Filler or Stain First
If I bought a kit some years ago and I am just now getting around to applying a finish, should I fill first or apply heavy diluted stain (a wash)? Some people suggest a smoother / blotch free finishing experience using a wash first.
Donald Bayne's Answer
There is a lot involved in this question. The finish materials being a big part of the question. I do not know what filler compound Bartley sold at that time.
1. Is the filler a grain filler not a gap filler(wood putty)?
2. If the filler is still good (?) does the can tell you if it is an oil base filler or a solvent base filler?
Note: Some fillers will tell you on the label if it is to be used before or after staining.
3. What is the color of the filler? light color or natural fillers usually get stained after they are applied so that they are stained when the stain is
TEST ON SCRAP TO MAKE SURE YOU GET THE DESIRED RESULTS. EACH STEP WILL DEEPEN THE COLOR.
Generally, staining the wood the color you want first is a good idea, because the filler will seal portions of the wood not allowing the stain to Using the word - wash - can be defined in error. A wash referrers to a thinned ( 5-7 parts thinner to 1 part sealer) coating like a sealer for example and
is used most commonly on cherry and maple to prevent blotch.
Mahogany does not typically need a wash coat, however, if using a grain filler the procedure I would use is as follows:
I suggest you get new finishing materials as finishes lose there integrity with time.
Start: USING COMPATIBLE MATERIALS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Ask an expert.
1. Using a scrap or a non visible portion of your project create a test sample. - sand the same as the visible surface
2. Stain a color that you want
3. Only after stain is thoroughly dry wash coat with a very thinned out sealer compatible with your top coat.
4. Allow the wash coat to dry thoroughly.
5. Apply the grain filler against the grain and work off the excess filler with a rag. Do not leave any filler on the surface.
gently finish with a clean rag in the grain direction so that any rag marks go with the grain trying not to pull the filler out of the grain.
AGAIN ALLOW TO DRY.
6. Some fillers allow for a very light sanding with the grain to remove any missed residue. If sanding, sand evenly.
7. If greater depth of color is wanted you my apply another coat of stain and allow to dry.
8. Wash coat again to lock in the filler and stain.
9. Now apply your top coats.