Grain filler

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Forum topic by electricquad posted 02-18-2017 09:35 PM 481 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 664 days

02-18-2017 09:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sanding wood grain filler walnut live edge question

I am new here and a woodworking amateur. I purchased a few 4/4/-5/4 7’ live edge book-matched walnut slabs for a low shelf project. I am in the process of sanding them down and I have a few questions on the finishing process given my goals.

The wood has great grain and color, and I do not want to change that aspect of the wood. I want the finish to be like glass, I want it to be able to withstand the onslaught of two toddlers, I want it to be toddler safe, but I don’t want it to look like it has a heavy finish.

Where it is now:
Well, i just finished a few rounds of 600 grit and raising the grain with a damp cloth and I plan on going on down through 800 and 1000. I know this is overkill, but I want my finish to be less a finish on the wood and more a finish of the wood. Right now, when I get the light right and look down the board I can see the tiny pores. There aren’t a lot of them and they aren’t huge, but I would like to fill those with a transparent wood grain filler.

My questions:
0. Should I even bother with filler or should I just apply and sand back some clear polyurethane finish if that is going to be my ultimate finish.

1. If I use a filler, which filler is the best? I have been reading and watching videos on Crystal Lac and Aqua Coat. Are these equivalent products, is there a better option that won’t change the color of the wood?

2. When do you use wood filler?
-Some people seem to apply it to the wood without a sealer and some people only apply it after putting on a sanding sealer.
-Should the wood filler go on at the highest grit I plan on sanding the wood to or should it go on before that? I would assume it goes on after the highest grit since continued sanding is just going to sand out some pores and open up others.

1 reply so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3570 days

#1 posted 02-18-2017 10:22 PM

Walnut? Stop wasting your time. Sanded to 600 is more than enough. If you want the grain to really pop, apply a coat of Danish oil and let dry. Light hand rub with 000 steel wool. clean completely so there is not wool residue left. The steel wool removes any grain raise or dust settlement on the oil finish. Now apply some wipe on oil based poly and allow to dry. Inspect surface for any little specks and wipe with 000 if needed. clean if wiped and apply another coat of the poly. This should be all you need for a tough everlasting finish that will show off your wood.

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