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Thread: Paste Wood Grain Filler

  1. #1

    Paste Wood Grain Filler

    Hello Family Woodworking Forum,

    I am a novice woodworker - and am on my 2nd project. I have, with the help of a friend, built a Mission-style coffee table out of White Oak.

    To finish, I planned on using Transfast Dark Mission Brown dye. On my test pieces I sanded up to 220, then applied the dye. I noticed the dye doesn't really get into the deep grain very well, and with a darker dye like Mission Brown the light natural wood color down in the grain pores really stands out.

    To fix this, I tried applying one coat of Poly mixed with Naptha (60/40) to seal the dye, let that dry overnight, scuff sanded with 320, then applied a gel stain. I used Bartleys Gel Stain, Espresso. This actually filled the deeper grain pores and colored them, but accentuated the grain too much. I'm going to try a lighter gel stain color to avoid the darker grain look.

    After the gel stain set up and dried, applied 2-3 more coats of Poly, scuffed sanded, then applied 2-3 coats of Bartleys Satin Gel Varnish to finish it off and cut back the gloss a little.

    I like the color and the finish, but for the table top I would like the grain filled in a little more and for it to be smoother. I have no experience with any grain or pore fillers. Can anyone shed some light on how they are used? In my above sequence - when do you use a filler? Before dying?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Michael,

    I can't answer your question, but wanted to welcome you to the family.

    Someone will be along shortly to help you though.

    P.S. We like lots of pics...
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Thanks Darren,

    I knew I was in the right place! The coffee table I'm building is to accompany my first project - a mission style tv stand. I made that out of hard maple. Here's a pic, sorry for the bluriness. (Sorry, I guess the pic is too big, I will resize and send later).

    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Michael,

    I can't answer your question, but wanted to welcome you to the family.

    Someone will be along shortly to help you though.

    P.S. We like lots of pics...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails coffeetable.jpg  
    Last edited by Michael Bischof; 11-25-2009 at 11:11 PM.

  4. #4
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    hi mike!
    you can use porefiller at any point after 150 grit with success and the filler can be dyed or tinted to the color you desire.
    what medium you use to color the filler depends on the filler itself, if using a waterbased filler be sure to use pigments that are compatable, solvent based....the same, use compatable pigments.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    todd is right, if I have to fill grain I do it after 2 coats of sealer. I use lacquer so mostly I glaze and or tint my sealer for desired color.

  6. #6
    Thanks Dave & Tod,

    So if I understand you correctly, I can seal, then tint the paste wood filler and fill, sand again, and continue to add layers of finish?

    Makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hawksford View Post
    todd is right, if I have to fill grain I do it after 2 coats of sealer. I use lacquer so mostly I glaze and or tint my sealer for desired color.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bischof View Post
    .........So if I understand you correctly, I can seal, then tint the paste wood filler and fill, sand again, and continue to add layers of finish?....
    You got it.
    Generally speaking, white oak does not normally get a grain filler because the grain is already fairly tight, but it wont hurt.
    I dont know what finish you plan on using so I will give generic information. Normally the grain filler is darker than the rest of the wood. This has been found to be more pleasing to the eye. The colorant in the grain filler will also act like a stain and darken the wood if used directly on top of the stain or unprotected wood. The usual procedure is to stain the piece to the color desired. Then put on a thin washcoat of primer or your finish. Then apply the grain filler in the normal manner. By applying the grain filler after the washcoat, the filler fills the pores and sits on top of the washcoat and dont penetrate the wood surface. The next step would be to sand the top lightly. This sanding will sand off the filler on top of the primer and leave the filler in the pores and not cut deep enough to reach the stain.

  8. #8
    Thanks Tony,

    Well, I went without the paste wood filler and just finished the piece. I sanded to 220, dyed the piece with Transfast's Dark Mission Brown, applied one coat of poly, scuff sanded with 400, applied one coat of gel stain in a natural oak color, and then applied 4 more coates of satin poly with scuff sanding in between.

    Pics attached.

    Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails coffeetable1b.jpg   coffeetable2b.jpg   coffeetable3b.jpg  

  9. #9
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    Mike, It looks great.

  10. #10
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    The finish and the table both look great, Mike. Well done on both. That's some impressive work, especially for someone just starting in woodworking.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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