Dark Putty

Ideas for blending a dark wood putty to match dark woods like cherry. July 3, 2006

What options are there instead of using color putty to fill brad holes in crown? I can't get the color putty dark enough for the dark cherry colors I'm doing.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
It's been a few years, but color putty used to come in black. I can't imagine you can't get it dark enough with that. I've used color putty for many years and have installed a lot of cherry, and have never come across a situation where I couldn't use colored putty to make the match.

From contributor B:
Are you using the product called Color Putty? Most fillers can be color matched using Universal tinters (UTCs). There's also the wax stick option. They come in all colors.

From the original questioner:
It's Color Putty brand that I've used mostly. The job I had trouble with was cherry that I dyed, stained, and then glazed. I mixed briarwood with pinecone and you could still see lighter colored nail holes. I'll try adding universal colorants next time.

From contributor C:
Color putty does come in ebony. I stock it for my installers and they will mix it with briarwood or brown mahogany to achieve the darker colors. I have even gone back over the holes I have just puttied with a Mohawk touchup pen to get it darker.

From contributor D:
The marker trick is the best way to go because you can use different markers when the wood's color varies. Either way when you go back a year later all soft putty looks like crap. It doesn't age the way wood does so just because it looks good (or bad) today doesn't mean it'll stay that way. In some cases I think youíre better off with no putty at all. On dark crown, many times the hole blends in better without the putty.

From the original questioner:
On my last job, I did go over all the holes with Scratch Fix markers. They looked fine for about one hour, and then it looked like the color putty absorbed it. I'll look into the Mohawk touchup pens.

From contributor C:
Go to www.mohawk-finishing.com - you can order online. Itís called Ultra Mark 2000 Markers M280.

From contributor E:
When we send out any trim I always have my finish department custom blend some putty so that the color is an exact match. One time, I built a really bright green c-top for a customer and then found out that no one made any caulk to match for the splash. I talked to my finish guys and they made me a whole tube of latex caulk that matched exactly.

From contributor F:
Mix a small amount (very small) of RIT dye - black - to the putty. Or black milk paint powder if it's handy.

From contributor G:
We use soft wax by FastCap - the kit has about 24 colors and we can match any color. Several of the installers have asked me to get them a kit after seeing what we could do. The kit is about 25.00 and has its own carrying kit.

From contributor H:
My vote goes out to the wax stick as we were using these sticks about 40 years ago and they haven't failed in the work and filling we did with them. I can't say this about the color putty although the putty is much easier to use.

From the original questioner:
My Sales rep came by and showed me all the Fastcap products they were carrying. I did some samples with the wax, but it didn't go dark enough for the dark cherry. Seemed like a lot of work, although it did have a little luster which looked better than the putty

From contributor G:
We use a cup warmer to soften the wax. We have also used the wax on black cabinets so I would have thought you'd be able to get it dark enough for the cherry.

From contributor I:
I used to carry around a large tool box with Crawfords water putty and at least 20 tubes of different colors of tinting, a putty knife and a few small squares of glass to mix it up on. An old painter taught me this and it works great, there is nothing you can't match.Also it is much easier to work with and apply than the color putty brand. Also I recently had to get an edge repair pen from Mohawk (dark cordovan color on cherry). The stuff worked great and solved a multitude of touch up problems from people being rough on the cabinets. Great stuff and it does even stick to a sharp edge.

From contributor J:

Does anyone know how to soften up color putty once it gets old and hard? We also use the wax crayons but the problem I have with them is that often the cabinets have a sort of semi-gloss sheen on them and the wax crayon will tend to polish that area and make a shiny spot. We also use the colored magic markers.

From contributor B:
I've revived crumbly Color Putty with a dribble of lacquer thinner. Cap it and leave it a day or so.