracks. People can polish the wood filler when it dried fully and paint it to fit the rest of the item.

Epoxy resin filler

Epoxy resins are usually applied to fill large cracks which are thinner and also deeper. Perhaps, they are suitable for raw wood. The resin forms stronger bonds in the wood fiber in the chink with wood grain since its properties are more durable and hard than typical wood fillers. Anyway, you can patch small cracks too.

How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide


So, after people have selected a certain kind of filler, begin to prepare for the performance. It is important to note that epoxy material can be toxic and hence consumers have to wear a respirator mask and work outdoors or in an area with good ventilation. By the way, white glue is an excellent item for protecting the wood. You can see the drying time of the glue here.

If the pva glue remains on the surface and needs to be removed, see here how easy it is to do.

Step-by-step guide: Prepare the workpiece

You should remove all dirt and dust from the processed workpiece.

1. Knife it or pour it

Well, you should do it if the material is not liquid filler compound then use a putty knife and put the item into the crack. You need to fill the chink fully with the filler. And finally, sand the surface of a workpiece to make it smooth completely. Do it after the drying fully with a putty knife.

But what to do, if people use a liquid wood filler? They should make a required mixture and simply put it into the crevices. Do not worry, if the surface is not even right away – it is possible to polish it later. You can sand with polishing wax definitely.

As for a liquid epoxy filler, simply put it into the chink and wait for while, giving time to leak into the cracks completely. Generally, this method helps to reinforce cracks and also fit to fill cracks for medium size cracks.

2. Dry time

The time of the drying depends on the type of product consumers apply. This information usually can be got in the manual and in the recommendations of the producer. As you know, epoxy fillers dry quicklier than wood fillers. And do not forget to sand the workpiece to take an amazing wood surface. Meanwhile, a wood filler may be painted after all procedure.

How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

Home-made filler recipe

If people like to create their wood filler, just follow the below steps to get a simple recipe.

There are Elmer’s wood glue and sawdust as major elements of DIY filler.

Let’s list the main stages:

  1. Take the sawdust and wood glue together to make a paste. For a wider crack the paste has to be more solid; if the chink is long and deep, it is rather better to create a mixture more liquid
  2. Use the mixed paste to the nooks. Apply a putty knife to press the filler deeper and revise the surface
  3. We can offer a little another way. In this case, it is necessary to add wood glue in the first step and only then fill sawdust into the surface. You can also use fingers to push it deeper. However, the glue may show up under the dust. That’s why first of all create the paste and only after it works with a putty knife as it is more comfortable. By the way, people can apply sawdust

2 more ways how to stop cracks in wood from spreading

So, if you want to know more ways to stop cracks in wood from spreading, you can find 2 methods below.

Remove cracked edges

This approach fits for cracks that are located in the edge of workpiece. Consumers should use a saw for this aim.

So, what materials people need:

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Miter saw (or table saw)
  • Flint paper

You should follow next stages:

  1. Make a straight line which should be parallel to the chink
  2. Apply a table saw with the function of a crosscut to make cuts on the mark
  3. The nooks may be deeper than you can think. That’s why it is necessary to apply a narrow and thin tool for measuring the size of the cracks. This helps to understand the problem
  4. Polish the cover by applying sandpaper to take an even finishing
How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

Bow tie inlays

The one of important questions is how do we stabilize chinked wood? In this case, you can apply special joints as bow tie inlays. Actually, it is perfectly suitable for cracks of large sizes that are also situated in the middle of the wood material.

So, you need follow material:

  • Double-sided tape
  • Set of tools for inlaying
  • Plunge base

You should take follow stages:

  1. Stick the template to the wood applying double-sided tape to rout the mortise. Later put the required depth along the lines of the template. Go on deleting wood until you have a bow tie-shaped gouge perpendicular to the check
  2. Then rout the bow tie and separate the guide bushing. Apply the same template to do the inlay itself. The gouge must be thick as the wood piece
  3. Now add the glue on the wood exposed surfaces and attach the inset. Then remove excess glue that attaches when people set the inlay into the place
  4. Finally, the glue should dry and fix the inset in place. Don’t forget to delete any excess materials with flint paper
How to stop a crack in wood from spreading - detailed guide

Why does wood crack?

