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Filling Wood Grain for Perfect Finishing

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Filling pores with a homemade slurry

A watery mix of insoluble materials is a slurry. To Jim, that means an oil/varnish, such as Watco Danish Oil, mixed with sanding dust. "The Watco darkens the pores for contrast," he says. "I pour a liberal amount on the surface, then sand vigorously with 100-grit-the paper has to produce sanding dust."

With burlap, a towel, or an old washcloth, Jim packs the slurry into the wood. "I don't wipe off any excess slurry," he notes. "I just let it dry overnight. Then, I sand it again, adding more oil if needed. The new sanding dust blends with the original slurry and further fills the pores when I pack it in. This time, I wipe off the excess before letting the surface dry. After the second slurrying, all the grain should be filled."

The tinted oil in the slurry will have colored the entire wood surface. To color only the pores requires removing the dried surface oil with more sanding. "If you don't want to stain the wood," Jim advises, "simply use a clear or natural oil, such as linseed oil diluted about one-third with paint thinner. Then your slurry will take on the ambient color of the wood and tend to wash out the grain for an even look (see photo below left). In either case, I let the surface dry for several days before final sanding and the application of a finish coat."


The striking grain contrast of this oak sample came from accenting with a darkly tinted commercial paste filler.


Continued on page 3:  Page 3

 

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Comments (4)
8609734848
nbana wrote:

I've used this procedure with walnut. They problem is removing the slurry buildup. I find that a scraper works best because sandpaper seems to just get clogged up really quick.

7/31/2014 04:42:47 PM Report Abuse
ibrewster1 wrote:

Is there a video anywhere showing this slurry technique? It sounds like something I'd like to try, but I do better seeing it first.

7/31/2014 11:55:10 AM Report Abuse
nickelld2 wrote:

I do something all most like the slurry only I use straight watco danish oil either natural or tinted and spread it on thick the wait until it becomes tacky then handrub it with an old wash cloth or other sutibale rag. This fills the pores, then I sand with 100 or higher grit sand paper.

10/1/2010 11:22:33 PM Report Abuse
russtypd1 wrote:

Jim,This is a technique and a solution I have never considered. Have you ever any problems with the slurry ever causing the top finish to peel and loose it's adhesion. Terry Eby in Billings, Montana

6/25/2010 08:21:17 AM Report Abuse

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