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Repairing holes and indentations in wood surfaces with wood filler

Wood filler is a thick paste-like material that is designed to fill larger holes and indentations in wood surfaces. A one-part wood filler can be applied right out of the container. Two-part wood fillers must be mixed in correct proportion to achieve maximum hardness. For best results, a two-part wood filler should be used for repairs that will bare the weight of a nail, screw or other fastening device.

Safety

Eye protection, either safety glasses or safety goggles, should always be worn whenever preparing surfaces for paint. Respiratory system protection should be worn whenever you are creating dust or working in a dusty environment. Respiratory system protection should also be worn whenever you are applying solvent-based materials. Eye and respiratory system protection products can be purchased wherever workplace safety equipment is sold. Always read and follow directions and safety precautions.

Wood filling technique

Begin by using a putty knife or scraper to remove any loose material and peeling paint from the surface bordering the hole or gap you will fill with wood filler. Sand the surface bordering the hole or gap with the medium-grit side of a sanding sponge or 80-grit sandpaper. Remove sanding dust with a wiping cloth or towel. Slightly dampening the wiping cloth or towel will help to control dust. Allow any surface moisture to dry (from wiping cloth) before applying wood filler.

Apply wood filler flush to the surface using a putty knife or taping knife. Remove excess. Allow drying. If the dried wood filler is not flush to the surface, then apply a second coat. When the fill is dry and flush, lightly sand starting with medium-grit sandpaper or a medium-grit sanding sponge. Finish sand with fine-grit sandpaper or a fine-grit sanding sponge. Remove sanding dust with a wiping cloth or towel. Slightly dampening the wiping cloth or towel will help to control dust. Allow any surface moisture from the wiping cloth to dry before applying primer.

Follow directions on the can of wood filler concerning priming before the application of paint.

More detailed coverage of this topic can be found in the book:

The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting, on pages 120-123.

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