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Forum topic by RusticElements posted 03-18-2008 02:14 PM 3881 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RusticElements

167 posts in 2379 days


03-18-2008 02:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

In the last couple of years I’ve done several wood repairs for people, as well as filling finishing nail holes with colored wood filler. I’ve ended up with quite a collection. Usually I only use a pinch or so from each container then the container sits on the shelf for months. What happens is even though the container lid is tight, the filler goes firm. It’s still usable, barely, but certainly not the nice creamy texture it used to be.

My question: What do you use to soften it with? There’s nothing on the label that indicates “use mineral spirits for clean up” or anything like that.

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - RusticElementArt.com - SpaceAware.org - AnConn.com


7 replies so far

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mrtrim

1696 posts in 2534 days


#1 posted 03-18-2008 02:37 PM

if it has very little smell its probably water based and you can put a smaal amount of water in it . if it has a fairly rank smell its probably solvent based and since i dont use that type im not sure what to thin it with

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2398 days


#2 posted 03-18-2008 03:03 PM

If it’s the solvent based kind, like Famowood, they have a thinner that you can buy. It’s mostly MEK and Acetone. I always have a can of each of these, so I keep a 50/50 mixture that I restore the filler with.

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RusticElements

167 posts in 2379 days


#3 posted 03-18-2008 03:33 PM

The ones that are the worst are from Minwax. I have others from Colorputty that say mineral spirits. They both smell similar. Neither smell that bad, but it’s cold in my shop right now. I just put a little paint thinner in the worst one. I’ll post the results here later in the day. If that doesn’t work I try another with acetone.

What is MEK? I don’t have any of that. Where do you get it?

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - RusticElementArt.com - SpaceAware.org - AnConn.com

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2398 days


#4 posted 03-18-2008 04:06 PM

Methyl Ethyl Ketone. It’s a fast acting and evaporating solvent usually used for working with fiberglass. It’s used to clean surfaces of all oils and adhesives. It needs to be used in a well ventilated area, with gloves. It makes lacquer thinner seem like odor free mineral spirits. Usually the paint stores will carry it. Home Depot has it, but you have to buy a gallon of it.

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Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2849 days


#5 posted 03-18-2008 04:06 PM

I’ve had good success keeping fillers (or any material, even paints and varnishes) from hardening or skinning over by using a piece of saran wrap and putting in the container and pressing it to the surface of the material. (easier for fillers than for liquids)
This seals off the material from the remaining air in the container and seems to keep stuff much better for longer. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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olddutchman

187 posts in 2589 days


#6 posted 03-18-2008 08:39 PM

You might try an automotive store where they sell fibreglass products for m.e.k. It may come in small tubes that you can buy from them. I know that it is used in body fillers also.

-- Saved, and so grateful, consider who Created it ALL!!!

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RusticElements

167 posts in 2379 days


#7 posted 03-19-2008 07:19 PM

Well, I promised an update and here it is. Seems paint thinner works great for softening Minwax colored wood filler. I just saved myself $3!

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - RusticElementArt.com - SpaceAware.org - AnConn.com

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