Filling Grain on Finished Furniture

Advice on prepping finished furniture pieces before applying a gloss lacquer topcoat. February 12, 2010

I have a client with some very simple furniture pieces they would like me to spray with the same high gloss white lacquer finish I'm using on the pieces I'm building for them. The existing furniture is a very dark wood finish with a heavily grained surface. I've never actually used grain fillers before but it seems like all the ones I see are for use on raw wood only. What are my options?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
It may depend on the existing finish, so try a little in an inconspicuous area before diving in completely, but I would think glaze coat would be perfect for this. Glaze coat uses the same hardener as Bondo but is much thinner and sands easily. The topcoat will depend on the existing finish and compatibility. I would think either a vinyl sealer or 2k isolante would do the job nicely, and then just use whatever pigmented finish you are using for the rest of the job.

From contributor J:
Some years ago I used Muralo spackle over pigmented lacquer on some oak pieces without any problems. I don't remember what sealer we used, but we finished up with pigmented pre-cat.

From contributor B:
You can spray one coat of Seal Grip and follow with a couple or three coats of white lacquer undercoater. If you build the undercoater, you can sand it back to a plane and then topcoat with whatever you choose. Fast and cheap.