Finishing over knot holes

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Forum topic by Tim714 posted 07-22-2014 02:02 AM 747 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 312 days

07-22-2014 02:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing knots holes filling

I just finished building a red oak coffee table and need advice on finishing. The top is six boards joined together, some of which have knots or a hole. I chose these on purpose to build in some character, but then realized that I don’t know what to do so that the surface is flat, but the knots are still visible. I am mostly concerned with the deep, dark one. I read that there is an epoxy method, but don’t know if anyone has any experience with this. Advice is appreciated. Thanks.

9 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


4048 posts in 1057 days

#1 posted 07-22-2014 02:32 AM

Epoxy is what I’ve done. Just get a small thing of the 5 min epoxy, mix it up, fill in the hole. Make sure you leave it proud of the surface until it cures and hardens. Then sand it flush.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View timbertailor's profile


1405 posts in 331 days

#2 posted 07-22-2014 03:20 AM

Or do a really thick, clear, epoxy resin. Crystal Clear Glaze Coat. Do the WHOLE top.

Most bar tops are done this way if you were wondering what it looks like when complete.

Should last forever without fear of deterioration.

-- Brad, Texas,

View bigblockyeti's profile


2241 posts in 628 days

#3 posted 07-22-2014 03:36 AM

You can go over it with poly and it will get down into the areas around the knot and lock it in. If you’re looking to fill it, it may take several coats. Epoxy is a one shot deal most of the time, as mentioned you can pour it in and leave it proud or let it sink below the surface for less sanding/cleanup before your final finish.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2594 posts in 1400 days

#4 posted 07-22-2014 12:53 PM

Epoxy is what I’ve always used, though I always found it unfriendly to sand. A card scraper wporks a little better to smooth it down (at least for me).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Tim714's profile


2 posts in 312 days

#5 posted 08-06-2014 01:34 AM

Thanks for the replies. I filled the large knot and sanded it down level with the top, but it looks scratched and hazy now. Anyone know a way to buff out the scratches so that it’s clear? Thanks!

View CharlesA's profile


2211 posts in 705 days

#6 posted 08-06-2014 01:46 AM

It will clear up when you put finish on it.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View English's profile


346 posts in 384 days

#7 posted 08-06-2014 02:02 AM

I found web site that sells the a knot stabilzer hot melt. It is I purchased mine from They sold the knot-tec product in smaller quantity. Watch the video at

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View CharlesA's profile


2211 posts in 705 days

#8 posted 08-06-2014 02:06 AM

5 minute epoxy for me. You can tint it a bit if you want. Here is a knot tinted with a tiny bit of ebony stain. This just has a swipe of mineral spirits over it, and you can see the scratch marks are gone.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Yonak's profile


671 posts in 428 days

#9 posted 08-06-2014 02:49 AM

There is a product from System 3 called SculpWood which is an epoxy wood filler that can be colored with dry grout or a paint or epoxy tint. I got some and used only a little, but from what I’ve seen it seems to stay in pretty good and works pretty much like wood, although the holes I filled weren’t as large as the ones you will fill. Bondo also has a wood filler that I have not yet tried but plan to. Whatever you use, kindly post a review to further the collective knowledgebase.

-- Practicing unfamiliar techniques on scrap before committing to the real piece leads to safe and reliable results.

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