Spray-Applied Grain Filler

Is there such a thing? Maybe... October 26, 2005

Is there a sprayable grain filler that works without having to sand before topcoating ?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
I am afraid that you have to do some sanding in order for most spray-on fillers to work. If you used putty style filler that you applied with a squeegee, you might be able to get away without sanding but you'd have to be really good at it.

From contributor B:
Iíd say no. The paste type wood fillers are usually used on very porous wood like oak, walnut or mahogany. They can be purchased in a variety of colors or you can mix your own colors from a neutral base. If you thin them down enough you can probably spray them on, but it might be messy. After the filler has gone dull, you can wipe it in a circular motion with a piece of burlap to remove the excess and after 24 hrs of dry time you can continue with your finishing schedule. Iíve never had to sand the filler but I suppose you could if needed. I think the most important thing with filler is to allow adequate drying time prior to sealing it.

From contributor C:
I am familiar with the paste type. I was looking for something a little more in the production line where you could spray it like a sealer, maybe give it a light sanding, like you would with your first couple coats of finish. I never could get the knack of putting paste on and wiping or scraping it off in time, before it was really set. I would end up sanding for a while.

From contributor D:
I've never really excelled at applying the paste either. Have you checked out that Pianolac wb lacquer? I haven't tried it, but they claim their sprayable sealer is part grain filler or something similar to that. They also have grain filler.

From contributor E:
I have not personally tried it, but I saw a batch of mahogany tabletops done with ILVA at a friend's shop Ė one coat sealer and two coats topcoat and nearly all the pores were filled.

From contributor C:
What is ILVA?

From contributor E:
ILVA makes a catalyzed polyurethane finish that is more resistant to chemicals, scratches and moisture than conversion varnish. The build I saw on the mahogany table tops was amazing. I believe it is sold as a kit with the polyurethane, catalyst and thinner together. It has been discussed here before and you should be able to find more info by doing a search. I just had a rep from ML Campbell come by today with samples of their Euro-x. It looks to be a similar product. He had a wet look sample of luan plywood that had a mirror smooth finish. He did say that it had been polished, so I canít say what it looked like off the gun. As for conventional grain filler, I just finished a white oak job using Mohawk grain filler, thinned with naptha and sprayed through a pressure pot. It needs to be stirred every 10 minutes or so, but it worked great. Itís a lot of work to rub it off, but it added color to the pores. You won't get that using finish alone.

From contributor B:
I agree. Itís one thing to fill the grain of the wood and itís another thing to fill the grain of the wood with a contrasting color. Finely figured Mahogany looks wonderful with a Burnt Umber or VanDyke color in the pores. That same piece with filled grain via a clear coating wonít look as stunning.