Wood filler questions

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Forum topic by Jon1094 posted 05-19-2012 10:15 AM 2113 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 2229 days

05-19-2012 10:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing finish filler lacquer problems

The issue:
1. little white lines in the wood grain.
2. I am pretty sure it is the wood filler but not sure how to fix it.

So I finished my chessboard and sanded to 220 grit. I used mineral spirits to clean it off and wiped with a tack cloth. I made sure my garage was very clean before proceeding.

I used wood grain filler on the top of the board only. I can’t remember the brand but I bought it from Woodcraft. The filler said that it was “transparent”. I used the filler, let it dry, and then rubbed it to a dull shine with a cloth. After six coats of lacquer I started noticing these white lines in the walnut grain. I ended up sanding it down and removing the wood filler altogether.

I have since begun to re-finish the top and have about fifteen coats of lacquer on it. I still have more to go due to the lacquer falling into the grain but I can’t figure out how to make it so that the wood filler wont show up. If I tint the wood filler wont it make the maple look bad? I won’t be able to smear it over the top without hitting the maple. Please help!!

4 replies so far

View lewis62's profile


73 posts in 2662 days

#1 posted 05-19-2012 12:44 PM

I have not heard of wood filler that would blend in with dark and light wood at same time. The easiest way to fill pores for glass smooth finish is build finish up in pores untill top coat comes out smooth. There is sanding sealer , which is high solid content that fills pores so final finish is flat on top.
Or you can pour your finish on, squeegie it off so you are only filling pores ,sand to get rid of extra on top, repeat a few times to get pores filled than spray final coat on to finish. Have done it with poly, but not lacqer, if that is your choice for finish I would try sanding sealer on scrap first and get finsh that you want. Do not know if you can put it on top of other finish, read label on sealer.

View TheHarr's profile


118 posts in 3562 days

#2 posted 05-25-2012 06:35 PM

I came across this problem before. What you have is called bridging. This is caused by minerals in the wood collecting on the edges of the negative grain. This can occur when applying water based finishing products to oak or mahogany. There are other species that this also occurs. To avoid this, apply a very thin coat of shellac to lock the negative grain. I don’t completely understand this, because I have only had this happen to me 2-3 times in my 20+ years woodworking.

The solution I used to fix my project won’t work for you. I covered it up with a dark gel stain. Not my preferred way to go, but I just wanted to finish that stupid project and move on.

-- The wood is good.

View DS's profile (online now)


2924 posts in 2443 days

#3 posted 05-25-2012 06:43 PM

Charles Neil did a review on a filler product that I had some success with.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Jon1094's profile


41 posts in 2229 days

#4 posted 05-27-2012 08:24 AM

Thanks for all the help. I sanded the whole thing down and started over. I have put so many coats of lacquer on now that I’m almost back to a smooth finish. I will definitely keep that filler product in mind next time.

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