Wood filler visible through stain

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Old 09-21-20, 06:00 AM
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Wood filler visible through stain

All of the trim in our house is stained wood. The person who originally did the work used wood filler on the nail holes. It looks like when the nail holes were filled, the filler was kind of smeared over the nail hole. You can see all of the wood filler through the stain and it somewhat drives me nuts. The picture below is from the handrailing going up the stairs so you can see what I'm talking about.

Is there any way I can clear this up or fix it so you don't see the filler anymore?

Can I sand it and re stain? There is no poly over the stain.

I'm even open to staining a darker color if that would cover over the wood fill.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!




 
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Old 09-21-20, 06:08 AM
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The filler is a different material so it will have a different color and absorb stain differently.

Your only option is to go to a less transparent (solid) stain to cover better!
 
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Old 09-21-20, 06:48 AM
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What is the difference between a "Solid Stain" and just painting it?
 
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Old 09-21-20, 08:51 AM
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I wouldn't use a solid stain on the interior, gel stain maybe.
I assume their is poly over top of the filler. If so the only way to remove the excess filler is to remove the poly
Sloppy workmanship, I assume it's too late to get them back to fix it on their dime.
 
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Old 09-21-20, 10:09 AM
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Yeah, my guess is that it's about 30 years old. We had the house for about 6 years. I don't think there is any poly over it though. It is not shiny and doesn't have that smoothness that poly has.
 
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Old 09-21-20, 10:48 AM
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I would sand every spot with 120/150 grit. Might be a good job for a multi tool with a detail sanding attachment. And give everything a general light sanding before you attempt to restain. Oil based wiping stain or gel stain, depending on your preference. Is it your intention to poly the wood after you stain it this time?
 
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Old 09-21-20, 11:33 AM
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What is the difference between a "Solid Stain" and just painting it?
Solid stain, as the name applies will penetrate the wood, where paint will coat the surface.

Different looks, different results.

They look like they have a lot of grain, sanding will take some time!
 
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Old 09-21-20, 12:41 PM
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If you want to see the grain of the wood at all you would use either a wiping stain or a gel stain. As Marq said, it's possible you may still see a splotch where the putty was, but if you sand it all off, it should accept stain just fine. It looks like your typical soft wood filler. Should sand off easily. Just was very sloppy application.
 
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Old 09-22-20, 02:21 AM
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.... and if you need to putty any nail holes, wait until the 1st coat of poly has dried and then use a color matching putty. If it gets smeared like the current filler take a rag damp with paint thinner to clean it up.
 
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