I'm refinishing a nice oak dining table. The open grain ends of the wood
absorbed so much stain that they got too dark and I don't like the look.
I'm not familiar with wood grain filler. Would this fill in those "end"
pores and lessen the stain darkening?
If I use this stuff at all, should I use it on the whole table?
What brands and colors are best? The stain I'm using is red-brown mahogany.
I assume I would rub in the grain filler, then stain - correct?
Use 'stain conditioner' on end grain. Its just a thinned down version of
the finish or a wash coat of 1lb cut shellac will do the same. The only
reson to fill pores on the rest is if you want one of those grand piano
mirror smooth finishes or if you want the pores a darker or lighter color to
accent the grain pattern. I've done a couple mahogany tables that would get
me a job interview with the finishing department of Stienway Piano, but its
a lot of work and not the finish for everything. IMO it should be reserved
for a very formal look and I don't think oak lends itself to that. You have
to be careful, put a mirror finish on a yellow pine harvest table and it
looks like someone came along and poured plastic on it. However you can use
filler to contrast the grain without going for the mirror finish but its
still work. If you must, check out this site and get Jeff's finishing book.
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