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Drywall Mud As A Grain Filller

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Forum topic by andy_P posted 08-03-2015 09:57 PM 1446 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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andy_P

352 posts in 2668 days


08-03-2015 09:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing question

Have any of you ever used Drywall Mud as a grain filler for open pore woods? I just saw this on a demo video for finishing a guitar. You have to color the mud with a water based dye or stain, but it sure seems to be an inexpensive alternative to marketed wood grain fillers. and it would be available at big box stores saving a trip to or shipping costs from a woodworking supply house.

I’m always interested in hearing what you guys have to say.

Andy

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.


24 replies so far

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AandCstyle

2561 posts in 1717 days


#1 posted 08-03-2015 10:54 PM

Andy, you could try it on scrap and report back. I have heard of it being used to seal the ends of MDF prior to painting so it is a possibility.

-- Art

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REO

889 posts in 1534 days


#2 posted 08-04-2015 12:15 AM

bondo auto body filler works.

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canadianchips

2343 posts in 2457 days


#3 posted 08-04-2015 01:24 AM

Back when I started my finishing business the “competition” used to use drywall mud to cover his window and door trim miter jobs. It looked like CRAP. Stained like CRAP. When Painted it looked like CRAP. and needless to say I got the finishing jobs around town.
I know products have changed over the years. Just saying.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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canadianchips

2343 posts in 2457 days


#4 posted 08-04-2015 01:32 AM

Filling pores with a homemade slurry

A watery mix of insoluble materials is a slurry, that means an oil/varnish, such as Watco Danish Oil, mixed with sanding dust. “The Watco darkens the pores for contrast,” ” pour a liberal amount on the surface, then sand vigorously with 100-grit-the paper has to produce sanding dust.”

With burlap, a towel, or an old washcloth, pack the slurry into the wood. ” don’t wipe off any excess slurry,” ” just let it dry overnight. Then, sand it again, adding more oil if needed. The new sanding dust blends with the original slurry and further fills the pores . This time, wipe off the excess before letting the surface dry. After the second slurrying, all the grain should be filled.”

The tinted oil in the slurry will have colored the entire wood surface. To color only the pores requires removing the dried surface oil with more sanding. “If you don’t want to stain the wood,” “simply use a clear or natural oil, such as linseed oil diluted about one-third with paint thinner. Then your slurry will take on the ambient color of the wood and tend to wash out the grain for an even look (see photo below left). In either case, I let the surface dry for several days before final sanding and the application of a finish coat.”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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jar944

88 posts in 897 days


#5 posted 08-04-2015 01:35 AM

I’ve used it to fill oak prior to painting for a smooth finish, some grain still shows through with just one application.

I can’t see using it on anything that is not going to be painted

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Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2382 days


#6 posted 08-04-2015 01:52 AM

I have used it, thinned to the consistency of milk, as a stain controller on softwoods. Sand off after it dries and it works well for this.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1190 days


#7 posted 08-04-2015 04:39 AM

Yep, it’ll work. Did it on MDF, Particle board, and plywood edges. Works great, less filling for painted stuff…........... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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oldnovice

5721 posts in 2827 days


#8 posted 08-04-2015 05:06 AM

Try Timbermate, it behaves a lot like dry wall mud, comes in all sorts of colors, can be intermixed, virtually no waste, can be sanded easily, is water based hence water clean up/thinning, and is non-toxic!
Because it is water based it needs to be top coated before applying a water based stain/-finish!

It actually works a lot like dry wall mud but, in my opinion, takes stain a lot better!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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andy_P

352 posts in 2668 days


#9 posted 08-04-2015 05:15 AM

Thanks for all the advise, guys. I’ll let you know how I make out.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

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Roger

19855 posts in 2264 days


#10 posted 08-04-2015 02:15 PM

Gr8 question andy, and some gr8 answers and solutions above. It’ll be interesting to see how any tests come out

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2150 days


#11 posted 08-04-2015 03:30 PM

Wood moves. Cured drywall compound does not move. You will have separation at some point. Maybe as a grain filler it might not be noticeable (by some), anything bigger and I think you’re asking for trouble. My grain filler for years has been this – http://aquacoat.com/collections/products/products/clear-grain-filler – and I’ve never had a problem.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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andy_P

352 posts in 2668 days


#12 posted 08-04-2015 05:51 PM

Interesting, earl. I’ve never heard of the product and have never noticed it on any shelves. This is quite a departure from normal grain filling in that it is used after staining instead of as the first step in the process. Do you know where it is available? That web site seems to be aimed at the wholesale market.

Anyone else ever used it? You have to keep in mind, my first thought in using drywall mud is its availability and price. I, of course would not want to sacrifice a good looking finish at that expense.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2150 days


#13 posted 08-04-2015 06:07 PM

Here it is at Woodcraft – http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/857390/Aqua-Coat-Clear-Wood-Grain-Filler-Pt.aspx
If staining, stain first, then fill. If painting, fill first, then paint. You can also add color to it for effect.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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oldnovice

5721 posts in 2827 days


#14 posted 08-04-2015 07:28 PM

I have used dry wall mud to cover the edges of plywood.
I over filled the edges, sanded them tack ragged ithem, and painted them.
That was some 20 years ago and they still look good.
The only problem with dry wall mud is the dust it created when sanding.

The Timbermate product will work as a grain filler when used as directed as it does not does not shrink, sink, crack or fall out and has an indefinite shelf life. It is non-flammable, non-toxic and can be used to the last gram. .... oops that sound like a commercial!

It is available from a number of online places!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Hammerthumb

2532 posts in 1435 days


#15 posted 08-04-2015 08:34 PM

I have used pumice and plaster of paris as a grain filler. Both will turn translucent when finish is applied.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

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