Applying putty for the long haul

How to fill holes in cherry and keep the colors matched over time. February 13, 2001

When using putty on cherry, if the color matches initially, it changes as the wood ages and darkens. Any ideas on how to use putty on cherry and keep the colors matched over time?

Forum Responses
If you are matching to the natural color of cherry (non-oxidized), use a fill that matches the color of the wood when wet. As it ages, you can refill or start off a shade darker. A good percentage of the cherry that we finish is done in a mahogany tone, which is darker than the color that cherry ages into. Use a fill that is a little darker and a little redder.

Filled holes can be touched up with a lacquer toner and an artist's brush. We use a Mohawk wax putty stick and always spray over the holes.

We sand a board with the color that is most representative of the project and mix this sawdust with the vinyl sealer that is compatible with our topcoat. We mix it to the consistency of a thick paste and thin as needed with a compatible lacquer thinner. This mixture is applied before any sanding.

We have gone back to jobs three years later and the nail holes are virtually invisible. Because we used actual wood, the putty has darkened along with the surrounding wood. We use this with all our projects and don't have to worry about trying to find a putty to match.