Getting a custom woodfiller to match the color of the wood

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Forum topic by RobinDobbie posted 07-09-2015 09:17 PM 699 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 1937 days

07-09-2015 09:17 PM

Luckily this accidental through-mortise happened in the back bottom of the cabinet I’m working on. And I know even a quarter of an inch is probably too much to ask any kind of filler to fill without shrinkage without leaving a bunch over, then sanding off the excess. However, that’s not the issue. I used as little glue as possible so that I could have as much wood in the mix as possible. It’s clear the pine dust I used and the board it came from are quite light, lighter in fact than the pine plywood. Yet the color of the dried glue overpowered all that and made it a yukky yellow, anyway. I know epoxy wouldn’t change color, and I guess I should use that to finish this up. But most of the guides I found indicated that regular wood glue was a good choice. Granted, those guides showed darker woods as their example. The glue I used was Titebond original.

2 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8233 posts in 2352 days

#1 posted 07-09-2015 09:24 PM

You have to use a glue that dries to a similar color as the base wood. I’ve since switched to using hot hide glue for making putty. Titebond III dries dark brown so that works well with darker woods. Titebond II dries yellow as you found out.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Kazooman's profile


1238 posts in 2154 days

#2 posted 07-09-2015 09:42 PM

The glue and sawdust trick works very well for small gaps like a small tearout in a dovetail. However, even with a glue color that is close to the word the patch will always show. The same will hold for epoxy and sawdust mixtures. Both methods seem to work best for darker woods. Neither one of them will take the finish the same as the surrounding wood and hence they will stand out. This is not just about staining, it holds for clear finishes as well. A small repair will disappear into the piece, but something as large as you are dealing with will always stand out

Your problem calls for making a repair piece out of the original stock to fit into the “accidental through-mortise” (I love that terminology!). You need to be mindful of the grain direction to try to make the repair as close to the original surface as possible. You can still make such a repair by routing or chiseling out the hole and preparing a piece to fit it. However, it looks like you have smeared your glue mix over the surface of the piece well outside the extent of the hole. Having forced glue into the pores of the wood it is likely that you will have a problem with the finish. Perhaps using a router to totally remove the glue repair and then inserting a repair piece from the original wood would be the best way to go.

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