wood grain filler - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-30-2020, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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wood grain filler

I am finding that primer and then white paint is not enough to cover the wood grain on a raw pine table. Will the top/clear coat help fill this or is there a sanding sealer or wood grain filler that I can apply. I keep sanding it down after painting, but this is removing too much of the paint. There are some small trim pieces that aren't that strong, so sanding too much will make things worse. The paint is white, so you really can the grain/imperfections in the wood. I don't mind some, but don't really like to see lot of grain showing through. Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-30-2020, 03:35 PM
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First of all you don't use a grain filler on pine. A grain filler is for wood like mahogany, walnut or oak that has an open grain. If you have used any water based product that may have been what has brought the grain out. The water in the finish will raise the grain. When you are preparing the wood to paint you can dampen the wood to raise the grain when making grit changes on you sandpaper. This will lessen the effect of putting a water based finish on. Also sanding pine too long with too fine sandpaper will bring out the grain. Pine has hard and soft grain and sanding with fine sandpaper you have to be careful not to wallow out the soft part of the grain. At this point all you can do is keep applying primer and sanding it between coats until you get the surface level. You can use an orbital sander with 220 grit paper to help you level the finish. That won't help you on the trim but should take care of the flat areas
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-30-2020, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Actually you can see the wood grain on some pieces of pine wood. I have seen other articles about it and some mention using a sanding sealer to help with it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-01-2020, 09:59 AM
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Sanding sealer is very similar to primer. It's just clear with less solids. Primer would do more to level the wood. The main purpose for sanding sealer is it's softer than a finish and makes it easier for between the coats sanding. To cover the grain you need something to fill the low areas and primer is thicker and would build faster.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-01-2020, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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OK. Thanks. But what about Aqua coat grain filler? Would that help? My main problem is that the wood wasn't great to start with. I tried to sand and fill the wood the best I could but there were a lot of damaged areas. So, I may be fighting a losing battle. I have been working on this same piece for almost a year off and on. The zinsser bin is difficult to apply. The lighting is not great in my apartment and I'm using white paint, so what I think looks fine...ends up not being so hot when the sun comes in or I put a light near it. I think I also just suck at painting! LOL
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-01-2020, 03:19 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I feel your pain!

Poor lighting is the bane of any finishing project! In order to get coverage with a brush on and especially with a rattle can finish, you MUST be able to see where you have been and where you are going.
Spray can finishes are about 1/4 as thick when they come out of the can as a brush on of the same type, so it takes 4 X more applications.
This will result in runs if you are not patient and especially if the surface is vertical and the lighting is poor. If you have ever watched Garage Shop or Overhaulin' on the Disc channel you'll see them saning and priming and sanding and priming several times. They also use soapy water to help rinse away the dust and keep the sand paper from clogging. I've spray painted about a lot of cars or trucks in my career and that's just how it is. However, once you get the wood sealed with a few coats of sealer or primer you can do the same to level out the surface. Check your progress by wetting the surface in a good reflective light.


If you haven't seen some of these they may be of benefit:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ood+furniture+



Sealer and fillers and primers come in many variations as well as how they are applied, brush, spray or rattle can. The metal parts on cars doesn't have grain to fill, but it may have been rusted with small pits which is just about the same. A heavy bodied primer oil based works best unless you use a 2 part system or a hardener. Lacquer primers are fairly light bodied and dry faster, so you can apply more coats more quickly. I've never used water based finishes, so I defer to those who have. Here a recent paint project I finished from the rub strip down on a Tahoe:
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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; 10-01-2020 at 04:21 PM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-01-2020, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the encouragement and suggestions. I have never painted or refinished anything and I now realize I picked a very difficult piece for my first "project". One of my coworkers made me promise that I would have this piece finished by November or else I had to get rid of it! LOL We'll see.....
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-01-2020, 07:37 PM
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If you looked at wood through a microscope it would look like a cluster of drinking straws glued together. Different species have different sizes of these straws. Woods like oak, mahogany and walnut have much larger straws where pine has very small straws. The purpose of a grain filler is to fill the end of these straws so the finish doesn't run into them and leave a hole. It doesn't do anything to fill what is on the surface. On pine the holes are so small the finish won't run into the holes so it stays on the surface anyway. The problem you having with the finish is the softer areas of the wood have been sanded to like a valley and the hard grain has ridges. All that is going to help is to either sand down the ridges or fill in the valleys or a combination of both. This is what makes primer better for that function.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-04-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Can you recommend an inexpensive light/lamp I can use inside when painting furniture so that I can see better?
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-05-2020, 09:42 AM
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An office desk lamp LED

You want a LED long light bar like in a desk lamp to make a long reflection on your surface rather than a spot light:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=LED+offic...f=nb_sb_noss_2


LEDs are low temperature and have no risk of bursting if dropped, so much safer than incandescent bulbs and are relatively cheap and you can always use a good desk lamp!

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)
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-06-2020, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I actually don't have a desk....not much furniture in my apartment at the moment. Do they make these as floor lamps too? I guess I could buy the desk type just for working on furniture, but it would be good if I could get one to use as a regular lamp too.
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