Wood Grain Filler


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Old 01-03-07, 02:14 PM
H
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Unhappy Wood Grain Filler

I am refinishing an antique oak 5 shelf curio stand will need a grain filler to obtain a smooth satin finish. I used was grain filler by Benjamin Moore and it has been a disaster. The first time I followed the instructions on the label but the mixture was like thick peanut butter, and while it filled the grain, it was impossible to wipe off cleanly. I stripped it again and this time found additional instructions on the web site to cut it with mineral spirits to obtain the consistency of "thick creme" it worked better but it left a hazy film on the surface that was impossible to sand off. I have stripped it again but still will need a grain filler. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 01-04-07, 03:57 AM
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Oak has a naturally coarse grain, as you know. The way I get a smooth finish takes lots of time, and no filler. A coat of poly and sand with 220, repeat MANY TIMES until the grain is filled to your satisfaction. You will likely never get all the grain filled. Or you can let the grain show. Filling only hides the grain, and IMHO, I want the grain to show, that part of the character of oak.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 06:52 AM
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Similar to Bills response, get a clear sealer that's "sandable". there all sandable, but the sealer's marked as sandable are made to assist in filling in the grain. With oak, it will take multiple applications.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 09:43 AM
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Handy M'am,

I agree about not using a filler. The product I use for this purpose is dewaxed shellac. Try this link: http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=4758. It's marketed as a sanding sealer, but it's much more.

Since this shellac is dewaxed, you can topcoat with about anything you want, including polyurethane. You don't even have to sand between coats for good adhesion, although you may want to hit it lightly for taking out slight imperfections such as dust particles. You would want to sand before you apply polyurethane to give it some "grip." If this is not a table top or other severe wear surface, shellac can also be the final coat....if you want a glossy finish.

The advantage to using shellac for this purpose is that it dries very rapidly, and you can build up your surface much faster. You can apply many coats in a day.

Good luck,
 
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Old 01-07-07, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for the help

Thank you all for your help. This is a very old Craftsman style piece and the graining patterns are incredible so it would have been a crime to cover up the grain but I did want a smooth finish. I used something new to me called CrystaLac grain filler. It is a water based filler, the consistency of wallpaper paste, goes on very easily, is troweled off, and dries very quickly to a clear hard finish. It allows the grain to show through without making the finish muddy and works with any type of final coat. I am really pleased with the results.
 
 

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