Tired of never having fresh wood putty when you need it? You've probably opened a can and found its contents dried out, unusable or the wrong color.
If you plan to use a clear finish, you can make your own putty from sanding dust (save some when you're sanding your project) and varnish. Just mix the two into a thick dough by adding the varnish to the dust, a little at a time. Varnish makes a good binder. Even though it takes a long time, once dry, it stays dry. Shellac and lacquer may dry faster, but putty made with them tends to dissolve under a fresh topcoat of the same finish.
Apply the dough with a putty knife and let it dry (at least overnight) before sanding. Under a clear finish, this putty closely matches the wood tone, although it may be a slightly darker color.
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