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Best filler/sealer for open grain wood?????

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Forum topic by msinc posted 06-18-2017 10:50 PM 894 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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msinc

28 posts in 168 days


06-18-2017 10:50 PM

This has no doubt been covered before, but there might be a newer, better product out there. I have a bunch of royal paulownia wood that I intend to make a few things out of. I really like the grain and color of this wood and I do not intend to stain it. I would like to use some kind of filler sealer to help fill in the very porous grain of this wood so it doesn’t take forever to finish with clear and still end up with open pores showing. I don’t want it to change the basic natural color of the wood if at all possible. I know you can get some interesting looking effects playing around with wood filler colors, like using black walnut on oak, but I think I prefer the natural color of this wood. All that said, I am open to any good finishing technique that yielded good or interesting results. Thanks a million for any info in advance!!!


6 replies so far

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RichTaylor

952 posts in 254 days


#1 posted 06-18-2017 11:27 PM

I can suggest three that I’ve used very successfully. First is Aqua Coat. It is a water based gel-like product that you wipe on and, using something like a Bondo spreader or credit card, squeegee off. It dries quickly and sands easily since the bulk of the filer is scraped off while still soft. Second is General Finishes Enduro water based sanding sealer. It is brushed on and allowed to dry. It dries quickly and sands nicely as well. Third is called Heavy Bodied Sanding Sealer from Mohawk Finishes. It is a solvent based product that sprays on and dries quickly and sands easily.

All of these will give the best results with multiple applications, but you can definitely achieve a piano finish.

As I said, I’ve used all three and none of them will cause any discoloration of the wood. However, as always, it’s important to do as many practice boards as needed to get the result you desire before tacking your final piece.

Edit: I should note that the General Finishes sanding sealer and the Mohawk sanding sealer will allow you to build a surface layer onto the wood. The Aqua Coat is simply a pore filler. Of course, the first two can be sanded down to the wood, leaving only the pores filled, if that is what you want.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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msinc

28 posts in 168 days


#2 posted 06-19-2017 10:28 AM

Thank you for the reply sir, it sounds like the Aqua Coat is what I am looking for…trying not to do any build up only to have to sand it back down to the surface if at all possible {to avoid.} Thanks again.

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RichTaylor

952 posts in 254 days


#3 posted 06-19-2017 01:35 PM

Be sure to stir it. It doesn’t say to on the jar, but it will likely need it.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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msinc

28 posts in 168 days


#4 posted 06-19-2017 05:36 PM

Okay, I will make sure it is good and mixed up before I try it on some test pieces…any tricks to applying it to help it get into the pores?? It’s funny, it seems like there should be a way to get the actual finish to just simply fill the darn pores, but it seems like to me that they are real good at repelling it. it just doesn’t seem like there is a way to force the pores to take it…is this an issue with the filler as well?? Thanks again for the info and reply!!

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RichTaylor

952 posts in 254 days


#5 posted 06-19-2017 05:59 PM

That’s part of the rubbing and squeegeeing process. When you rub it onto the surface you’ll get it into the pores. Also, you don’t just scrape it off with the blade at a 90º angle, rather you want to let the blade flex (I prefer a Bondo spreader) and that prevents it from pulling out of the pores and presses it deeper. There are a couple of videos on youtube that might help.

Having used both, for ease of application and excellent results I prefer the General Finishes Enduro. It’s about the same consistency as water borne poly, so it will naturally flow into the pores. I might have confused the issue talking about building it up. You don’t have to do that. Brush it on, let it dry several hours and sand it down to the wood with 320 and you’ll have the pores filled and the wood exposed, just like Aqua Coat — only easier. It will feel dry after a few minutes, but it will sand better if you wait. Repeat once or twice if you need to to get the surface as smooth as you wish.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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msinc

28 posts in 168 days


#6 posted 06-19-2017 09:30 PM

Okay, I will give it a try….thanks again!!!!

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