strange finish defect - need help

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by jimmy J posted 07-01-2015 01:41 AM 1017 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 2552 days

07-01-2015 01:41 AM

I’m in the process of rubbing out a table top. started with 500 grit and it is all smooth, except a very thin depression/line a few inches long (see dark line in picture. this is zoomed in quite a bit). The line parallels the joint where two boards meet. The joint line was either glue or epoxy (did some one way and some the other, and i didn’t mark them unfortunately). I’m at 99.99% sure that this joint line was sanded perfectly flat before i started the finishing process. The depression is fairly deep – hard to see exactly how deep, but seems almost like the finish parted like the red sea. I used Enduro Var, 3 coats thus far. Any ideas what would have caused this?

And the more important question, how to fix it?

I’m nervous that another coat would not settle down into the depression, sort of like some finishes don’t go down into open pores. I’m spraying on. maybe i wipe some finish with a brush into the line then spray on top of it – assume it would level out?

thanks guys

11 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10499 posts in 1659 days

#1 posted 07-01-2015 01:45 AM

Kinda looks like it lacked glue or or it opened up.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1395 days

#2 posted 07-01-2015 01:47 AM

Kinda looks like a spring joint gone bad

-- I meant to do that!

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 2552 days

#3 posted 07-01-2015 02:00 AM

could be lacking glue, or an unintentional spring joint. pretty sure it was sanded. but wouldn’t finish settle down into it anyway?

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2816 days

#4 posted 07-01-2015 06:16 AM

Could you use a colored shellac stick to fill and disguise it, and then apply your finish?

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3304 days

#5 posted 07-01-2015 04:37 PM

It can take a lot of coats of finish to fill a gap in your joint like that. One thing to do is to keep adding finish to that area only, letting each coat dry thoroughly. Use a toothpick or something like that to drip it into the crack.
When it finally gets filled, then block sand it flat and coat the entire surface as you normally would.

If you don’t let the fill coats dry thoroughly, they’ll eventually shrink and the depression will re-appear.

-- Gerry,

View Drew's profile


350 posts in 3273 days

#6 posted 07-01-2015 04:54 PM

Best bet would be to drip a hot melt into it or fill it with epoxy.

Hot melt: Don’t just use wax. Use the appropriate stuff.
Epoxy: Mask right up to it. fill and wipe of extra, flush with tape. Sand as much as you can with tape in place (after a 24 hour cure), remove tape and touch up as needed.

Do not try to fill the gap with top coat! It doesn’t work like you would think. Especially with waterborne! It will just bridge around the gap making it look worse.

If it was me (and it has been), I would fill the gap with light colored Famowood filler and color touch up from there. Then spray with Enduro Var.

Biggest problem I see is more top coat. In my experience, I loose quality the more I spray Enduro Var after the third coat.


View a1Jim's profile


117272 posts in 3750 days

#7 posted 07-01-2015 05:02 PM

Hard to tell how big it is ? Some times on small spaces you can put some white glue in the gap and then sand with 220 grit on a ROS while it’s still wet,this makes a kind of wood filler that matches the wood

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 2552 days

#8 posted 07-01-2015 05:30 PM

Many thanks all.

Drew, i didn’t even think of putting wood filler in there. I think i have some of the Dap Plastic Wood stuff from Home Depot. Suppose that would work?

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2986 days

#9 posted 07-01-2015 09:18 PM

If you can get a fingernail down into the joint, then you know it is a failed glue joint.
If that is the case either fill, or cut the joint apart and start over. For filling cracks on prefinished projects, I have had the best luck with Color Putty. Apply the putty and wipe away any excess. Then add a final coat of finish, which will seal in the putty and prevent it from drying out and changing colors. You can mix two colors if needed for a perfect match.

If it is just a stain and you can’t get a fingernail into the defect, it may just be a dark spot from the glue. I had TBIII react that way once. If that is the case, strip and refinishing would be the normal solution.

Third option… accept the defect as a certain amount of character in the table. A table runner or placemat may hide it anyways.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Kazooman's profile


1214 posts in 2125 days

#10 posted 07-01-2015 09:41 PM

Most of the really good fixes require sanding down to the bare wood and then doing some repair such as a filler or sanding with glue in the gap. All of the suggestions will work, but you will always be able to see the repair. The best method was mentioned by pinto deluxe. Rip down the length of the joint and re-glue it. If you are going to remove the current finish, you might as well make the repair in the best way possible. That’s the only way that you will get a perfect result.

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 2552 days

#11 posted 07-01-2015 09:55 PM

all very interesting. it certainly isn’t a failure of any kind, as of yet. the dark color in the chart is the stain applied on the wood. it is also shiny which is from at least 1 layer of finish on it. the dye use dried very dull. will need to think about which option is best – certainly the wife will kill me if if cut it in half and restart the whole process.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics