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Review by Purrmaster posted 09-14-2014 06:11 AM 3606 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This review is for the Aqua Coat clear grain filler. http://aquacoat.com/products/clear-grain-filler

They also make a clear wood putty/filler I haven’t tried. Right now this stuff is $17.95 for a pint.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this stuff. I’m on my second can now. I’ve used it on several tables made from oak and walnut. After getting crud embedded in the grain after finishing one too many times I finally started using a grain filler.

I picked this up because it was said it was clear and compatible with stains. It turns out this is true.

The stuff comes out of the can as a sort of clear Jell-O. It has some chemical scent but not much.

Just spread it on your piece and work it a bit into the grain. I tend to use a Bondo spreader for this. That way I don’t waste as much as I can just grab the excess off the spreader and stick it back onto the piece.

It takes about 2 or 3 coats to fully fill the grain depending on the pores. I think I’ve pulled it off in one coat a single time. If it’s too thick you can simply thin it with water. This also makes it go a little further.

When it dries it will be like a slightly cloudy film on the wood. Simply sand it back until it’s only in the pores. Put on a second coat and do the same. Once the top feels smooth you’re good to go. If you look at the pores under the correct light you can see the stuff.

I’ve used it under lacquer, shellac, and varnish. I’ve also used stains (in my case, Minwax oil based stains) and the stuff takes stain well. I should add that I have not yet tried it under a water finish though the maker say it’s compatible with water base finishes.

The only real downside I’ve found is, possibly, drying time. If it’s very hot in your shop it will probably dry too fast. But it’s below about 70-65 degrees it will take several hours to dry. Around 50 degrees or so it will probably take a day or more to dry.

What I like about this stuff is that it’s unobtrusive. It doesn’t change the color of the wood and makes finishing simpler. If you want to color the pores of your wood you’d have to look for a tinted filler instead.




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Purrmaster

915 posts in 2239 days



9 comments so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3341 posts in 1944 days


#1 posted 09-14-2014 02:35 PM

Thanks for the review.

Have you compared it to Timbermate? You try to match the color with it—a process with which I have had varying success. I’m intrigued by the clear option. I also wonder about how one would use it with dyes—my guess is that you would dye the wood and then put this on.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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oldretiredjim

206 posts in 2532 days


#2 posted 09-14-2014 04:27 PM

Great review – you answered all my questions.

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Purrmaster

915 posts in 2239 days


#3 posted 09-14-2014 11:41 PM

I have used Timbermate once. Timbermate is good if you want the color the pores. So far I haven’t run into a situation where I wished to color the pores. But an oil based pigmented grain filler is probably the way to go if you do wish to color the pores.

I don’t know if it can be dyed. I haven’t picked up any dyes yet. Since it takes oil based stain ok I wouldn’t be surprised if it also takes dyes.

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CharlesA

3341 posts in 1944 days


#4 posted 09-14-2014 11:43 PM

Thanks. I’ve been wanting to try this stuff, and my big tub of Timbermate has just run out.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3341 posts in 1944 days


#5 posted 09-14-2014 11:47 PM

I just discovered one difference: Aqua Coat is twice the price.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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Purrmaster

915 posts in 2239 days


#6 posted 09-16-2014 02:56 AM

I didn’t do price comparisons with other fillers because there are so many out there (Timbermate is just one of many).

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Fettler

200 posts in 2143 days


#7 posted 10-23-2014 08:27 PM

I like Timbermate however it’s silicate based and i’ve had problems with it cultivating mold like it was a petri dish (purple spots that stain the work piece). Last time this happened i had to sand the piece and start over (and sanding silicate is nasty). Likely i made the mixture too wet when i applied it.

I used shellac with pumice powder for a table top recently which worked great although i have a spot where the finish lifted when i placed a moderately hot plate on it. The top finish was a varnish so i’m not sure what layer failed. Maybe if i’d used a poly top coat it would have been more resilient.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

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a1Jim

117234 posts in 3724 days


#8 posted 10-23-2014 08:48 PM

Thanks for the review.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Purrmaster

915 posts in 2239 days


#9 posted 03-01-2015 04:27 AM

I noticed my local Woodcraft now carries this stuff, if that helps anyone.

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