Advice needed: Removing the grain look from wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Question Advice needed: Removing the grain look from wood

ADVICE NEEDED: I bought a dresser and am not happy with how prominent the wood grain is, I am thinking of sanding it but am a newcomer to woodworking and would appreciate any advice on how to make the edges look smooth and the sides not show the grain.
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 12:36 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Heather!

Lots of ways to do this - some require more elbow grease, some are really messy. One quick way is to use automotive filler like Bondo and spread it really thin, then sand it smooth. It will be messy (dusty) and if you get it on too thick you'll have a lot of sanding to do. A downside is that using it just to fill the grain (on what appears to be plywood) is that if it gets bumped it can crack.

There are other paste fillers that may be a bit more flexible but all in all you want to fill the grain and sand back to the wood whichever filler you use.

Others will chime in with their preferred method and filler and I would think most of these will work well for you.

What tools do you have available for the job?

David

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post #3 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks David! I have a sheet sander and that's about it so far. Is that the best sander to use or do you suggest an orbital? Also, when you say if it gets bumped, it might crack, what do you mean?

Last edited by Heather Paley; 12-02-2019 at 01:07 PM. Reason: i forgot a question
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 01:28 PM
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A random orbital sander (you'll see it referred to as ROS) does wonders for removing sanding scratches. But if your sheet sander isn't leaving scratches then you may be ok.

Automotive Bondo is really intended for sheet metal and especially where there's a hole or two for the Bondo to lock on so it stays put. The thing about using it on wood is that wood moves - expands, contracts, swells, shrinks, etc. - far more than metal. But since your piece appears to be plywood then Bondo will probably work just fine. And they make a formula for wood so you don't have to get the regular automotive Bondo.

Bondo dries hard and can crack so if it's really thin in some areas it is possible to crack it like a thin piece of glass if it's hit with a pointed object. Hard toys with enough impact could crack it but a soft ball probably won't have much effect on it.

But that's likely the case with most fillers except for Epoxy, maybe... Do some searches for filled finish and you'll quickly find many tips on guitar finishing where they use all sorts of fillers.

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post #5 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 01:47 PM
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If you want to paint your project, then you can paint with primers that can be sanded between coats so that it leaves a perfectly smooth finish for final coating.

Your finish sander or hand sanding will work fine smoothing the primer.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 03:22 PM
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Two coats of paint should cover the grain.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-02-2019, 04:39 PM
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Use an automotive primer/filler ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
If you want to paint your project, then you can paint with primers that can be sanded between coats so that it leaves a perfectly smooth finish for final coating.


Your finish sander or hand sanding will work fine smoothing the primer.

Painting alone will NOT fill the grain in woods like Oak. Bondo is way too thick and will require too much sanding to get it flat. Something like this will work if you want to use spray paint:

https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-Au...5318303&sr=8-4


Now, finishing is a separate skill from woodworking, so go slowly here. Spray a side where it won't show that much to see how it goes. The heavier you can spray it the better, to a point. Laying the piece over so you have the panel horizontal. This will allow you to apply a thicker coat before it starts to run ...... part of the skill set.

These primers are fast drying which means in 30 minutes or less. Read the Instructions on the can before starting. Get acquainted with wet/dry sand papers used for automotive work. A thin film of soapy water, a few drops in a old Windex spray bottle will work. will prevent scratches and carry away the residue. Have dry cloths or paper towels available to wipe up the soapy water.


Sand with the grain when possible using a flat sponge backed block or a wood block with the corners rounded off. Special shaped sponge blocks can be made for the curved areas. What you are trying to do is twofold, fill the grain by leveling off the surface and make the surface flat.


Check out these You Tube videos before starting:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...d+grain+filler



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-02-2019 at 06:30 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-03-2019, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you SO much!
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-03-2019, 06:51 PM
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furniture restoration finisher here! You cannot remove the grain from any wood ever, but you can fill the grain, that dresser has been faux finished, so its hard to say if it was finished on top of a finish, and what exactiy you are trying to achieve, and its hard to say what it has been finished with just by a picture. there is glaze in the grain that is making the grain pop out dark like that, but If you dont like that, i recommend getting it painted, or use the DIY chalkpaint which is safe for most finishes on furniture. I think you might be happier with one solid color and the grain wont pop out as much. chalk paint is easy to use. and you can get it in multiple colors at homedept.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-06-2019, 01:56 AM
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Paste, wood grain fillers.
Is it really worth it to you, though.?

It is a lot of work.
Good Luck
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-06-2019, 08:49 AM
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I’d use a high build primer. It may take a few coats to get it completely smooth; sanding well between coats. I’ve used one from Sherwin Williams with good success. Zinsser makes one as well.
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-11-2019, 09:34 PM
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Be careful sanding. Today's modern furniture are mostly veneers. You can easily sand through the veneer in no time at all. The bondo is an option, I have seen people use joint compound also. There are also primers intended precisely for the purpose you are trying to achieve. I use finishes from a company called Target Coatings, an outstanding company. They make a product called Emtech HSF5000 Primer/Filler. The company products are all water born and low VOC. Here is a link to the product. https://www.targetcoatings.com/produ...rfacer-filler/
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