need some advice on putty.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 03-22-2013 12:24 AM 1312 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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900 posts in 1938 days

03-22-2013 12:24 AM

I was shooting on a bit of molding on a mantle I’m making and I shot an 18 g brad through the face of the material ( maple plywood). The putty I usually use (MIn-wax Wood finish) always seems to react with my putty knife and leave a very dark stain where I’m applying it. It’s a steel putty knife. 1 So… Any ideas what causes the dark stain? 2 I’m not real happy with that putty as it is . It doesn’t really take the stain very well. I have tried adding a bit of stain to the putty before I apply it. That works a bit better but not grate. What do you guys and gals use? Thanks.

-- Mark

20 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

914 posts in 2198 days

#1 posted 03-22-2013 12:26 AM

Try Timbermate.

-- Jerry

View rrww's profile


263 posts in 2077 days

#2 posted 03-22-2013 12:46 AM

Famowood is another good putty

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2451 days

#3 posted 03-22-2013 12:49 AM

white glue and sawdust always worked for me.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2933 days

#4 posted 03-22-2013 12:56 AM

Use a plastic spreader to stop black marks.

Tone down the filler by mixing in a small amount of a darker shade of filler (just a tiny blob of antique pine for instance), or I’ve done this before as well, mix in just a drop of coloured emulsion (latex paint?) from a tester.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10251 posts in 3611 days

#5 posted 03-22-2013 01:22 AM

I despise putty. It is a necessary evil however. I have noticed
black marks from putty knives – usually it’s no big deal, but
I think it may be possible to not have them by wire
brushing or sanding the putty knife blade to get
the oxidation off.

I like putty a lot for paint grade work… for finish grade
work the difficulty of getting it to look like wood
is really annoying. Sometimes I scratch a bit of grain
pattern into the patch and dry brush it with model
paints. If the paint is put on thin enough telegraphing
of the paint texture through the finish can be controlled.

View MrRon's profile


4710 posts in 3207 days

#6 posted 03-22-2013 04:46 PM

Dunhams water putty.

View joek30296's profile


53 posts in 2830 days

#7 posted 03-25-2013 12:07 PM

Been using a stainless steel butter spreader on putty for years and no problems with staining. I just purchased an inexpensive one and squared off the end on a belt sander.

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

View bondogaposis's profile


4682 posts in 2315 days

#8 posted 03-25-2013 01:34 PM

Hide glue and sanding dust from the same wood, works for me.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 1928 days

#9 posted 03-25-2013 01:43 PM

Another vote for Famowood. I try my best to avoid anything from minwax these days.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2197 days

#10 posted 03-25-2013 01:54 PM

Timbermate will darken from plain steel putty knives as well. It is a good brand of putty if you use stainless.
Famowood water based is good especially in the light colors like maple. I have mixed several of the colors to get an exact match. Another trick is to match the background, let it dry and sand it smooth, then carve the grain pattern back with an xacto knife and fill again with a slightly darker mix.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2943 days

#11 posted 03-25-2013 02:54 PM

I have aways preferred wood tex. Comes in several wood species. I have used this for about 30+ years

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


705 posts in 3237 days

#12 posted 03-25-2013 03:29 PM

I’ll add my vote for Famowood. Easy to use and you can blend different putties to get better color matching. Sands well and good results. Takes stain well also.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2777 days

#13 posted 03-25-2013 03:33 PM

I think the real trick is to apply the putty between two topcoats. In otherwords stain, 1st topcoat, putty, 2nd topcoat. That way you don’t have to worry about the putty taking stain well (which it usually doesn’t), but rather just use a putty color that matches your stain. The final topcoat covers the putty to prevent it from drying out and changing color in the future.
Works beautifully.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View waho6o9's profile


8162 posts in 2540 days

#14 posted 03-25-2013 03:55 PM

How about a maple plug?

View runswithscissors's profile


2724 posts in 1989 days

#15 posted 03-25-2013 09:16 PM

Another option is to chisel out a very precise divot, and glue in a graving piece of the same wood. Trim carefully and sand. If done right, it can be invisible.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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