How to make custom wood putty.

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Forum topic by pashley posted 10-25-2009 02:29 AM 20978 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1043 posts in 3712 days

10-25-2009 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood putty

Anyone know how to make a custom “wood putty” to get an exact match on color? I have a tile inset into a wood piece, and I need “grout” – the wood putty – to fill in the gap.

-- Have a blessed day!

16 replies so far

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3553 days

#1 posted 10-25-2009 02:37 AM

I use to use plumbers putty and the acrylic art oil colors in tubes. I learned this when I first started building cabinets in the mid 70’s. If the putty was too oily and sticky after mixing we added a little corn starch to make it more easy to use. Really worked well as we finished all our cabinets and then filled the nail holes. It blended so well you could not even find the nail whole most of the time without really straining the eyes to find them.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#2 posted 10-25-2009 02:48 AM

Sounds like a cool trick Jerry.
Pasheley Charles Neil uses modeling clay of the correct color to grout windows in some of his furniture. sounds crazy but looking at photos it looked great.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 10-25-2009 03:01 AM

I’ll keep this in mind cabinetmaster this sound like a real winner in my book. I have plenty of your recite on hand, must raid the pantry for corn starch. Thanks Blackcherry

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3911 days

#4 posted 10-25-2009 04:31 AM

i run a peice of the wood i want to match thru the drum sander without the dust collector. gather up the fine dust and mix it with titebond 3 and fill nail holes. matchs pretty close.

-- jerryw-wva.

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3459 days

#5 posted 10-25-2009 05:30 AM

I agree with jerryw. The dust of the board your matching and some wood glue. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3612 days

#6 posted 10-25-2009 11:22 AM

Wood glue and sawdust is a winner…..have used it to repair stuff and works great.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 10-25-2009 01:32 PM

Hi Pashley I use comercial wood fillers that are water based. I apply the filler once the 1st coat of the selected finish has dried. then i can mix a filler to match the exact color of the finished project and will not bleed into surrounding area. I wipe off excess filler with damp cloth and the only filler left is in the spot i want it in.
I have used CA glue but not happy with result works well bowls,vase and hollowforms made on lath but not on furniture.
Kind Regards Roger

-- Africa is not for sissies

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3553 days

#8 posted 10-25-2009 02:54 PM

I agree with the sawdust and wood glue on a project that has not been finished yet. But my first response is still the best if you have already finished the job and need to fill some spots missed before finishing.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3585 days

#9 posted 10-25-2009 05:53 PM

I agree with notottoman, wax fill sticks. You can get liberon, mohawk, and I’m sure various other brands. They normally have a wide selection of colors, but can be mixed. simply rub it in, then wipe off the excess with a cloth.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View CaptainSkully's profile


1596 posts in 3553 days

#10 posted 10-25-2009 07:12 PM

Vincent Nocito posted this on my Limbert Lamp Table blog:

“I sometimes make my own putty with sawdust and stainable wood glue (like Elmers Probond). If you are hiding small nail holes, it works pretty good. Mix sawdust from the boards from your project about 1:1 with glue. Knead to a dough like consistency and fill. Doesn’t look great if you are trying to fill large gaps.”

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5854 posts in 3189 days

#11 posted 10-26-2009 06:51 AM

Ok—here’s one for all of you. Years ago me and my wife worked with a guy in Oklahoma building resophonic, or DoBro guitars. I built the guitars, my wife did all the inlay work on them(Mother of Pearl, Aboloney). Our top of the line guitars were black walnut, and the lower line was mahoganey. I used Hershey’s Coco and expoxy mixed together to fill the pores. I also used walnut dust and glue, but the Coco worked the best.
Sounds crazy I know, but it worked. Alright—all you nay-sayers. Look at the color of coco. Rest my case.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3161 days

#12 posted 10-27-2009 04:01 PM

A trick I use to fill small cracks and small holes.
Apply a small amount of wood glue on the imperfection and sand it with a DA with 120 sandpaper while it is still wet.
It mixes with the saw dust and gets forced into the crack.
After it is dry hit it again with the final sanding.
Works for me.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View DaneJ's profile


56 posts in 3203 days

#13 posted 10-27-2009 11:30 PM

I have had mixed results titebond and sawdust. because it does not take stains well.

I have had better luck with Minwax waterbased putty mixed with dry pigments or WB stain mixed in. even if it is not exact it will take additional stain pretty well.

I have also used 5-min epoxy… mix sawdust and pigment into ONE part until it is even and thick, then mix in the 2nd part, this will give you a lot more working time.

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away... Tom Waits

View dustyal's profile


1293 posts in 3470 days

#14 posted 10-28-2009 01:37 AM

I’ve use my wife’s water color tubes to mix with epoxy and sawdust (it doesn’t take much), or ZARs neutral wood patch mixed with sawdust. I try to have a finish coat on first before any patching. I didn’t have much success using glues and sawdust. Sometimes a little shoe polish worked just fine.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View BuilderII's profile


6 posts in 3053 days

#15 posted 01-10-2010 11:18 PM

My dad and I used to use a mixture of cornstarch and whatever stain we were using and a few other things, but it was a long time ago and i don’t remember all of it. Maybe some one knows what I’m talking about and can recall how to do it.

-- Build Better.

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