Filling Wood Grain for Perfect Finishing
"Paste filler comes from the can the consistency of peanut butter. So thin it with paint thinner, benzine, or naphtha to a heavy cream," Jim instructs. "And because a paste filler is generally off-white in color, you'll have to add stain or a tint to it if you want to accent the grain (as shown below left). Otherwise, the light-colored filler will obscure it. You can purchase colored fillers, but for better results, color your own."
Jim applies the paste filler to the surface with a small plastic spreader (as shown previous page), pushing the creamy material across the grain into the pores of the wood. After the filler has dried, Jim sands the entire surface with 120-grit to remove the filler from the non-porous areas. The remaining filler accentuates the grain. After cleaning the surface of dust with a tack cloth, he lays down a clear finish.
According to the finishing expert, a paste filler can provide some spectacular results. "You can stain the wood dark, seal it, then put on a lighter filler for contrast. Or vice versa. Myself, I like to make the wood jump out at you."
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