Refinishing And Filling Grain - On Site


From original questioner:

So my company built a radiused and tapered concession bar for a corporate dining room in the NE. We are in GA. Long story short, our wood shop folks(who mainly do laminate), used bendable plywood on the face and then painted over it, then shipped it out. I don't know what species the face veneer is but it is extremely open grained and of course the paint went right in. It looks like painted oak...

We have to fix it on site now. We used a post cat lacquer product. Tinted Gemini Ultra Lac over their catalyzed primer. My question is,

-Is there anything we can use to fill the grain with that doesn't require stripping down to bare wood?

My gut tells me no, but I figured I would ask.

Second, what is a good product to use to fill the grain with? Once again this is paint grade so color doesn't matter. It needs to sand easily and dry quickly...

Do we need to stick with traditional grain filler?

Thanks very much!!

From contributor ni

I'd use a primer/surfacer primer...just spray on then sand smooth. A couple of coats will full fill most open grain species. Ask your material supplier to find one to fit your cat, no cat or there's even good WB ones out there.
Be forewarned though, the sanding makes a dusty mess...having a festool or similar vac is a good thing to have when you're using this stuff onsite.

From contributor Sh

You guys should look into using Kemvar conversion varnish surfacer and Kemvar opauques for your paint colors. The conversion varnish surface is going to perform and fill your substrate better than any post cat lacquer. it simply boils down to more solid content. The kemvar topcoats are higher in solids and have better mar resistance. It also has a higher mill thicknes as a total system thus allowing you to get a nice flat finish over any decent substrate.... That's not your answer now but maybe your future. As for now your only option would be sand it back until you cut all the grain out or start to burn through really bad. Prime sand prime sand and two more topcoats with your current material and it will be closed up and nice...

From contributor Pa

On site? You'll probably need to stay away from solvent-based and go waterbased. CrystaLac filler works pretty well on unfinished wood. Never tried it on finished wood. I'd repeat the original finishing schedule on a piece of the same wood and try it in the shop first, along with the entire "new" finishing schedule.

From contributor Da

what about automotive glazing putty and then sand it back and site finish?

From contributor Ma

Dave, that was my first thought also. Thinned body filler might be the trick. A skim coat of sorts.


From contributor Da

My inclination is like Pat's, to use a waterbase filler. Smear it on, pack it in, sand it smooth, once more, topcoat.

From contributor Da

We get the glazing putty in a large tube, its thinner and finer than body filler but essentially the same thing. Hardens in like 5 minutes but smells like - whew.