Sunday, March 26, 2017

How Can I Hide Boogers?

[continued-in-part from here]


That is the exposed woodwork I wrote about in the earlier linked post linked. I'm not yet ready to apply a finish. Look closely, and you'll see some residual white paint in the nail holes -- boogers. Of course I'd like to make these less visible, but how? An amateur thinks: carefully remove the paint without enlarging the hole; apply "wood putty" to match the wood. Thing is, I've never been impressed with wood putty. It always shows lighter or darker in the finish.

The first question a professional might ask is: What kind of finish are you going to apply? Answer: A transparent one -- not even a stain. I want a finish that shows the DF grain. It will be a finish though, probably oil or acrylic, to match the rail which will be handled and will be highly trafficked. The final, desired finish will be a "wet" look with a satin finish. My question for a professional is what kind of transparent finish can best hide blemishes?

Here's another thought: Is it possible to make a paste or putty from the sawdust itself -- mixed with a binder?  That should get the color right but perhaps not the texture.

24 comments:

Sixty Grit said...

One can mix sawdust with CA glue, that's cyanoacrylate, not California, and that will adhere reasonably well, but the resulting patch will still be obvious, as that mixture will end up being significantly darker than the original wood.

My teacher taught me that if you have do something like hide a screw hole, make a bold detail out of it - do not try to hide it, emphasize it. His point is, no matter how hard you try it will always show, so make it obvious.

Of course, when curators repair valuable old furniture they try to hide their repairs by carefully filling the defect then using oil paint to precisely match the wood grain in the surrounding area. In under an hour per hole you too would be able to make the holes disappear. However, even repairs of that quality can be detected if one knows what to look for.

I avoid all that as I am colorblind and while I might get the faux grain to match, the color would probably be completely wrong, so when faced with a problem like that I bore a hole, use a plug cutter to cut plug out of wildly contrasting wood, hammer it home, sand it smooth, and go on with my life.

As with all projects, it comes down to budget - both time and money. How much of each are you willing to spend?

But back to your original question - is there a binder that can be used? There are many - white or yellow glue will work, but there is shrinkage. Microcrystaline wax will work, but it might not be the best choice for a high wear area. CA glue - too dark. Perhaps our resident chemist can think of some others, then test them to see how they dry.

Good thing I wrote this response before I had any caffeine - otherwise I might have rambled on a bit...

AllenS said...

Breathe in some fine saw dust, then pick some real boogers, and patch those ugly spots up.

AprilApple said...

LOL - Allen S. Thread winner of all time.

AprilApple said...

Obviously, you'll only be able to camouflage the holes at best. The darker the stain, the better the chance you have at hiding the flaws.
Go pick up some pine at the lumber yard/HomeDepot, and try some sample repairs with some of the ideas you've already come up with.

(yeah it won't be apples to apples due to the vintage of the wood)


AllenS said...

Black paint.

Some Seppo said...

You could try dabbing a little chemical stripper in the holes to dissolve the white paint and then use a Q-tip or rag covering a small nail to remove the melted paint.

bagoh20 said...

I like Sixty's idea to drill out and replace with plugs, maybe 3/8" dowel plugs of something like walnut or cherry depending on surrounding colors scheme. You could even get fancy and carve out diamond shapes or some other accent shape and carve matching inlays. Then you would have something truely special and uniquely you. Obstacles can force you on an unexpected path to a better place where the perfection you once pursued becomes something less than what you find.

bagoh20 said...

Confucius say: "Man who keep boogers will never go hungry."

Sixty Grit said...

I was recently reading about a book entitled "Making Things Work", the story of a woman who earns her living doing woodwork. I won't actually read the book as it is way too heavy on feminist cant, but she talks about the collision between workmanship and getting the job done in a reasonable time.

Link.

I like the ideas of diamonds, too, or other shapes. I just saw an press release for translucent filler that allows the wood grain to show through the decoration.

Link.

Go fer it, fer shure, dood!

chickelit said...

I presume there are real nails under those tiny spot. You guys talking about plugging holes with wood have dirty minds.

chickelit said...

Sixty: I haven't really spend much time on this, even though lots of time has elapsed. I'm only working on this on weekends along with a billion other projects.

chickelit said...

Sixty has sent me photos of some of work and it's gorgeous. I hope there are woodworking shows out there that you can enter.

bagoh20 said...

I would fill the holes with filler, then paint a design like a vine or a snake that would connect and hide them all, then clear coat. It could be one of a kind, admired for generations, and generations.

chickelit said...

Cyanoacrylates are pretty quick to set up once applied, are they not Sixty? Their chemistry is fascinating. They were invented as part of the great war effort like so many things.

I look at the polymerization mechanism and see plenty of potential for sexual humor. I'm weird that way.

bagoh20 said...

You can also inlay coins. Surely you have some wooden nickels.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Is this the section where the balusters/spindles will be attached? The bottom? If so, you probably won't notice the spots once the whole unit is assembled.

I would go with a paint technique. Sanding out, or even picking out, some of the area of the lighter colored spots, filling with a matching paint (perhaps an oil based artists paint . Grumbacher is a good brand) Feather the paint out out around the hole into the wood and then very lightly sanding again to blend it in. That way it won't be small spots but rather an area of paint gradually blending into the whole. Does that make sense. If I were Chip Ahoy....I would draw it for you and turn the process into a GIF.

Sixty being color blind, I can understand that this painting technique would be pretty useless for him. (my mother and brother are colorblind)

chickelit said...

Is this the section where the balusters/spindles will be attached? The bottom? If so, you probably won't notice the spots once the whole unit is assembled.

No, it's a separate piece. It's the same one that has a spline visible at the end (see the previous blog post). I need to shoot a better photo today that puts these all in perspective.

The lower piece where the metal balusters will go is pretty blemish-free. Of course, if I weren't reattaching the baluster there would be 1/4 holes which I would plug.

That way it won't be small spots but rather an area of paint gradually blending into the whole. Does that make sense. If I were Chip Ahoy....I would draw it for you and turn the process into a GIF.

It makes perfect sense!

bagoh20 said...

Just carve stuff in it, like "Joanie loves Chachi", or "I like Ike.",

chickelit said...

I found a piece of scrap doug fir which I can sand and use to test finishes.

Rabel said...

In a pinch I put them inside the bottom of my pants leg while pretending to tie my shoe.

rhhardin said...

I go with knotty pine for woodwork.

AprilApple said...

I pine for naughty woodwork.

AllenS said...

Take a wood chisel and carve them out with designs that look like S ) U D L ( N, and tell everyone it's very expensive "worm wood". It could work.

AllenS said...

Damnit, I was going to do some of them with italics. Use your imagination.