Staining over Wood Filler Gives Blotchy Results (5 Steps to Fix It)

You might want to stain your wooden furniture to give it a vintage look. But whenever you try to stain over wood fillers, it always ends up looking blotchy. Blotchy stains can make the wooden furniture lose its charm.

So, you must be curious, why staining over wood filler gives blotchy results?

Well, staining gives a blotchy outcome when it absorbs unevenly into the wood filler’s surface. Wood filler’s job is to cover blemishes and imperfections of the wood. They’re made of artificial material which doesn’t soak stains easily. 

However, it’s not impossible to stain over wood filler and make it look natural. To know more about the staining over wood filler, let’s move to the next segment.

Why Stains Are Blotchy on Wood Filler?

Wood fillers and wood absorb stains differently. Wood filler is made of plastic chemicals and mineral oil compounds.

They are best to hide and conceal the holes and imperfections of the wood. But when it comes to staining, wood fillers are not ideal for that.

Wood filler soaks the stain in a small portion and unevenly. That’s why it looks blotchy after drying.

Blotchy Results from Staining over Wood Filler

staining over wood filler gives blotchy results

It’s possible to get a natural-looking stain result on wood filler. If you already have a wooden piece with blotchy stains, sand it immediately.

To achieve the perfect staining, go through the following steps. Once you’re finished, you’ll know how to deal with blotchy stains over the wood filler. 

Materials Needed

Collect these items before starting the staining process-

  • Stainable wood filler
  • Electric sander
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood primer
  • Varnish

Make sure you have all the items before starting the woodwork. Now we can start staining the wooden piece.

Step 1: Fill the Wood Holes

Find out all the blemishes and holes in your wooden piece. Use a stainable wood filler to cover the holes. These fillers are mainly oil-based. Oil-based fillers soak stains better than water-based ones.  

Also, make sure there aren’t any air bubbles in the wood filler. Or else the stain won’t sit on the filler. 

The wood filler will take 10 minutes to harden.

Step 2: Sand the Wood Filler Area

Once the wood filler is settled, sand the area with sandpaper or an electric sander. Make the wood-filled section smooth by sanding it properly.

It’s time-saving to use an electric sander and we have the best ones for you-

These electric sanders are long-lasting and give good service.

After sanding, use a cloth to rub off the dust from the wood. Wood dust can give a grainy texture to the stained wood filler.

Step 3: Apply Primer on the Wooden Surface

Now, this is the most important part if you want to avoid blotchy stains on the wood filler. 

Primer seals the wood surface and makes the stain sit easily. 

Take a paintbrush and coat the wooden furniture with primer and let it dry for an hour. Then give your furniture a second coat of primer, wait for another hour.

We have a list of top-quality wood primers right here-

Primers are mandatory to protect your wooden furniture and also the stain. So, go through the list and choose the primer wisely.

Step 4: Apply the Stain Color

Wood fillers and wood don’t soak stains the same way. This different way of absorbing creates blotchy stains.

To avoid this, choose the stain color you want to apply. Then choose another shade that is darker than the selected color. It’s better if you choose an opaque stain, rather than the semi-transparent one.

Use a large paint brush to stain the whole furniture. Use a smaller paintbrush for the wood filler areas.

Now apply the darker shade on the filler area and the lighter shade on the other areas. Take plenty of time to stain and let it dry.

The stain should look completely natural. There’ll be no noticeable blotch or patches of ununified color.

Leave the furniture for a day or two and let the paint dry completely.

Step 5: Varnish the Wood

Finally, varnish the wood to seal the stain. Varnish is a transparent topcoat used on wooden furniture. It seals the surface and creates a protective layer over the stained wood, making it last longer.

Apply at least 3 coats of varnish to permanently seal the stain. Use a cloth and damp the varnish all over the wood. 

If you want to go for a vintage-looking matte finish, use tung oil. Tung oil is a highly water-resistant and durable oil. Use it in the same way as varnish. 

Here’s a list of the best tung oils out there-

Tung oil is being used as a wooden furniture topcoat for a very long time. The oil gives an excellent final touch to the staining. 

And the work is done. Now you’ll have furniture which doesn’t have blotchy stains on them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What tool should we use for staining the wood? 

Answer: Use a paint brush and sponge brush for staining wooden pieces. A paintbrush works well for staining small areas. When you are working on big surfaces, use a sponge brush to save time.

Question: How to remove the excess stain from the wood?

Answer: Use mineral spirit to clean freshly stained wood. Soak a cloth in the spirit then lightly wipe the furniture with it. Leave the furniture for a day to fully dry. This process will help to remove the extra stain. Also, it’ll help the remaining stain to cure properly.

Question: Are Wood filler and wood putty the same thing?

Answer: In simple words, the answer is no. Wood filler and wood putty are two different things. Wood filler is used for sealing holes and imperfections on wood. And wood putty is a binding compound full of chemicals. 

Last Words

And that’s all we have for today. Now you know what to do if staining over wood filler gives blotchy results.

It can take a while to perfect the staining. Experiment with different techniques and follow what works best for you. Don’t forget to share your staining over wood filler experience with us.

We hope the result will be wonderful. Happy woodworking!

Kevin Smith

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