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Grain Filler...?

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Forum topic by azwoodman posted 1439 days ago 984 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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azwoodman

132 posts in 1879 days


1439 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: grain filler mahogany finishing

I’m working on a project for which the primary wood is African Mahogany. It has a very open grain structure and Im in the process of experimenting with some finishes. I would like to have a “close-to-the-wood”, somewhat “matte” or “satin” finish. I would like to fill the pores so that it’s nice and smooth. I bought some water based Behlen’s Grain Filler but I’ve been getting less than desirable results. I’ve heard that there are several grain filling techniques out there…

Im wondering what you have found to work the best and what might be the easiest…

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (http://www.azwoodshop.com)


6 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1380 posts in 2626 days


#1 posted 1439 days ago

BLO and pumice is a classic for a hand-rubbed filler.

-- 温故知新

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3130 posts in 2321 days


#2 posted 1439 days ago

Ben. Moore Bentwood filler is my 1st choice…Blkcherry

View mpmitche's profile

mpmitche

385 posts in 1474 days


#3 posted 1439 days ago

I’ve heard pumice, especially for french polish. Hobo, is BLO boiled linseed oil? and does it go with pumice or just used by itself?

-- Mike, Western New York

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1489 posts in 2259 days


#4 posted 1439 days ago

Using pumice will also require you to experiment on wood scraps with various stains in the “mixture”. Without stain, the pumice may cause white flecks in the pores of the wood.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

393 posts in 1581 days


#5 posted 1439 days ago

Ive only “grain filled” on two occasions….both Walnut table tops. All I used was latex wood filler (walnut) mixed with enough water to make a thick ‘soup’. smeared it all over the tops with a large putty knife, let it dry, sand it off…done. Worked really well both times. Nice and simple.

-- Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

View hokieman's profile

hokieman

162 posts in 2252 days


#6 posted 1439 days ago

The BLO with pumice is one way. There are a couple others. You can get some plaster of paris, make a very soupy mixture with water and rub that on the wood and let it dry overnight. After it drys sand it down but sand it down lightly. Just enough to take the excess off. If you sand it down too much, you open up new pores in the wood. After sanding rub it down with BLO and let that dry for a couple of days, then finish with shellac or whatever you would like.

The other way is to use Danish Oil. Sand your project down to the final finish you want. Rub it down with DO and leave it pretty wet. Then take some 600 grit wet ‘n dry sandpaper and sand against the grain. 600 grit will not make unsightly scratches on your project as it is fine enough. Keep sanding across the grain until you raise a DO/saw dust slurry. When you sand against the grain it will pack the pores with the slurry which will be a perfect match for the wood since it came from the wood. Then use a cloth and wipe it down cross grain. If you rub the slurry off with the grain, you will pull the filler out. Let it dry over night. The next day check for spots that are not filled. If you have those just reapply the same method to the remaining parts that need filler. When you have finished you will have a super smooth finish packed with natural sanding dust from the wood itself. I know it sounds like a pain but try it on some scrap wood. It is actually pretty easy and does a great job. I think you can use BLO instead of DO if you want but I have never tried that.

If you are a finewoodworking subscriber to their website, there are a lot of articles on all of the three methods mentioned here. Good luck.

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