I've just recently started using Mohawk refinishing products, in an
attempt to produce better results on my antique radio restorations. Having
used little more than basic stains and varnishes for years, it's taking more
than a bit of effort to figure out how to use the vast array of Mohawk
My questions today regards wood fillers. I've been told that filling the
grain of the wood (walnut, in this case) will result in a smoother finish.
So I ordered a can of Mohawk wood filler (natural, not colored) and decided
I didn't need any filler thinner. I applied the filler to one cabinet but it
doesn't seem to be drying very quickly.... was I supposed to thin the filler
I'm also wondering if I can color the filler using a concentrated staining
dye (Transtint), or if a pigment powder will be needed instead.
Thanks for any advice.
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Fillers give a much smoother finish. Personally I don't like the results;
looks more like formica than wood. Others will insist I am an idiot, but
that is my preference.
The can will tell you how long it takes to dry. I think the one I have used
says 4 hours. If it is too long, you might have it on too thick. It should
be very thin; put on as little as you can without pulling it out of the
pores. I "think" some might require thinning, but it should tell you that
on the can also.
It can be tinted, but how to do it depends on the solvent. Your best bet is
to check with Mohawk.
Hi, Chris. I usually write explanations that are too long, so I will
try to be brief.
Filling any porous wood's pore will make it smoother. This can be
done with a large amount of finish that is smoothed off, or by pore
Too many variables to know about the speed of your filler. I haven't
filled that much, but I always thin and aggresively spread a coat so
thin it just looks cloudy so I don't have much to sand.
Your choice of colorant should be used on the wood, not on the pore
filler. I know some do, but the good pore fillers are a crystalline
struture that don't take the colors in too well. If you must, find a
coloring product that is solvent compatible with your filler. You
didn't say if you had water based filler or solvent, so you can figure
it from there.
I use Crystallac filler on my Chinaberry bowls because they are so
porous. I use a clear finish over it. It is water based and can be
dyed. I believe the filler is powdered glass and it does dry crystal
clear, but the overall effect is a little lightening of the wood after
it is sanded down. Gives a glass smooth finish.
You sir, are a racehorse. I have tried turning Chinaberry a couple of
times (I was seduced by the sap/interior conrasts and pretty brown
color when green) and have had nothing but grief. Every time.
Cracking, splitting, tearout... you name it. So are you turning it
green, or cured? Do you put the Crystallac pore filler on the piece
when it is green or cured?
crystal clear, but the overall effect is >a little lightening of the wood after
it is sanded down.
I have never gotten the same answer twice about the exact composition
of pore filler. I have heard everything from ground glass to ground
quartz, and everything in between. Even ground silica; not sand, but
a manufactured product. All I know for sure through folk lore is that
you must wear a good dust mask when sanding this stuff.
A couple more questions your way. Are you using the Crystallac
lacquer as your finish? If so, are you putting it on when the piece
is still green? Is this a CAB or generic water borne product?
Inquiring minds, you know.
I rough turn it when green, finish turn and sand, sand, sand when dry.
I have seldom had a crack or splitting. I put the crystallac on at
about the 220 grit stage, wiped on with a gloved finger. When dry I
start over with 220, then to higher grits.
dry crystal clear, but the overall effect is >a little lightening of the wood
after it is sanded down.
No, I usually use Crystal coat or whatever the name is, which is
shellac and wax mixed. That is the last step before buffing with
Carnauba wax. Chinaberry bowls sell well for me because they are so
pretty and because most people are surprised that chinaberry is good
for anything at all. I heard about a local fellow years back who made
a chinaberry fiddle and people still remember how well it looked and
Crystallac acts to me like a clear latex paint with suspended
particles. Or maybe a water-based polyurethane, both of which I have
used in the past. It does dry fast and tends to clog the sandpaper
when you start to sand it down.
Thanks for the detailed answers, Gerald. If the key is turning and
finishing green in one step, that is certainly something I didn't do.
I turned them to a pretty close finish sized, nice uniform thickness
everythere, and I swear I could almost hear it tearing itself apart.
Next time one goes down around here (they all go to the brush
landfill, as they don't even burn them in these parts) I might just
snare a piece and test it out.
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