Fix tearful with epoxy or sand down?

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Forum topic by jimmy J posted 06-12-2014 07:13 PM 1174 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimmy J

229 posts in 2406 days

06-12-2014 07:13 PM

I have a nickel sized, 1/16” deep tearout in a maple table top. I’ve sanded it out partly but fear it will be a ton of work to sand down the full diameter required to hide the mark (I’ve done about 2” this far) . I will be staining the maple with a relatively dark TransTintdye. I am thinking of leveling it out with epoxy prior to spraying the dye stain Arm-R-Seal topcoats. Thoughts? I am hoping given the dark dye (Vintage Maple) the blemish won’t be too noticeable? Would appreciate if someone can confirm the dye OVER epoxy (West Systems) is safe. I figure it would be better to dye it all at once rather than have dye in the epoxy also.

10 replies so far

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1621 days

#1 posted 06-12-2014 07:17 PM

I’ve never been able to cover an epoxy repair with any kind of stain or dye. They never absorb like the wood does and so they show up as a flaw. Can’t be planed out? Also a scraper might be able to take it out and keep the wood level. Good luck.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View dawsonbob's profile


2886 posts in 1782 days

#2 posted 06-12-2014 07:20 PM

For what it’s worth, I’ve had good luck with the Titebond wood filler. It takes stains pretty well (as always, test before using on a finished piece).

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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jimmy J

229 posts in 2406 days

#3 posted 06-12-2014 07:29 PM

I should add that I am going to use the Charles Neil blotch control on this table. So I guess I need to know if the CN product can bite into the epoxy.

View dawsonbob's profile


2886 posts in 1782 days

#4 posted 06-12-2014 07:33 PM

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think much of anything will “bite” into cured epoxy (not the stuff I’ve used, anyway). Mr. Neil would be the one to answer that, of course. I don’t know how his excellent blotch control would work in that situation.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2284 days

#5 posted 06-12-2014 11:20 PM

You could try making a dutchman on a piece of scrap and see if you like the result. You will need a piece of stock that matches the table’s grain as closely as possible. Also, if you use an irregular shape it will be less noticeable. Once the top has been routed out and the slightly thicker matching piece glued in, plane, scrape or sand it to be flush with the top. HTH

-- Art

View bondogaposis's profile


4767 posts in 2378 days

#6 posted 06-13-2014 01:36 AM

Once you put the epoxy on the wood it will no longer accept any kind of dye.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Woodknack's profile


11805 posts in 2407 days

#7 posted 06-13-2014 03:21 AM

Dye it first then stain the filler to match or slightly darker. Matching the tone is more important than matching color. Try a shellac stick or maybe a dutchman like Art suggested. Might want to practice on scrap first.

-- Rick M,

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

572 posts in 1496 days

#8 posted 06-13-2014 05:00 AM

cellulose-based fillers would work a lot better than epoxy. I think DAP makes something called “plastic wood”, comes in a small red tin and it’s nasty to work with but it works great. It’s basically wood fiber in some type of acetone-based binder/adhesive and it sets up in minutes and cures quickly, it can be sanded and stained, although since it’s an artificial filler putty, it’s very uniform so if the wood around it has a lot of figure, you would notice regardless of how well the stain matched.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#9 posted 06-13-2014 06:05 AM

Good advice here.

I have played with dying/staining repairs slightly lighter
and then dry brushing acrylic model paints to imitate grain
and tweak the color.

A knife or awl can be used to make grain lines if
needed to get color to take.

This stuff can make you crazy because it’s such a
small thing. Apply craftsmanship and keep at it until
it’s right and you’ll get a good result. The major
mistake I’ve made with color repairs is fooling myself
that it’s a better match than it is. Still, a uniform
topcoat does distract the eye and hide a lot of sins,
something guitar builders know well.

View runswithscissors's profile


2767 posts in 2052 days

#10 posted 06-13-2014 06:51 AM

Epoxy can be made to take stains by mixing in fine wood flour—in your case, maple, obviously. But it will be very difficult to get a perfect match. I’d suggest several test batches before committing. Sand or scrape them before trying the stain or dye. Fine sanding dust is the right texture, especially with a fine grained wood like maple.

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

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