Filling Flaky Leopardwood Veneer Before Finishing

      Advice on fillers and compatible topcoats for a troublesome veneered tabletop. August 22, 2013

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I'm looking for advice on filling flaky leopardwood veneer that is applied to a high-end hall table. This veneer has the highly visible medullary rays that are really beautiful but a nightmare to get a full fill finish. Some of these rays are missing and leave cavities. I want a smooth satin finish over a penetrating stain.

What are my options? I am contemplating trying a tinted two part epoxy table top finish to fill these cavities, sand back to the veneer, stain and then topcoat with pre-cat lacquer. Are there any compatibility issues with this? I've read about polyesters but have never used the stuff. Some suggest topcoating with acrylic urethane or polyurethane (2 part). Again, never used those products.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
Simple: MLC Level sealer.

From contributor L

Click to View Member Profile Shop Gallery Project Gallery Categories

Yep, what he said.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the response - I will definitely check this product out. I assume one can topcoat the level sealer with pre-cat or post-cat lacquer/finish.

From contributor L

Click to View Member Profile Shop Gallery Project Gallery Categories

That's what it's designed for. The level sealer is just that, a sanding sealer. It would be a terrible topcoat as it scratches easy. I did a white oak bar top with this and got it glass smooth. Took a while though. Three rounds of 8 mil coats and then 24 hours to dry and shrink and sand as flat as it would go without burning into the stain. Then 3 more rounds of 8 mil coats and a week to shrink back. Then sand it with 320-500 until it is dead flat. But this is white oak, which has a very deep pore. Not sure how deep leopard wood is.

From contributor R:
You must (should) use a top coat that is a Post Cat (CV) lacquer, like Krystal or Duravar that is catalyzed. I would not use Magnamax nor Magnalac or any ordinary pre-cat lacquer. But you could experiment and take lots of notes for your sample boards and see what works for you! Good luck and read everything on each product.

From contributor L

Click to View Member Profile Shop Gallery Project Gallery Categories

I don't think you would have a single problem with using a pre-cat over the top of Level Sealer as long as you sanded it and top-coated it soon (few hours). If you are talking about durability of the top, then I agree. Although I think Krystal scratches show up a lot more than the same on MagnaMax or MagnaKlear. Polish will usually take care of them either way.

From contributor I:
Or you could use a polyester sealer, fill it in one day and sand and top coat with 2k urethane the next day. If you haven't used polyester, it does have a nasty learning curve and must be done the correct way.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: Refinishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture: Restoration

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article