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How to use putty at the wood finishing.

Putty (wood putty) is a finishing material that is used for filling the holes, cracks, gaps or other imperfectness in the furniture or other wood products. Putty is paste form with high solid content. It is easy to be inserted in hole and then it dry and harden quickly to fill up the hole. The uses of wood putty in the woodworking is quite lot. Usually there is some imperfectness in the woodworking process that can be easily fixed with wood putty. To see more about the putty, we can go to our previous article: wood putty for wood
The application off the wood putty is quite simple. It is paste form that can be inserted into the hole. We can use a knife or spatula to take the paste and insert it into the pitch, hole, gap, crack or gap. Make sure that the putty fills the entire hole or gap. Clean the smudged putty and flatten the surface, to get the even surface. Let the putty dry and hard, then we can sand the surface to get the smooth and flat surface. Although the putty application is quite simple process, but we always need to do it appropriately to get the optimum result.

Here are some tips and considerations for the putty application. 
  •  Consider the final finishing color and look..
The wood putty is used to make the better finishing looked. Then the putty application must be appropriately accord to the final finishing color. For the solid color finish, (opaque color or paint finish), then we can apply wood putty with any color. The epoxy putty could be the best choice since it strong, hard and dry fast. The color of the putty can be obeyed since it will be covered by the paint color.  But for the transparent color finish, then the color of the putty must be carefully selected. The color of the putty should match with the final color of the finishing. If we apply the stain then we can choose a type of putty is able to absorb the stain applied on. If there is no stain applied on, then we need to match the wood putty color with the wood color. 
  • The cleaning of the excess putty.
The putty excess must be cleaned off. The putty excess will ruin the finishing looked; too thick putty at the surface will make the uneven surface and also risk to get peel off.  Make sure the putty only left inside the gap, hole or crack. Use the tip of the knife to hold the putty as needed to minimize the putty excess. But sometime there is still some excess at the surface. The excess putty can be cleaned off when the putty is still wet by the knife or rag. If necessary we can use a dampened rag with thinner to clean off the putty.
We also can do sanding to clean the dry putty. Use the # 240 sandpaper to sand and clean the putty excess that already dry and hard at the surface. The putty application is usually done at the sanding process, before the sanding process. After we fix all the gap, hole, crack, pitch then we can continue with the sanding process to make the even and smooth surface.
  • Consider the type of the putty.
There are many type of putty that is provided by the finishing material industry. Usually the putty is designed to be compatible with any finishing process. But we still need to check the type of the putty. Make sure it is compatible with the finishing process that we are going to apply on it. We may need to do some trial to check the compatibility of the putty with the whole finishing process.
  • The mixing and coloring the putty.
Most of putty is made with certain colors that we can choose according to the final color we need. Some of putty is able to absorb he stain applied on. However sometimes we still have to color the putty. We can add some pigment into the putty to get the color we need, but it should be done with carefully. Make sure the pigment is compatible with the putty. Avoid too much pigment since it will reduce the filling properties of the putty. The putty is a paste form and thick material, then the agitation could be hard and requires lot of energy, but the well mixing is needed to get the good result.

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