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Red oak fill and stain tips

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  • augerpro
    replied
    My floors are red oak, originally in that disgusting "honey oak" finish. I had them refinished, don't remember what the finish was, but it was "Dark Walnut" colored and the floor looks fantastic. Dark-ish, but also the different grain patterns really pop out. I'll try to get a pic today.

    Leave a comment:


  • ohio buck
    replied
    As a teenager I used Mahogany, Red Oak, and Walnut to make speaker cabinets. I used a product named "Paragon Paste Filler" to take care of problem areas or fill coarse grains. You might want to check into that. Best of luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • wogg
    commented on 's reply
    Neat! That's a throwback from 2012, checking it out now.

  • jhollander
    replied
    The last post in my pencil tower link in my signature line has some grain filling tips

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  • davidroberts
    replied
    With a little patience and a fine tip Sharpie you can hide the filler.

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  • billfitzmaurice
    commented on 's reply
    Do the testing on the inside.

  • wogg
    replied
    Thank guys! Keep 'em coming.

    Here's what I've been peeping for stain examples on red oak. The pickled and classic grey combo would look pretty cool on the front of a white cabinet in my opinion. Lots of stains for red oak since it's such a common hard wood floor choice.

    Click image for larger version

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    I'm definitely going to do some testing on the spare board before digging into the real thing. I bought enough length to do a whole 3rd baffle in case I seriously screwed up one

    Leave a comment:


  • rkeman
    replied
    That area of tear out is significant and filling it will be difficult. A black oak finish eliminates the need for grain fill and would allow the defect repair to be more easily achieved. Another option would be a rosewood finish using black grain filler and an oil based gel stain.

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  • billfitzmaurice
    replied
    When I've bothered to fill oak I used a dark filler, sanding it so that it only remained in the grain. That makes the grain really pop. When I didn't want the grain to pop I didn't use filler, I just varnished or oiled and sanded. With water based urethane you can put on at least six coats in a day, which is usually enough to fill the grain. Sand it down the following day and hit it with a few more coats before rubbing it out. If you want it to remain light don't use any stain, any color will make it darker.

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  • jhollander
    replied
    Do any filler after the stain so you can play around with the color.

    If you are up for testing, you can use drywall compound as a grain filler. It was a bit to gray for me. Google ceruse finish to see some ideas.

    Leave a comment:


  • djg
    replied
    Minwax sells color matched filler, looks like cherry would work, universally available.

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  • a4eaudio
    commented on 's reply
    Also, I just used some Red Oak Wunderfill from Rockler and it worked great for what I was using it for - but it wasn't on actual Red Oak, and I was not using stain, I was using Boiled Linseed oil, polyurethane, mineral spirits, blend.

  • a4eaudio
    replied
    Nothing worse than having the stained filler stand out like a sore thumb. (Okay, there are lots of things actually worse than that, but you know what I mean.)
    I'd make several test pieces, cut or chisel out a little flaw deliberately, fill and stain and see what works best. Time consuming, but you'll be glad in the end.

    Leave a comment:


  • Billet
    replied
    I like to use red oak and I mostly just finish it with Howard's Orange Oil. The oil darkens it slightly and brings out the orange color. I've never tried a light stain on red oak. Varathane Classic Honey stain looks great, but it is medium dark. As for the tear out, I think it might stand out more if you try to fill it.

    Leave a comment:


  • wogg
    started a topic Red oak fill and stain tips

    Red oak fill and stain tips

    Hey All, I've got solid red oak baffle boards to finish and have a few little blemishes to clear and would like some guidance on NOT making these look like my kitchen cabinets. Honestly I have no idea why I chose red oak, I was overwhelmed with choices and ended up with whatever was the appropriate width in the store selection of 5/4 boards. (Wood Werks in Columbus OH... fantastic store).

    First the tear out stuff. Minor, but could use some fill. What should I use? I've got plastic wood that may work, but it has to not stand out too bad after stain and seal.

    Click image for larger version

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    For stain, I want to take the red out and leave it light. I'm intending on playing with Minwax pickled oak and classic grey combined with some layers and sanding to build a deep grained look. Who's done something like that and may have some experience to share?

    Also... grain fill or no? As you can see above there are quite a few classic oak pinholes in there.
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