Filling in Wood Furniture Grain

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Wood such as mahogany that has large pores must have those pores filled prior to staining. Find out how to fill the pores in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Refinishing Wood Furniture
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Video Transcript

The next process we use a porous grain wood. If this was a maple or cherry we wouldn't do this process. This is called filling the grain. It's basically a filling material, which is very thick and gooey. It gets hard and dry and fills the grain and levels it out, and makes it nice and smooth, almost like it would be a cherry or a mahogany or a maple finish. This is what it does when it dries, it gets real crusty. When it's wet; however, it looks like mud, and what we're shooting for is about the consistency of peanut butter. Somewhere between peanut butter and Hershey's Syrup. We apply this; it doesn't take a whole lot to go a long way, and we simply work it in with some old rags. We take some that have already had some on it from previous application, and it's dried on here. We're going to work it into the grain. You're just going to do circular motions, just like you're going to wax your car, little circular motions. As it starts to dry, it will go from the Hershey's Syrup, almost to a peanut butter look and feel. You can see it's starting to build up on the rag, and that's what we want. When it gets to be like peanut butter, that's when it's filling the grain. That's when it's doing its work. If you wipe it off now you're just defeating the whole purpose. We're trying to get this level, slick and smooth. If you looked under a microscope, this grain would look like peaks and valleys, like mountains and ridges, and what we ant to do is level those mountain ridges off with a filler and that's what this is doing. It's making everything like a prairie, just nice and flat. Now you can see it's starting to get like peanut butter, and that's when you kn ow you're getting into the grain. This is cut with mineral spirits, and it evaporates fairly quickly so it doesn't take long to get it in the grain. Once we're satisfied with that we're going to work a new section of the rag. Take off a little more of the material while you're still working it down in the grain. We'll rub our edges, and the last thing, we'll get a clean rag and we go over the whole surface again. This time, with the grain; the very last step. Before, it looked about this color, and afterwards it's got a nice little bit of brown to it, and it also has filled the grain.

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