Grain Filling on Paduak

Sanding dust mixed with wet finish works; or there's paste filler. May 18, 2010

Question
I have a coffee table with an African Paduak top that I want to fill the grain on. What would you recommend using? This wood is similar to mahogany grain, but I donít want to change the color of the wood with filler. I have heard using sawdust mixtures of some sort works?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor Y:
What do you plan on using to finish it with - 2k/CV/waterbase/solvent base/?



From the original questioner:
I am using precat MLC magnamax for the top finish.


From contributor Y:
Since there are many ways to accomplish this I will start by telling you yes you can use the fine powder created by sanding the wood as a base component for pore filling. Mix with the coating you intend to apply as your first coat (this could be the vinyl or the MM). Apply with plastic or metal spatula or credit card etc., leaving only a skim film of the mixture on the surface. Let dry and re-sand the entire surface. This should fill 90% of the pores or more. The rest will be filled by your clear coats. There are also many other ways to do this so I will leave it open for others to respond and may in turn respond later with other's if not mentioned.


From contributor R:
Why not use a paste wood filler? It wonít change the color of the wood but it will fill up the pores of the wood. The paste wood fillers are available in quite a few colors too. Put a thinned down coating of your magnamax right on the table top. Let it dry, apply the paste wood filler, follow the directions as to applying and removing and dry times etc. Continue with finish coats. Side note for you Ė thatís a gnarly wood to raw sand so Iíd be tempted to wear a good fitting respirator when working on it. I suppose you can get the grain filled by wet sanding with a clear Watco oil. The slush created by the saw dust/oil mixture will eventually fill the pores but it might take a bit of work and lots of dry time. The Watco will not change the color of the wood any more than a clear coat would.


From the original questioner:
So basically make a slurry of sawdust and vinyl white sealer and work it into the pores, sand it down like normal then top coat as usual?


From contributor Y:
I'm not sure what you mean by vinyl white sealer. If you mean to say clear vinyl sealer then yes. Listen to all the options and recommendations first though you may change your mind about this method.


From contributor R:
White vinyl sealer is sort of like a primer thatís used for paint grade projects. Do you mean water white? However you decide to complete this table, make up a few different samples first so you are comfortable with the process when you actually go for it.


From the original questioner:
My mistake, I meant to say water white sealer. Thanks guys, I appreciate your input. I think I will try a couple samples and see what works best for me.


From contributor O:
Look at ML Campbell's Level Sealer under Magnamax. That will probably do the best job for you. Check out the product information on mlcampbell.com. Spray on two-three coats Level Sealer (post-cat) and cut flat with 320 to fill grain. You can build Level Sealer thicker without worry of cracking, but I think it looks better to cut most of it back off to get a clean look and grain fill. Let sealer dry for 24 plus hours to cut down on any shrink back before final sand. Then topcoat with a couple coats of Magnamax or Klearvar as normal.