Happy Thursday to you all! Today on Before & After Basics, I want to discuss using wood filler to repair damage and fill unwanted hardware holes. This is a super important part of painting and refurbishing furniture, and can make or break your finish! The process I’m covering today is meant for pieces that will get painted in the end, so if you’re looking to spruce up an older piece of furniture, this is your first step. Let’s get started! — Barb
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
- wood filler — I prefer Elmer’s
- wood glue
- putty spatula
- orbital sander/sanding sponges
1. Make sure that the area you are filling is secure and free of debris. If you have any loose veneer pieces, remove them or glue them down with wood glue.
2. Choose a wood filler that best matches the project you are working on, and make sure it is paintable/stainable.
3. Apply the wood filler to the damaged area or unwanted hardware holes and even it all out with the putty knife. Most of the wood filler should be applied to the damaged part of your piece and not on the wood outside the damage but, especially with large fixes, there may be some overlapping. I have to say that after reading a few “how-tos”on using wood filler, I agree with some and — based on lots of personal experience — disagree with others. There are times where you need to go outside the lines a bit in order to get that perfectly seamless look. (Just make sure that it all feels smooth to the touch when finished or it will not paint smooth.) Use the putty knife to skim across the surface and remove excess filler. It is really important to use a quality wood filler, especially when filling large damaged areas so there aren’t any shrinking and cracking issues.
4. Let it dry completely. Time will vary depending on the size of the area filled, but a hardware hole is usually dry in a couple of hours. Larger damaged areas may need a good 24 hours to dry.
5. Sand the filled area either by hand or using an orbital sander. After sanding the area, make sure it is completely smooth and filled to the surface of the wood. If not, apply more putty, let dry, and sand again.
6. Once the area is completely filled and sanded smooth, prime the piece. I have found that the wood filler and sanded areas accept the paint differently, so priming the piece ensures an even surface for a nice smooth paint finish.
7. Paint away!
Hope this is helpful for you all! See you next week!