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All About Paste Wood Fillers

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher


If you've ever wanted to produce that "mirror finish" on a project, using a paste wood filler like Behlen's Pore-O-Pac wood filler is the most important step in achieving a glass smooth finish. Not only does a full mirror finish dramatically enhance the grain of wood but it is also the only way to produce a "3-D" affect that shimmers of depth and elegance.

Like traditional oil stains, paste wood fillers come in a variety of colors that can be used right out of the can. They can also be mixed together for more versatility and can even be custom tinted with UTCs. Here is a ten step process for great results using paste wood fillers:

  1. Tools: burlap, grain filler spreader, firm brush with short bristles, mineral spirits, palm sander sanding block, 320 paper.
  2. Dip brush into filler and add a couple of drops of mineral spirits to the brush.
  3. Apply filler in a circular motion moving briskly along the surface to force the filler into the pores.
  4. Let stand until the spirits have flashed off and the filler has become dull.
  5. Using the grain filler spreader as a soft scraper, scrape across the grain to remove excess, leaving the filler in the pores.
  6. Follow up across the grain again with burlap along with some elbow grease.
  7. Allow plenty of dry time per instructions and be sure to keep the air moving. This will speed the drying process.
  8. When completely dry, gently sand any residue with 320 paper using a palm sander or by hand with a block.
  9. For course-grain woods such as oak or ash, a second or third application may be necessary.
  10. Apply finish.



Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

Antiques Show and Tell, February 12, 2011

French Polish Workshop, February 23, 2011

Antiques Show and Tell, March 12, 2011

Coloring Wood, March 16, 2011

Spray Finishing, March 19, 2011

Antique Restoration, March 26-27, 2011

French Polish Workshop, March 30, 2011

Visit Highland Woodworking's Online
Wood Finishing Supplies Department




Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net.


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