Pore filling on a large project

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Forum topic by Parabola posted 03-10-2016 02:29 PM 831 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 875 days

03-10-2016 02:29 PM

In short, i’m making a 10’ long, 7’ tall bookcase with sapele veneered 3/4 plywood as the carcass and shelves with all the trim, molding, etc in sapele. I know sapele is a very open pored wood, however filling the pores of that much molding sounds exhausting. I don’t think I need to fill the pores of the ply, but molding i’m completely up in the air about. I don’t think a bookcase should ever have a glass-smooth finish, so i’m currently leaning on the side of no filling. Just wanting to see other’s opinions. The general finish i’m aiming at is an antique mahogany – dark brown with red hues. Thanks!

8 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2349 days

#1 posted 03-10-2016 02:39 PM

The only time I ever consider pore filling is on table tops.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Cooler's profile


299 posts in 841 days

#2 posted 03-10-2016 04:12 PM

Parks sells grain filler for wood floors in many colors. It applies easily and sands even easier.

Red Oak and White Oak colors are available at Home Depot. I don’t know what other colors they offer.

I used the stuff to fill in machined edges of MDF prior to finishing. It applies easier and sands easier than anything else I’ve tried.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View splintergroup's profile


2011 posts in 1220 days

#3 posted 03-10-2016 04:14 PM

FWW has an article on grain filling (with product comparisons) in their latest issue.

View Bob5103's profile


88 posts in 831 days

#4 posted 03-10-2016 04:43 PM

I recently made a counter out of a live edge slab of sapele. I didn’t do any pore filling and used 4 coats of Emmet’s good stuff for the finish. It turned out fine as far as I am concerned.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2528 days

#5 posted 03-11-2016 05:59 AM

I.have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in my den made from sapele (ply + solid). No pore filling, just a sprayed lacquer finish. Looks good, and the pores aren’t noticeable from more than 5’ away.

Sapele pores aren’t all that large. I think you could probably fill them by spraying 2-4 coats of a high-build clear and sanding level. Admittedly, I’ve not done this with sapele but I have with jatoba, which has a similar grain structure and pore size.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View BurlyBob's profile


5491 posts in 2263 days

#6 posted 03-11-2016 06:20 AM

Sometime ago, someone here mentioned a technique of using sanding dust from the wood and Danish oil as a grain filler. It’s an intriguing idea that I have yet to try, but I intend to down the road.

View OSU55's profile


1670 posts in 1987 days

#7 posted 03-11-2016 05:21 PM

Only fill the pores for a table top, and not all of them. A poor job of pore filling looks amaturish, and an excellent fully finish takes a lot of time and more $. There is also a strong tendency for the grain to “telegraph through” after several months.

View Parabola's profile


10 posts in 875 days

#8 posted 03-11-2016 10:59 PM

Thanks folks! you’ve convinced me

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