Grain Filler for Painting Red Oak

      How to fill open wood pores to get a smooth paint topcoat. July 17, 2008

Most of the time I prefer other people to do the finish coatings on my cabinetry, but last week I volunteered to do a small renovation for a local non-profit organization and did my own painting. I built the cabinetry out of whatever materials I had on hand in the shop, thinking that since it was getting painted, it wouldn't matter. Most of the casework was birch ply with a poplar face frame, but I ran short and made two of the doors out of red oak. When I primed it, the grain pores were still open. So I sanded, re-primed, and it was still noticeable. I sprayed the finish coat, sanded and recoated. While a little better at each turn, the pores were still noticeable to my eye when I was finished (client was thrilled). My question is, when painting an open-pored wood like RO, what can be done to fill the pores so as to get a smooth finish? And at what stage do you do this? Also, just for future reference, how does this work if doing stain-grade?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
I would, after sanding and staining, spray 2 or 3 coats of Milesi SPA polyurethane sealer. That will fill the grain. Sand it down with either 220 or 150, then lacquer it.

From contributor B:
At this stage, you can simply give the surface a thin coat of latex wood filler and sand smooth with 320, then top coat.

From contributor M:
We use a paste grain filler from Chemcraft. You need to mix colour with it. Apply with a rag and as soon as it starts to flash off, wipe at a 45 degree angle across the grain with a piece of burlap to remove most of the filler and then finish with the grain with a clean rag to remove the rest. Let dry 24 hours and finish as usual. Normally we only grain fill tops for tables or desks.

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: General Wood Finishing

    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 © 1996-2017 - 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