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Is this wood putty in the crevices of my cabinet doors? And how do I remove it?

Is this wood putty in the crevices of my cabinet doors? And how do I remove it?

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Old 06-20-12, 07:41 AM
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Is this wood putty in the crevices of my cabinet doors? And how do I remove it?

So I bought an old credenza last week with the purpose of distressing it using a sand/stain/paint/sand/stain combo I've used before. But now that I have the piece in my home I am having second thoughts about my approach and wondering if I should just sand and stain it instead.

To that end I've started to re-evaluate what I would need to do, and I immediately honed in on the fact that it seems as though there is some type of wood putty or filler in every single crack and crevice of the piece. It's very hard - doesn't come off with paint thinner, it's nigh impossible to sand because they are in these crevices, and although I have been mildly successful in removing it with a sharp knife like a dentist would remove plaque, doing so would take ages.

Has anyone seen this treatment before? What is it, and how do I remove it? I tried staining it in an inconspicuous location and as I expected, does not take stain like the surround wood will.

If I'm unable to remove this, I may need to revert to my original plan of distressing the piece. Please !
 
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Old 06-20-12, 07:52 AM
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Here are some photos.....

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1275[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1276[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 06-20-12, 08:08 AM
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I don't see any putty in the first picture, but I see what you are talking about in the 2nd one. Looks like what you would see in a kitchen when 2 separate cabinets have been put together, when the face frames have not been tightly screwed together.

With no wide angle pictures, I don't quite have the entire concept of what this piece looks like, but if the top can be removed, so that those 2 cabinets could be separated, you'd have better luck cleaning the filler out without chipping or otherwise damaging the wood.

Usually you can screw those face frames together so that no filler is needed. Opening the cabinet door, then drilling a pilot hole through one cabinet face frame (using a drill bit that is larger than the screw diameter) usually allows a screw to suck the 2nd face frame up tight to the first one. It sometimes takes 3 or 4 screws to get them to fit nice and tight. Hiding the screws behind the hinges is always good, but sometimes you need more than just 2 screws.
 
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Old 06-20-12, 08:25 AM
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Thanks Xsleeper. The first photo is the one that I think makes it more clear. You've got some filler in both of the horizontal crevices there. The second photo shows the same material between the two cabinets, as you mentioned, but also in the vertical crevice to the right of the hinge and the horizontal one in the upper left in the crevice of the door.

I'm less talking about where they had two pieces and puttied them together, and more wondering about all these places where it was a single piece of wood and they placed this stuff in there anyways. It's almost as if they thought it looked better that way. It's certainly not doing anything structural as far as I can tell.
 
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Old 06-20-12, 08:34 AM
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Here is a wider shot. They basically put this stuff around every single crevice and interior corner on the piece. You can see an off-white outline around every drawer...that is what I'm talking about.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1277[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 06-20-12, 09:23 AM
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that's crazy... I'd also wonder why in the world someone would do that. Well, sad to say, even if you completely sanded the piece down (150 grit would probably be the most course grit I'd use) it would still leave the filler in any pits and in any open grain. And you are right that it won't accept stain in the same manner as the rest of the wood. Not much you can do about it. Perhaps it won't be as noticeable once you use your finishing techniques.

A buddy of mine that worked at a paint store mixed paint pigments with some water based poly and it turned out pretty nice... kind of like a tinted poly, but instead of stain it was paint- he used some pretty unusual colors! Something like that would cover a lot of sins.
 
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Old 06-20-12, 09:27 AM
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Yup. I'm starting to lean toward distressing the piece instead. It's already pretty beat up as you can see from pretty much every photo. I tried 100 grit on it last night and it comes off but the crevices are impossible. And a lot of work to boot as I'd have to go back over it with a more fine grit before the next step.
 
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Old 06-20-12, 09:37 AM
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That's not putty, that's either stain or glaze. They did that for looks. Paint thinner isn't going to work. You can use laquer thinner, acetone, or paint stripper. That stuff is between two coats of finish.
 
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Old 06-20-12, 01:48 PM
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Ahh. OK. I need to make a run to Home Depot so I'll pick up a few bottles and see where I get with it. It has some thickness to it so I'm thinking it's a glaze as opposed to a stain. Thanks!
 
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