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How to use Grain Filler by Paul Mayer from ToolMetrix

Posted on March 22, 2023

Aqua Coat found this interesting article by Paul Mayer from ToolMetrix. He talks about how efficient Aqua Coat Clear Grain Filler is in filling the grain. He states it's simple to apply, odorless, doesn't shrink, Eco-Friendly and produces great results with minimal effort. He suggested Aqua Coat Clear Grain Filler is easy to use by following a few simple steps:

  1. Surface prep. Sand the wood to 220 grit and use compressed air to remove any sanding dust from the wood pores. This will reduce the risk of an adhesion problem.
  2. Apply the filler. Using a putty knife, smear on the product in each direction; across the grain, with the grain, and at an angle to the grain. This will ensure that the grain filler penetrates all grain cavities. Let it dry for at least an hour.
  3. Lightly sand. Using 320 grit sandpaper, lightly sand the grain filler off of the wood’s surface, ensuring that all residue is removed and the surface is smooth. I find that mesh style abrasives work well for this because they allow dust collection to remove the dust more easily while you sand the surface flush. Use compressed air to remove all dust from the surface.
  4. Examine the surface. Place a light source at a low angle to the table top and get down to eye level and observe the surface. Run your hands across it as well, to determine whether the pores have been completely filled. When working with woods that have smaller pores such as walnut, you might be able to fill the pores with a single application, but more coarse woods such as oak will often require 2-3 applications. Repeat steps two and three as needed to produce a surface where the pores are completely filled.
  5. Apply top coat. Let the filler dry overnight before applying your top coat, to ensure that moisture is no longer evaporating from the filler. Apply top coats as your normally wood, and notice that the finish looks much better than a non-filled surface.
  6. If you plan to apply a stain, you can do that before or after applying the grain filler. If you want the stain to penetrate the wood pores, apply the stain first, and if you don’t, apply it after the grain filler has dried. As with any new finishing operation, it’s always best to test and compare on scrap to be sure that you are not surprised by the results on your final piece.