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Would you fill the grain or not?

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Forum topic by kennyd posted 929 days ago 792 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kennyd

99 posts in 1627 days


929 days ago

Hi everyone,

I’m getting ready to apply finish to a audio / video cabinet I’ve built from White Oak and Maple plywood. The White Oak is the cabinet exterior and the Maple plywood is the interior shelves, dividers, drawer bottoms, and the back. The cabinet sides are raised WO panels while the front is a WO face frame w/ WO door frames and drawer fronts. My question is whether to fill the grain on the WO. My finishing plan is as follows:

Exterior:

1) Sand entire piece to 180
2) Wash coat entire piece w/ 1 lb. cut shellac – 50/50 mix deneatured alcohol and Seal Coat dewaxed
3) Light sanding w/ 320
4) Stain w/ Oil Based Stain
5) Topcoat 4 – 5 coats Oil Based Polyurethane
6) Soft rub-out w/ 0000 steel wool

Interior: cabinets and drawers

1) Sand entire piece to 180
2) Wash coat entire piece w/ 1 lb. cut shellac – 50/50 mix deneatured alcohol and Seal Coat dewaxed
3) Light sanding w/ 320
4) Stain w/ Oil Based Stain
5) 2lb. cut Shellac – 4 – 5 coats
6) Soft rub-out w/ 0000 steel wool

Paste wax entire piece.

Will filling the grain be a benefit or is it not necessary? I’ve put so much time and effort into this piece that I just don’t want to ruin it now. Any feedback would be helpful.

Thanks,

-- Kenny... The man who needs a tool he doesn't have is already paying for it.


6 replies so far

View joek30296's profile

joek30296

33 posts in 1493 days


#1 posted 929 days ago

Your finishing schedule looks good. I personally like oak filled before finishing. Therefore, I’d fill the oak and not the maple. Make sure you use the same brand of poly that you use to stain. DAMHIKT….refinished an oak dining table 5 times before I sought professional help. It turned out that I’d used one brand of stain and another of oil based poly which were not compatible with each other. The poly never dried until I used same brands.

Joe

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

View kennyd's profile

kennyd

99 posts in 1627 days


#2 posted 928 days ago

Hi Joe,

I’m guessing that you like to fill the grain for aesthetic reasons; pronounced grain pattern, smooth surface, etc. I’m wondering if there’s a benefit from filling. I think I’ll to make a step sample piece to see which look I like.

Thanks for the reply.

-- Kenny... The man who needs a tool he doesn't have is already paying for it.

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2371 days


#3 posted 928 days ago

It’s a personal preference, but I use oak mainly for the texture. If I want to do something with a contrasting grain, then I’ll fill it with a colored filler that will achieve the look I’m after. If I’m after a smooth surface, I’ll use a wood that is closed grain, like maple or cherry, etc. Unless you’re thinking about French polishing or such, I would leave the oak the way it is. My $.02.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3404 posts in 2587 days


#4 posted 928 days ago

I wouldn’t fill.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View kennyd's profile

kennyd

99 posts in 1627 days


#5 posted 924 days ago

Thanks for the replies. I’m not going to fill the grain. I’ve looked at a few different pieces made of oak and decided I like the natural look of the grain.

-- Kenny... The man who needs a tool he doesn't have is already paying for it.

View SteviePete's profile

SteviePete

224 posts in 1930 days


#6 posted 924 days ago

I only fill oak on horizontal surfaces where water, whiskey or nail polish may drop. I like the liming finish and contrast fills—have not done them but they look good. s

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

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