Wood putty/refinishing stairs


Old 06-14-09, 07:16 PM
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Angry Wood putty/refinishing stairs

So I'm currently sanding my stairs to prep them to be stained and sealed. They had so many nail/staple holes from where the carpet was nailed into the floor, so I put "stainable, paintable wood filler" into the holes and just tested an area and the putty does not stain. It looks terrible. I stupidly filled every single hole with putty without testing a small area first, so now I don't know what to do. Should I dig the putty out? I'm so frustrated. I've put over 15 hours into this project so far and I don't want the finished project to look terrible. Thanks so much for the help!
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Old 06-14-09, 07:42 PM
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I've sold a number of brands etc of various wood fillers and putties and many said stainable paintable on the package.Ultimately it is a real crap shoot.Some need to be sanded after drying to get penetration and there seems to be a variable between the putty and the exact product applied as to it's compatibility.Paint isn't an issue because you're just coating over it.

Try sanding the putty a little and see if it does any better.

Otherwise you might try a tinted putty that's close to your floor color,experiment with other brands etc.

Anecdotally I've been told the brand Famowood does well if you can find it.Some Ace hardware stores carry it or can order but not sure you could get less than case quantity.
Old 06-15-09, 04:46 AM
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Did you sand the filler prior to staining? ideally the filler would only be in the nail/staple hole.

I've always had better results using colored putty. It works best if you stain and seal first, then putty and sand before applying the finish coats of poly.

btw - welcome to the forums!
Old 06-15-09, 09:08 AM
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For Famowood you might try a marine type store or a real paint store. Perhaps a store that sells to the cabinetmaking trades.

When I worked in the wooden boat shops (many decades ago) we used lots of Famowood. It is an excellent product.
Old 06-15-09, 03:33 PM
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Thank you for the help and welcoming .

All your advice is taken, but unfortunately, i remain in the position that I'm in and can't go back and choose a different wood filler. Right now, I have filler in the holes that looks terrible. Should I try and pick it out and replace it with a different putty? Should I stain and finish and then try and get something like minwax filler that I can put on stained and finished wood where I can get an exact color match? I've tried sanding it down further and it still looks awful, it's flush with the wood but remains ugly.

I know you've said it should only be in the holes and it is, but some of the holes are fairly large. I had to pull nailboards out of the floor where the carpet was and some of them didn't come out well. I'll know a few products for next time, and I'll know "stainable" wood filler is not quite stainable, but what do I do NOW? Because I unfortunately can't turn back time Thank you guys!
Old 06-15-09, 04:48 PM
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Would staining, sealing[poly] and then dig out the worst of the filler and replace with colored putty work?
Old 06-15-09, 07:20 PM
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Don't SCREEM when I ask what may sound like STUPID questions.

1. Approx. how may holes or filled spots are we talking about?

2. What color, DARK, MED. or LIGHT are you considering?

3. Have you considered a finish that has the color in it, and maybe a test on a scrap would tell you if such would work.

4. Maybe a MACHINIST PIN punch could drive the old putty down and out, then you could lightly sand and use a colored filler. They sell PIN PUNCHES with a very small diameter.

5. Maybe even paint that is close to the stain color could be put on the spots with a artist brush.

I have been down paths like this before, but DON'T give up, do some testing, TALK to a flooring refinisher, etc. Talk to a FAUX painter, they may have an answer.

Last, but not least, DON'T FEEL LIKE THE LONE RANGER. Many of us have been there, done that.


I wish you well.

Dale in Indy

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