Consumers should know that the main cause for cracking in some time is shrinkage which is happened as a result of wood drying out. We need to note that the wood material dries unsmooth, for example, it dries twice quickly along the growth rings than across them. In conclusion, the shrinkage is causing uneven and finally get cracks and splits.

Also, we can point that there are the heating and cooling cycles and they affect the quality of wood. For instance, when the cold weather begins, people switch on the heater, and it dries and heats the air. Hence, the wood starts to lose moisture.

How to save the wood from further damage and cracking

Experts say that the most main approach is the usage of a seal of wood cracks. It lasts the life of the workpiece from the checks and prevents from spreading further. Also, the seal avoids moisture coming into the wood.

Apart from it, you should seal the whole surface of the furniture, not partially. Otherwise, it can lead to the forming cracks.

Besides it, people can apply oils that are great sealants. Linseed oil is also used for this aim although linseed oil is less known as a sealer. The oils don’t damage the color and texture of the wood.

Specialists also offer to use shellac since it can provide a similar level of moisture protection.

As for other sealants these are film finish and polyurethane. They excellent allow to avoid any moisture from leaking into the wood.

If you sawed a tree unevenly, then with the help of our methods you can even out the edges or fill in the cracks.


How do you stabilize cracked wood?

To make it properly, you need to follow above mentioned algorithm and methods. So, hope our information will help you to achieve this aim in a short time.

Do cracks in wood spread?

Yes, they do. It happens over time since many factors influence this process and decay goes on further if you don’t take measures.

How do you stop wood splitting further?

In this case, people should use various sealers that usually help to escape wood splitting further and stop drying process. You can get data about it above in our article.

How do you strengthen wood cracks?

For example, you can apply a mixture of wood glue and sawdust for this purpose. More details will be seen in our article.

Do cracks in wood get worse? Can we avoid wood cracks from spreading?

We already described the preventing cracks approaches. let’s list them again: home-made filler, wood filler, bow tie inlays, and epoxy resin. All of this can help to remove cracked wood or prevent wood cracks.

Can wood putty prevent cracks from spreading?

Yes, it can. The putty is the most suitable to fill small cracks or long and thin cracks. People also paint it to fit the wood texture and color to prevent cracks.

Can we apply sawdust and wood glue to stop cracks in wood from spreading?

Yes, we can. This is just DIY approach and may be efficient enough to fill cracks with wood filler in the workpiece and stop the checks from spreading. White glue is used to make the mixture and paint the wood. So, sawdust and wood glue are perfect tools in this case. You should know how to apply wood glue properly.

How do we escape wood from cracking further?

Experts consider that applying boiled linseed oil is perfectly suitable for this purpose. It is a reliable and cheap tool for preventing wood cracking. As a result, you will get filled crack with it.

How to stop wood cracking when you are nailing?

We can offer several methods of applying it:
1. The first way. Make the wedge in the punch and push it with a hammer before putting it through the nails. It will give a small space between the wood and the nail and decrease the possibility of the cracking.
2. The second one is hitting nails close to the same wood grain line.
3. If you use a lubricant it decreases friction, so in turn, reduces the chance of splitting.

How to fill wood cracks? Can we seal a crack in wood?

Yes, we can. You should select the way which depends on your aims. Let me remind these are epoxy resin, wood putty, sawdust, wood glue, and wood filler.

Wood fillers are nice for preventing from long checks. As for sawdust and wood glue, they are fit for shallow and wide cracks, not deep. And finally, epoxy resin is applied for large cracks.

Final thoughts

Hope, our information lets you know, how to stop a crack in wood from spreading. Also, you will understand about sealing the wood in order not to crack.

So, if you have any questions, leave your comments here and share the article with your friends.

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