wood filler that takes stain well?


Am refinishing old pine stear treads that were covered by carpet. The carpet and felt underlayment were stapled, and I have removed the old staples. I want to sand, stain and poly the pine treads, but am looking for advice on how to fill the many staple holes prior to staining. Is there a wood filler tpe that takes stain well, so that the holes will not be unsightly when I'm finished staining? Thanks for your help! Vic
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No. Define "unsightly". It's called "character" in an older home, and people have been known to pay more for that, not less, in homes and in older furniture.
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Vic,
If these are just small holes, I would just sand the stairs and push some of the sanding dust into the holes - then finish. Doubtful you will find a better match than the wood dust itself.
Bob S.
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You can take this one step further - which is how I fill gaps and holes in all my woodworking, both flat and turned.
Use a sander with a dust collection container. As you sand and empty the container, save the dust in a lidded container. When you're ready to apply finish, you can do two things to address the holes, cracks or whatnot.
A) dip a finger in the finish, then into the dust and wipe across/press the paste into the hole.
2) Mix up a batch of your customized filler by mixing small quantities of finish and dust to a peanut butter consistency. Use your finger or a putty knife to fill the holes with the paste.
When you've got everything filled, allow it to dry completely and resand with 320 or 400 grit to smooth. Repeat if necessary. Then apply the finish to the entire section of wood. The finish acts as the glue for the dust so there's no issue with incompatibility or uneven color changes over time.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Forget the holes, the pine itself isn't going to stain well. Use a washcoat like mineral oil first, stain (or use a gel stain) then fill the holes with a wax pencil that matches the color in the area where the hole is- get a few colors, as pine tends to get pretty blotchy with anything but a "golden oak" or "natural" stain. You can poly it after that's done. There really aren't any fillers that take stain well, despite the claims on some of the packages.
Your other option, if you have a sprayer, is to use a sealer first, then give it a dusting of analine dye before the topcoat.
In either case, the wax pencil is the way to go filling-wise. Of course with staple holes, I'd just let them go.
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wrote:

Hello Prometheus,
Mineral oil does not sound right at all. Where in Flexner's book does it state using mineral oil as a wash coat for anything? I did not find references to using mineral oil with respect to a wash coat but I did find mineral spirits. Mineral oil will NOT evaporate. It is far too non-volatile.
Thanks.
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