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Working With Putty

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher

It never fails. When cutting out parts for a project or just handling the pieces during the glue-up, chips or dings are sure to happen and are going to need to be filled with some type of filler. The same is also true when working on old furniture. Nail holes need to be filled or the corner edge of a top has been slightly damaged. When it comes to the finishing stage, hiding these repairs can be quite a challenge. Here are 7 tips to guide you.

1. Practice on scrap first.

2. Always try to use a filler that is closest to the final color of the project itself.

3. Wet the scrap with a little water or the stain to be used. This will mimic the color of the wood when the finish is being applied.

4. Take into consideration the type of wood filler to use. A two part epoxy are better for larger fills, water based or solvent based for small holes or cracks.

5. Fillers come in different colors that can be intermixed.

6. Water and solvent based fillers can also be thinned with the appropriate thinner to make a "grain filler" for a super smooth surface.

7. As for antiques, utilizing sanding dust from the piece mixed with liquid hide glue is great for small areas since the sanding dust carries the "patina' of the aged wood itself.

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

Apr 14   Antiques Show and Tell

Apr 25   French Polish Workshop

Apr 28   Spray Finishing

May 5-6   Antique Restoration

May 12   Antiques Show & Tell

June 13   Coloring with Wood

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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