How to Hide Wood Filler Perfectly After Staining (5 Simple Steps)

More often than not, our wooden doors and furniture get damaged. Either a kid pokes a hole in them or insects make holes in them. That’s when we feel the need for filling up those holes.

But once those holes are filled up, they look out of place and odd. And so, we stain those areas. But staining woods perfectly is not an easy job.

So, how to hide wood filler perfectly after staining? 

Sand the area involving the holes first. Then clean it and get it ready for filling damaged parts with wood fillers. Apply conditioner on it before you fill up the damaged parts with wood fillers. Buy wood stains that match the color of the wood perfectly. Spray vinegar on the stained wood. 

This is just the basic idea of the whole process. Interested in knowing more? Just scroll down.

Why Is It Necessary to Hide Wood Fillers?

how to hide wood filler after staining

There is always the risk of the wood filler failing to absorb the stain when staining. But, to be completely honest, staining filled portions of wood furniture is not that hard. 

When you are using wood fillers on your furniture, you would really like to hide the damages. These damaged parts can stand out like a sore thumb if you don’t stain them properly.

And that is the last thing you need on your plate when you’re staining wood fillers.

When a piece of wooden furniture is repaired with wood filler, it is re-stained and re-furnished. The areas that have been repaired with wood filler will not appear uniform with the rest.

You might notice a lighter or darker shade in those places.

When the wood filler is successfully applied to wood, the repair might be able to blend in. In fact, sometimes they blend in so well with the furniture, that it is almost undetectable. 

The stain tends to pool once it is put over the wood fillers. It collects around the mended area’s edge, forming a darker stain ring. Some may even look at it and think of it as a pith.

If you’re not careful when staining the wood, you’ll leave marks you never even wanted.

How to Hide the Wood Fillers (5 Easy Steps)

The wood filling is a pretty easy job. Staining the wood is the hard part. Like we’ve said earlier if you’re not cautious enough, you’ll leave unwanted marks. 

Necessary Equipment

Let’s look at the equipment you need for this process-

  • High Grain Sandpaper
  • Light Grain Sandpaper
  • Bristle Brush
  • A piece of Cloth
  • Warm Water
  • Pre-stain Conditioner
  • Stain
  • Protective Finish

Now you know all the equipment you’ll need for this procedure. You’re ready to start the process after you’ve gotten your hands on all of them.

Step 1: Sanding the Whole Furniture 

Take high grain sandpaper for your use. Sandpaper the whole area of the furniture where you used the wood fillers. If you’ve already sanded your furniture while putting in the wood filler, then it’s not necessary.

Use the sandpaper evenly on the whole furniture including the fillers. Sometimes the fillers can be harder to sand than the wood. Apply extra pressure when that happens.

Step 2: Cleaning

Take a clean cloth and put a bowl of hot water nearby. Then run the wet cloth down the whole furniture. This will remove all the dirt and grains left from sanding.

Run your hands down the whole surface. If any place seems uneven, repeat the whole sanding process.

Step 3: Preparing the Furniture

Take a bristle brush and apply a liberal coat of pre-stain conditioner on your furniture. Apply it in the direction of the wood’s grain.

This allows the stain to seep evenly into the wood. Let it stay for around 10 mins then wipe off the furniture with a cloth.

The purpose of applying a pre-stain conditioner is for the stain to settle in perfectly. 

Here’s a list of some of the best pre-stain conditioners-

Step 4: Apply the Stain

Stir up the stain can for everything inside to mix properly. Use a bristle brush and apply the stain evenly in the direction of the grain. 

Now, you can either wipe off the stain almost instantly or, you could keep it. But, keep in mind that the longer you keep it on, the more it’ll stain. 

After wiping the stain off, let it dry for 4 hours. You can repeat the process if you want a darker stain.

Here’s a list of some best stain brands-

Step 5: Apply Protective Finish

Stir the container first. Then using a bristle brush, apply the finish on the furniture to the direction of the grain.

Once you’ve covered the whole furniture, apply some long smooth strokes on the furniture. This will even out the coat. Wait for another 4 hours for the protective layer to dry.

Once it’s dry, take light grain sandpaper and sand the whole furniture. This will smoothen out the first coat. Now apply a second coat the same way.

Here’s a list of some of the best protective finishes-

Your furniture should be perfectly covered in a protective finish now. But, this is the generic process that you can follow for all types of wood. But, you can try a more specified approach for your California Redwood if you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long does it take for the wood fillers to dry?

Answer: Wood fillers take around 2 hours to dry. But if you’ve gone deep with those wood fillers, then it can take up to 6 hours to dry. So, it’s wise to wait until then.

Question: How to remove glue from wood?

Answer: Prepare a 50-50 mixture of White Vinegar and Bottled Water and spray it on your furniture. Then wipe it with a wet cloth.

Question: Is wood filler the same as grain filler?

Answer: No, they are two different things. Grain fillers are more expensive and they perform better.


Now you know how to hide wood filler perfectly after staining. You should be able to stain all your furniture by yourself now. Staining wood is an easy job. All you need is the right stain that goes with your wood. 

Let us know in the comments about your experience.

Good Luck!

Kevin Smith

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