I hope Santa was good to all of you! I had a great Christmas with my family and friends...I'm always a little sad when the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is over...but, life goes on, and there's more to look forward to.
As I was going through pics from the past few months, I realized I took some photos of a little wood-filling session I did when I was painting some cabinets, and I never shared them with you. So, I thought I'd do that today! This is just how I do it - I'm sure there are other ways, but everyone seems to like to get a little insight, so I am sharing.
I use Elmer's wood filler - the kind that comes in a tube. I think that all wood filler (unfortunately) dries out kind of quickly, so I usually just buy a small container, and it only gets used once or twice before it dries out. Annoying, but true.
here is a photo of the painted-over holes before I went back to fill them and paint over them:
before I even fill the holes, I sand down the area with my electric mouse sander. Sometimes, (especially when hardware is involved, like hinge holes) the hardware that is pressing in on the surface (the wood and the painted surface) can create indentions. It's good to sand down the indentions beforehand, to alleviate a little bit of extra work at the end.
So, after I do that, I slather on the wood putty.
I go heavy on the putty. This means that you most likely won't have to do a second round of wood filler, because you are going above and beyond with this first coat, filling all possible spaces. It takes a little while for wood putty to dry - longer than wall spackle. It's because it's thicker and stronger. Let that coat dry entirely, then you are ready for sanding.
I sand my wood filler just like I sand a piece of wood that I am trying to get smooth and pretty. I start with a heavier grit paper, like a 150 (not too rough), then move down to a 220. That way, you get the big bumps first, then you can smooth them out with a softer paper. Sometimes I just do the softer paper with my hand, and not the electric sander.
When you sand it down, there should be almost no wood filler showing at the end - this is how you'll know it's done its job. It's supposed to be completely smooth on the surface.
see, completely smooth:
(other than a few pieces of sawdust that were promptly swept away!)
Before I paint, I do a coat of primer. Wood filler can make your painted surface look matte, which is not what you're going for :) I hope this was helpful for you guys, and leave any questions in the "comments"!