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Hi all tomorrow I will use for the first time a grain filler for a table top that should be smooth as glass.    They suggest a barrier coat of shellac.  That would change the color a bit but can I use a very light coat or water based poly as a barrier coat?

Then they reommend a plastic card (credit card) to spread the filler cross grain.  I would think stay 45 degrees to the grain so that you do not pull the filler out.

Currently the table top has been dye (water) and stained (oil).  

Any advise would be appreciated.  

Yes i have scrap and am ready to use it first.

 

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The last grain filler that I used and that I really liked was a product made by Behlen.  This stuff was made in England and was not water based.  It took stain well and was great with oak because of the open grain.  Unfortunately, I used it up and can’t find it anywhere.  I tried the water based stuff and didn’t care for it at all because it had the consistency and feel of chalk paste.

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Oil base and water base filler is two different animals...I know nothing about  water and wood working but the reason you would use a clear base first is if you are using a dark filler so it will contrast with the light wood. this is the best and only way to have a very dark grain other wise the first clear coat is not necessary...

  I expect you will be spraying your finish on for I have never seen a brushed finish as you are describing how you want the top to look.

   Using a credit card is good and I guess the water base is premixed where the oil base you had to keep adding naphta or paint thinner until you got it exactly the right thickness... very important… Make sure all the grain is completely filled then let set till the shine leaves and becomes dull then I would use a burlap sack to remove most but not all of the excess then I would use my dry bare hands to work enough into the grain ..Dry my hands often and keep working them in a circular motion.  I  would leave enough filler  to keep working it in the grain with my hands...What kind of open grain wood are you using???

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1 hour ago, Smallpatch said:

Oil base and water base filler is two different animals...I know nothing about  water and wood working but the reason you would use a clear base first is if you are using a dark filler so it will contrast with the light wood. this is the best and only way to have a very dark grain other wise the first clear coat is not necessary...

  I expect you will be spraying your finish on for I have never seen a brushed finish as you are describing how you want the top to look.

   Using a credit card is good and I guess the water base is premixed where the oil base you had to keep adding naphta or paint thinner until you got it exactly the right thickness... very important… Make sure all the grain is completely filled then let set till the shine leaves and becomes dull then I would use a burlap sack to remove most but not all of the excess then I would use my dry bare hands to work enough into the grain ..Dry my hands often and keep working them in a circular motion.  I  would leave enough filler  to keep working it in the grain with my hands...What kind of open grain wood are you using???

Thanks This is water based pre mixed clear paste and because you are working it into the grain you probably do not want it directly on top of the stain so that is why they recommend shellac but my clear shellac is corrupted.  (OLD).   The Wood is QS WO.  The finish is a medium brown dye  and a chesnut minwax stain (final color is actually quite dark).  

That is why I was thinking I can put on a thin waterbased poly seal coat then per their directions put down one layer and work it into the grain then do it again and again until glass smooth but make sure it is fully dry between applications.

It also says the final top coat has to protect the grain filler so weather I brush it on or wipe it on or spray it on I can always rub out the top layers.

 

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The shellac acts as a barrier between the stain and the filler. This will impede grain raise and reduce the risk that the filler will change the color. I have not used a filler but have done sanding and then apply finish to lock the swarf in the grain. Too much and that is why I am not too fond of mahogany.

 

The addition of any finish will change the color . I just bought a shellac for The Shellac Shack that they claim has little to no color. It is called Platina Dewaxed and is basically a lighter color that Super Blonde. Have not tried it as yet.

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On 7/10/2019 at 11:35 AM, Ron Dudelston said:

The last grain filler that I used and that I really liked was a product made by Behlen.  This stuff was made in England and was not water based.  It took stain well and was great with oak because of the open grain.  Unfortunately, I used it up and can’t find it anywhere.  I tried the water based stuff and didn’t care for it at all because it had the consistency and feel of chalk paste.

Ron, have you checked out www.shellac.net ?  They seem to have a pretty good selection of finishing products, as well as the Behlen catalog on-line.  Might be worth a look-see.

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I haven’t but I will!

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If you use a light colored (blonde or super-blonde) shellac, it should not change the color much unless you are working with a very white wood.  And then only if you are planning to use a water-borne finish or CAB lacquer (aka Water-white).  I've only used a filler a couple of times outside finishing class, but I used a rubber window squeegee (at 45 to the grain) to work it in.  The filler I used was dark, nearly black. 

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6 hours ago, PostalTom said:

Ron, have you checked out www.shellac.net ?  They seem to have a pretty good selection of finishing products, as well as the Behlen catalog on-line.  Might be worth a look-see.

They have it!!!! Thanks a heap!

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Ron, you're welcome.  I have gotten a lot of help from people on this web site, and it feels good to be able to return the favor.

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All the final update on this.  I let my 2nd water poly coat set up sand it down smooth then started using the water based clear grain filler.  It workes great as long as you use a squeege.  

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