wood putty before or after staining

So I bought sandable stainable wood filler by DAP. Feels and acts like wood! This one:
http://www.hardwareharbor.com/1-4lb-pine-wood-dough-by-dap-inc.aspx
But on the can, the instructions say stain the wood first. How does that make sense? My plan was to fill in a couple places where I had two and then stain the whole thing. What would be the point if I stain my natural pine a reddish tone and then fill the holes with this pine-colored wood filler?
Thanks!
Sam
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I've always filled holes, sanded smooth and then stained.

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Same here.

email.me...
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I checked the DAP site and found that they make wood filler in many colors to match different types of wood. My guess is that they think you got wood filler to match the color the wood will be after staining. If you've got pine filler to fill pine wood, I'd fill first, then stain.
Paul
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Real men don't read instructions.
Some manufacturers think that they make such perfect products that the putty and stain are a dead on match, so you can do the fill after the stain. What about when you sand? You seem to see that you have to use your own eye and common sense sometimes in this world. Fill, let dry, SAND BEFORE STAINING, then stain.
Steve
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Some filler will not take stain after it dries/hardens.
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Follow the manufacturer's instructions. The filler will not take stain or match the color of the wood before or after staining. You will have to play with it to to get an acceptable match. By staining the wood first, you also seal it to some extent and prevent the filler from interfering with the stain except in the small filled area. If you fill first and then stain, there will be a much larger area around the filled hole where smeared filler will make the wood take the stain color differently than the rest of the piece.
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Wood fillers rarely stain the same way as the surrounding wood. The filler trends to be stained either darker (like end grain) or lighter ( due to poor penetration). Plastic Wood does not take stain very well. This means that you should be prepared to have the filled areas lighter in color than the surrounding wood or be ready to do some color and grain matching. I suspect the reason the directions state to fill first is that DAP wants you to use the same finishing schedule on the filled areas that you use on the rest of the wood. It gives you a fighting chance, in their mind anyway, to achieve a good match.
Good Luck.
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That's not what the instructions state. Baron, I think you have the correct thought and procedure in mind, because your other remarks lend itself to that. I'm thinking, this one particular noted line may have been a typo.
Sam states:

natural pine a reddish tone and then fill the holes with this pine-colored wood filler?
That is not what you want to do. You want to stain the wood the color (reddish tone) you want, then use a filler that matches the stained color (the reddish tone). You don't want to use a pine colored filler. You want to use a reddish tone filler.... that matches, or nearly so, the color you are wanting to end up with.
1) stain your piece, first, to achieve a slightly not-so-dark of color you want to end up with. If thinning your stain, to get a slightly lighter color tone, is necessary, then do so. 2) use a filler whose color best matches what is stained, the reddish tone color 3) restain again to get the best overall color match between the filled area and the real wood area. Since you (maybe?) used a thinned stain (not quite dark enough) initially, the second staining will result in the correct darkness of color you want the end result to be.
Since no filler will stain exactly like real wood, there will almost always be a slight discrepancy in the color match when staining (the first staining!!!) filler, alone, compared to staing wood. To help combat the slight color difference, sometimes it's good to apply a first staining with a slightly lighter colored stain, apply a color match filler, then apply another coating of stain. This second coat of stain doesn't have to alter so much of a discrepancy of "colors", on the whole.
Re #3 above: Most folks don't want to restain OR restaining might make the coloring too dark OR end up too thickly coated... or a combination of these. Most DIYers aren't patient and want to complete the job before all is properly dry/cured. Having to restain lends itself to mistakes impatient DIYers are prone to do. Double staining often produces too dark of results, if you are not careful.
Do some test staining and restaining on scrap wood and filler, to guage your preventing having those "too dark" of applications. Stainable fillers don't mean the product will stain exactly like the real wood. It means you can manipulate the coloring. There are multiple steps to getting good color matches, in cases as this. You can't just apply a filler and expect it to stain like wood. To get an exact color match, you have to use/do other procedures/aspects, in conjunction with the filler treatment, in order to get the most exacting color match possible.
Do some sample tests and be patient. Test, test, test!
Sonny
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After giving up on commercial wood filler a while back I started using regular 3M Bondo. The trick is to get a white hardener paste and the cured result will take stain quite well, in my experience giving a near perfect match to the stained wood. The fast cure is a bonus, too. For dark stains, the usual rust colored hardener seems OK.
Joe
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After giving up on commercial wood filler a while back I started using regular 3M Bondo. The trick is to get a white hardener paste and the cured result will take stain quite well, in my experience giving a near perfect match to the stained wood. The fast cure is a bonus, too. For dark stains, the usual rust colored hardener seems OK.
I do not make any money off of the product but I have had pretty good success with Timbermate since it allows me to control the color at various stages. I have been able to use oil and water based dyes as well as pigments. I like that I can use it as a wood filler or as a grain filler depending on how thick I prepare it. I also like that if I mess up, I can remove it with water before applying any sealers / topcoats.
Good Luck.
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