Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Insider tips: fillin' holes like a pro

So I feel like I've been showing you a lot of pretty stuff lately, but now it's time for something helpful . . .

Filling holes.

In my quest to save the planet one piece of discarded furniture at a time, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite products for filling holes.  I love these three products because they get the job D.O.N.E.  But they are also stinky and toxic, so use your best judgement if they're right for you, k?

Note: I'm not getting paid for any of this, nor do the manufacturer's have any idea I'm sharing. Just sharing cus' I care.

Volunteer piece:

I needed to fill the holes in this shutter for a client. I wanted to be sure the holes were filled very solidly and firm, so I elected to use Bondo. Also Bondo doesn't shrink while drying.
Bondo is used for cars--it dries Very Fast and hard. I elect to use Bondo when I have large holes, gouges, missing pieces of wood to fill. You need to apply it in layers though if you're doing more than a quarter size so it can cure all the way through.

Bondo has a hardener (red) you add to it. This is when you've got to start working fast. Gloves recommended. And Good. Good. Good ventilation.  Also, try to just use disposable stuff. You'll be throwing away anything you use to spread or mix it.

Ok, holes filled and drying. It usually takes about 30 minutes for a hole this size to dry hard. It is sandable, but try to be as neat as possible since it doesn't sand easily.
 After sanding my bondo I filled the top for an uber smooth finish with my favorite wood filler: Fix.  Again, it's stinky and goopy, but dries VERY FAST and hard. It sands beautifully and is stainable.
Here it is drying:
 And here it is sanded uber smooth with 220 sand paper.
 Seal the wood filler with Shellac so that the wood filler doesn't absorb the paint differently than the wood.  I like the spray Shellac from Zinsser, but there are all kinds out there. This is oil based, so the spray is nice since there's no clean up.

And voila:
Hole filled and invisible.

Now imagine saving a piece like this:
Before it had 80 years of kids carving their names in it, poking holes in it, "I love . . . " on it. Scratches and carvings all over it.
 Definitely one of the roughest dresser/vanity sets I've redone in a while and I could kick myself b/c I lost the before pics. ;(  Anyhow, this pieces were saved and went to a new generation--a sweet 5 year old girl is getting this from her parents.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your tips! I always think I've done a great job filling the holes only to paint it and ...ugh! The not so glam part of rehabbing furniture.

  2. Sent these tips to my hubby and we are going to be using them-thanks so much-filling holes is a pain!