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Finish options with wood putty?

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I recently purchased an old wood and cast iron school desk at a bargain that I want to refinish and restore(?). The top had several places that after heavy sanding did not come out (gouged out squares and the name JIM.) I filled them in with stainable, neutral wood filler (Elmers brand).

Having never stained anything after using wood filler, only painted, and I am nervous about what color I can stain it. I don't want JIM's name to be part of my piece.

Maple or White wash?

I am leaning toward white wash since my house has dark stained wood wainscoting, thick wood trim, and wood floors, but is that color choice just going to degrade the integrity of the school desk?

The cast iron is going to be teal, "TEAL ZEST" color by Olympic, to match the decor of my home, if that helps.

I just can't figure it out.:icon_confused:
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185 Posts
Hi there W Gal

I'm not a paint guy ( you should wait to see what they got to say) but this is what i think would give you good results...

Use a STAINABLE wood filler -I'm not sure if Natural Elmer's is ?
Sand the filled sections in the direction of the grain with 120 grit sanding paper.
Condition wood prior to staining with a WOOD CONDITIONER :wink::)
Darker stain will cover imperfections better especially if you do like 2 coats...

On a side note;

It would be better to sand little more and get the top perfectly smooth instead of filling it with a wood filler.

11,194 Posts
Never saw a "stainable" wood filler that once stained, matched anything in the zipcode, much less the wood surrounding it.
Pick something that masks the repairs.
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