Thinner for Wood Filler

      Advice on storing, reconstituting, or thinning solvent-based wood fillers. August 8, 2008

For those that use Famo-wood filler, what can I mix with it to get a thinner consistency? They recommend Famo solvent, but I don't have any and don't have time to wait for an order to come in.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor N:
I have always used acetone or lacquer thinner. Acetone makes it dry really fast, though.

From contributor D:
Try lacquer retarder - thins it down but doesn't dry so fast.

From contributor M:
One great trick I learned was to store the can upside down. All the goop drops and totally seals out any air encroachment. I have cans last two years doing that.

From contributor I:
I use lacquer thinner and it works fine.

From contributor V:
I've been using lacquer thinner for years. I will give the retarder trick a try, though.

From contributor J:
I never thought about storing them upside down. It seems like I get a rare red oak or cherry kitchen to do, and when I open my well-maintained cans (so I thought), I find them as hard as a rock, so I toss them and get some new ones. This little trick is going to cost Famowood some future sales.

From contributor K:
Never throw them away! The filler can always be re-constituted. Just add back solvent, let sit overnight, and mix. That is what the solvent is for.

From contributor J:
I know that, but when you find one that's a year old and is a now a rock, it's almost more trouble than it's worth unless it's only gotten dry. Does this make sense? The solvent is dangerous to work with, so I prefer to putty quick and move on, without breathing the stuff. Often I use their water based stuff, which works very well in the dry months.

From contributor A:
One of those acetone solvent based wood fillers used to put the label on upside down, so you would store it upside down.

From contributor R:
I have used lacquer thinner and acetone, and both of these work okay. However, about 10 years ago I found that MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) had the best long-term results. It is available at Lowe's and probably most hardware stores.

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