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wood filler for stained interior trim

I am staining some new interior window trim. I would like to fill nail heads with a matching wood putty. Is there a way to tint putty with the stain so it will match? What type of putty is best to use? Also, is it best to apply stain with rag or brush? Thanks.

Bill Hajjar

Re: wood filler for stained interior trim

You can get wood filler with the popular colors. Just inquire at paint shops or big box shops.

A. Spruce
Re: wood filler for stained interior trim

There's a couple things you can do, if you want to match exactly, then pick up a selection of Color Putty and mix your own custom colors. As long as there isn't much for graining present, the filled holes will just about disappear.

The next thing you can do is us Dap Natural wood filler. Dap is a sandable product and the natural will take on whatever stain color you apply, so the filled hole looks more like a knot than anything else. Most of the time the fill will be nearly invisible.

One last thing you can do is to mix sanding dust with a touch of glue and use that as filler. The wood color will be matched perfectly. You may want to stain a piece of scrap and sand that for the dust. I'd also recommend playing with this technique before putting it into practice to make sure you get the results you're looking for. Once the sawdust is mixed with glue, it's not going to take on much for stain.

Re: wood filler for stained interior trim

Fill after stain so that you know what color to match, and you don't create problems with the color taking unevenly around the holes. There are nightmare scenarios where people have filled holes with allegedly-stainable filler only to discover that claim to be untrue.
I really like the wax filler pencils; you can intermix colors to get a perfect match.

Re: wood filler for stained interior trim

Traditionally, nail holes have been filled with colored putty. More often than not, you can't find the exact color. In this case, you simply blend the putties together, like kids playing with clay, to get the desired color. Often, it is neccessary to mix 2 or 3 colors to match the particular part of the grain in which the nail was set.

The hole is filled ONLY AFTER THE WOOD HAS BEEN STAINED AND THE FIRST COAT OF SEALER APPLIED! The putty is oil based and if you apply it to bare wood, or even wood which has been stained and not sealed, you will get an oily smudge down into the grain and you will not be able to remove it.

The stain is simply forced into the hole and then the excess is wiped away with a clean, dry cloth. The final coat(s) of varnish is then applied.

Re: wood filler for stained interior trim


I believe kedadyeinc.com has kit that will tint putties, I am going to try this myself, but wondered if anyone has heard of this kit yet, or if they have tried it?

Re: wood filler for stained interior trim

I prefer to fill nail holes after finishing, using the wax pencils/sticks. There are probably a dozen colors, but you can mix them for a custom shade.
If you use the color putty, apply after the sealer and before the varnish, then you have a wait period while it dries. Very slowly. You don't want to put the color putty on bare wood, because it will discolor the adjoining area; it's quite oily.
Plastic wood may or may not take stain the same; best to apply before final sanding so that the adjoining area gets fully cleaned. Very hard filler, time-consuming to sand out of crevices and moldings.
Water-based fillers: will discolor adjoining areas on bare wood. Probably better to fill after sealing, then touch up the stain, or color the filler with artist's colors or dry pigment. Still will have to be sanded flush, so don't burn through the sealer/stain!
No filler is foolproof, I just have gotten used to using the wax sticks.
There's also shellac burn-in sticks, never used them but have seen almost unbelievable results in photos.

Re: wood filler for stained interior trim

im currently installing a high end stain grade trim package using poplar stained with minwax "232 red chestnut" first we stained all the wood then put one coat of varathane so to eliminate the chance of wood filler streaks. red chestnut wood filler isnt available here so i picked up "red mahogany" filler and its works perfect. It has a slightly more brown tint to it bt because of the natural hue of the poplar you cant even tell the difference in the wood

id post pictures but even as the site moderator.. the admins have disabled this option for pretty much everyone... too lazy to link to the them from a nother site

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