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Thread: Interior Trim - When to finish - how to fill

  1. #1
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    Interior Trim - When to finish - how to fill

    This weekend I'll be working on some case molding in our house - clear pine. In the past I've tried;
    • putting it up unfinished, filling in the nail holes and then applying the finish
    • putting on all but the last coat of finish, installing it, then filling nail holes and putting on the last coat
    The first method was a pain. The second only a little less so. Both required some masking and in neither case did I get a suitable look over the filled in nail holes.

    My normal finishing routine has been a wash coat of dewaxed shellac followed by several coats of a wipe on satin poly. I'm considering just going with shellac on this job, finishing everything on the bench and just doing touch up once installed.

    Is this a good way to go? How do you guys handle the filling of the nail holes? What do you use and when do you use it.
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 06-13-2008 at 01:57 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I normally stain and brush on poly. I will use 3-4 coats to get the finish I want. Then install the moldings and fill the nail holes with a colored putty to match. I might then brush a coat of poly lightly where the putty is to seal it. That makes the wife happy because she doesn't get putty on the dust rag.

  3. #3
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    Rennie,

    When you figure this one out, let me know. I've been taking the lazy way out: minimizing nailing by using construction adhesive. But that just gives me the worst of both worlds: still looks like heck, and it's a nightmare to remove when something goes wrong...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
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    Rennie,

    Sorry, I have painted all my trim so far.... I would like to get good enough to install stained, one of these days....


    Attachment 21363


    Attachment 21364
    Last edited by Greg Cook; 09-13-2009 at 03:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Rennie,

    When you figure this one out, let me know. I've been taking the lazy way out: minimizing nailing by using construction adhesive. But that just gives me the worst of both worlds: still looks like heck, and it's a nightmare to remove when something goes wrong...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Cook View Post
    Rennie,

    Sorry, I have painted all my trim so far.... I would like to get good enough to install stained, one of these days....
    I've received a PM or two with some good advice. Completely finish the trim on the bench, install it, touch up the nail hole with some Minwax putty, then touch up the finish as needed. I think I'll give this a try.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Bloem View Post
    I normally stain and brush on poly. I will use 3-4 coats to get the finish I want. Then install the moldings and fill the nail holes with a colored putty to match. I might then brush a coat of poly lightly where the putty is to seal it. That makes the wife happy because she doesn't get putty on the dust rag.
    Thanks Rex - your advice jives with a few others I got via a PM - looks like this is the way to go! I knew there was a wealth of knowledge here to be tapped into!!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    Thanks Rex - your advice jives with a few others I got via a PM - looks like this is the way to go! I knew there was a wealth of knowledge here to be tapped into!!
    Hi Rennie ,
    When I do trim and then do a clear coat I too use the colored crayons. I somewhere got a container from "Liberon". Mine has about 10 colors for my selection. I clear coat then sand, clearcoat again and sand then add color to hide the nail hole. Sometimes I use up to 3 different colors on one nail hole. NNNNNNNooooo, I do not use framing nails to set my trim!!!!!
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  8. #8
    Makes life a lot simplier if you pre-finish all your tim before installing. Then you go back and touchup a bit on the corners and use a matching filler. If you use a pin nailer or brad gun you can fill with a colored wax to match the finish. Then do a touchup with some wipe on finish (like Poly) Sure beat finishing and getting on your hands and knees and masking off the walls and flor or carpet and smearing on the finished walls or floors.

    Prefinish is the way to go even with painted and natural wood tones.

  9. #9
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    Rennie,

    I have been doing crown molding, but still finishing first and then installing. Later I would go back and fill the nail holes and joints and touch up.






    Ping Pong table makes great finish table....

  10. #10
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    How timely! I'll be doing some trim later this week. I usually finish, then install and touch up. Been doing the stain, brushing on the first coat of poly, then spraying the rest (sanding between coats). This method works well for me. When installing, I will keep the stain handy and a few q-tips. I stain the cut portions just before attaching to make touch ups easier.
    Darren

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