How to Hide Wood Filler Before Staining

What You'll Need
Flathead screwdriver
Stanley knife
Sandpaper low and medium/high
Wood filler (paste form, not liquid form)
Hot water

Wood filler is used to eliminate any defects and deficiencies in the surface of wood. You can use this type of material in home repairs and other similar circumstances. Using wood fillers before staining the wood is a practical and easy way to hide unattractive holes and bumps. Read on to learn how to apply wood filler.

Step 1 - Smoothing Holes and Edges

Clean all of the holes with a screwdriver to eliminate any debris. Then use the sandpaper to clear off the edges and smooth it as much as possible. Remember to cut off any remaining wood with a Stanley knife, and re-use the sandpaper to smooth the edges again. Any unevenness will be noticeable after staining.

Step 2 - Wood Filler

Start applying the paste wood filler to the holes. Fill every hole and dent with enough of the paste so that any excess can then be easily removed. Then remove the excess paste and smooth down the surface.

Don't use liquid-based wood filler because, in the long run, it could ruin the wood surface, especially if you are a beginner. In this case, you would have to scrap everything and start over.

Step 3 - Sandpaper

Make sure that the wood filler has dried completely before using the sandpaper. Use the medium or high grain sand paper (you could start with the high grain sandpaper and finish off with the medium grain sandpaper) and start working on the wood. Sandpaper the wood manually without using any paper tools. This will give you control on how much or how little you work on each area, giving a more professional finish. Make sure to apply even pressure to the areas where you used the wood filler so that you will get an even and perfect smooth surface.

Step 4 - Cleaning

Use the clean cloth and hot water to wipe off any dirt from the surface. You can use a bit of paint thinner (don’t use too much or it will take a while to dry) to clean the wood better of all of the debris left form the sandpapering. Leave the water to dry and check if all of the debris has been removed, if not repeat this last step.

Step 5 - Check That All Areas Are Even

Run your hand across the wood's surface to check if it’s smooth enough. Look carefully for any small holes that might have been bypassed and repeat the procedure once again until it is smooth enough.

Take your time to check all areas because once you take the next step, this being the staining process, it would be very difficult to go back and repair any neglected imperfections.