Question about masking off holes for finishing

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Forum topic by ScottStewart posted 754 days ago 754 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 764 days

754 days ago

Newb question, but I can’t figure out a great answer:

I am making a couple of toy cranes for my kids, and SWMBO has decreed they will be painted. (Ouch) These parts have a bunch of holes for differing axles, and I am trying to figure out how to let the kids paint without messing up my holes. Is there a foam or something you use that is easily removable? I debated using dowels to fill the holes, but thought they would likely get painted in, and when I went to drill them out would egg out the axle holes.

We are using a kid safe acrylic paint we found at hobby lobby if that makes any difference.

Thanks for any thoughts.


15 replies so far

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14878 posts in 1200 days

#1 posted 754 days ago

Not seeing the projects this may not work, but can’t you just redrill them?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View ScottStewart's profile


108 posts in 764 days

#2 posted 753 days ago

That is what I will probably have to do, but I was afraid I would egg out the holes doing that. Thanks for the help.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4118 posts in 1488 days

#3 posted 753 days ago

Use dowels in the holes

Make sure they are waxed

It also makes it easier to hold while



-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View MNgary's profile


235 posts in 1049 days

#4 posted 753 days ago

You should be able to use your fingers to twist the drill bit and avoid “egging”. I.e., don’t use a brace or an electric drill, just your fingers and the bit.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View a1Jim's profile


112015 posts in 2209 days

#5 posted 753 days ago

Sometimes you can fill holes with tooth picks that have a little wax on them or short pieces of rubber or plastic tubing or plastic straws.

-- Custom furniture

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 1700 days

#6 posted 753 days ago

You could mark your hole centers with a finish nail before the kids paint. When the paint is dry, use Forsner bits to drill nice, clean, holes.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View racerglen's profile


2295 posts in 1412 days

#7 posted 753 days ago

Depending on the size of the hole, try Q tips, they may leave some fuzz that neds cleanup, but
they do pull out easliy.
a1Jim’s toothpicks are another goodie, also, again depending on size the bamboo skewers for BBQ that go for about a buck per hundred ?

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14725 posts in 2308 days

#8 posted 753 days ago

I would either use waxed dowels or twist a drill by hand.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Fuzzy's profile


289 posts in 2620 days

#9 posted 753 days ago

Maybe go one size smaller dowel and wrap it with a few wraps of blue tape ???

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Gatorjim's profile


203 posts in 837 days

#10 posted 753 days ago

I would think you could use playdough just fill the hole a little lower then the surface then paint it. It should be easy after it dries to get the playdough out of the hole.

-- My theroy in wood working will be. If I'm not enjoying doing it i won't do it.

View HerbC's profile


1162 posts in 1491 days

#11 posted 753 days ago

Cut pieces of foam backer rod (used by builders to fill cracks before caulking, available at box stores) Use the pieces to fill the holes, remove after painting.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Gator's profile


377 posts in 2308 days

#12 posted 752 days ago

soda straws..?
How big are these holes ?

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View ScottStewart's profile


108 posts in 764 days

#13 posted 752 days ago

they are 3/8 inch for the one I am most worried about. Thank you for all the replies.

View bondogaposis's profile


2490 posts in 983 days

#14 posted 752 days ago

Just pinch off a piece of pipe insulation, stuff the hole, and pull it out w/ needle nose pliers when done.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Gshepherd's profile


1466 posts in 833 days

#15 posted 747 days ago

For the size i think you could stick a few space balls in there and when done push them out….. I did this when my girls made some toy cars and such…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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