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I have some wood paneling in my basement I decided to keep and "spruce" up as there were some gouges in it. I went with Elmer's wood filler max and was curious with the best way to go about matching the surrounding wood. Here is a link of a few pictures:
http://imgur.com/a/mhcKl

I tried some stain I already had but it was oil based and didn't take well at all to the filler. I re-read the filler and it said used water based stain. Have any of you worked with Elmer's max wood filler and do you have any tips for stain matching? Thanks!
 

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Is the filler really blue or is it the photography? I wish you would have tried one spot before doing the whole wall. It would have been a lot easier to mix color with the filler to match the paneling before applying it. Then all that would be needed is to sand it smooth and clear coat it.

If the filler is white I would mix a universal tinting color with water and color the spots with that. You should be able to color the putty and wipe off the excess off the surrounding wood since it has a finish on it. When you start putting a finish on it you might find it isn't yellow enough. The old varnish on the wall has undoubtly yellowed over the years. If you need to re-create this you can apply some amber shellac to the putty spots with a artist brush. If you plan to use polyurethane over the wall be sure to get some de-waxed amber shellac. The de-waxed version may be more difficult to find but polyurethane won't adhere to standard shellac.

From this point in an inconspicious place I would test one spot with the stain and finish to see if you have the finish procedure worked out before doing the entire wall. It takes a lot of tinkering to mix stain colors. If you can't acquire universal tinting colors you could use acrylic artist paints. You will need yellow oxide with a very little green and a little black.
 

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Thanks for the detailed response!

The filler dried a white color. Do you have any product recommendations for the universal tinting color?
Pretty clever to go with the acrylic artist paints if it doesn't work out. Thanks again!
 

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Thanks for the detailed response!

The filler dried a white color. Do you have any product recommendations for the universal tinting color?
Pretty clever to go with the acrylic artist paints if it doesn't work out. Thanks again!
Many paint stores sell colorant in bottles. It's the same thing the paint stores have in their machines to tint paint. At one time I was buying colorant from Sherwin Williams in quarts but they discontinued the quarts. They only have it in gallons but my Sherwin Williams will sell a few ounces at a time in empty cans.

This process of tinting putty will work for many different fillers. I have even tinted bondo to fill large knot holes. With Bondo though you have to mix the color a little less red to allow for the red hardener added later.
 
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