Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>staining over wood filler gives blotchy results
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AmyJDS
staining over wood filler gives blotchy results

Paid someone to build new oak stairs for our basement - I sanded them and stained with a water based stain. Unfortunately the areas where the guy used some kind of pore filler do not stain as dark as the oak, giving me a blotchy look. I've given the stairs 2 coats of stain, but still the same. Before I throw in the towel and paint the risers and moldings white, leaving just the treads stained, does anyone have an idea how to correct this problem?

A. Spruce
Re: staining over wood filler gives blotchy results

Can you post a picture?

The filler may not have been a stainable type or you may not have sanded well enough - it's tough sometimes.

Depending on how bad the filler areas are, it may be easiest to just paint and be done with it, otherwise more sanding may do the trick.

AmyJDS
Re: staining over wood filler gives blotchy results

Actually I think I just salvaged at least the treads. Using a small artist's paintbrush I dabbed and feathered a third coat of stain only on the lighter wood filler patches. It hides the patches pretty well. I will do a final coat of stain on the entire treads tonight which will hopeful even out the blotches to make them even less noticeable. As far as the risers and molding, I will paint them white and be done with it. But I'm glad it at least looks like I've gotten the treads evened out as those MUST remain wood stained - painting them would be a crime against the poor oak tree who died to provide me with these stairs.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: staining over wood filler gives blotchy results

Sometimes the blotchy area is bigger than the hole itself, as the filler was wiped on and left a thumb-sized patch of acrylic resin in/on the wood surrounding the nail hole.
If using a "filler", I always fill holes before sanding, so the surface gets cleaned off. On finer hardwood trim jobs, I fill the brad holes after final finishing, with colored wax sticks.
S_M

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