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Thread: CrystaLac filler over Watco

  1. #1

    CrystaLac filler over Watco

    Hi all,
    I am making a kitchen table for my dad his wife and am trying to match the desk I made them last Christmas. The desk is red oak, and I did my usual oak finish routine of a coat of medium walnut Watco, a coat of shellac sanding sealer, and 2 coats of Minwax satin polyurethane. The difficulty is they want the pores filled on the table. I typically don't fill the pores because I don't like the look, so I am new at this.

    My question is, can I put the CrystaLac water-based filler over the oil-based Watco without adhesion issues? And if so, how long do I need to wait before I put on the CrystaLac? I also had thought I could put a layer of shellac over the Watco if I needed to. I was hoping that since the CrystaLac is clear, I could match the Watco-in-the-grain look of the desk.

    According to the directions, I can't put shellac over the CrystaLac, so i will skip that step. I am going to topcoat with three coats of Minwax satin polyurethane.

    Also if anyone has any good tips on using the CrystaLac filler I could use those too.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Shoreline, CT
    If you let the Watco get well dried, I don’t see a problem using the CrystaLac over it. It should Have been applied properly, with excess well wiped off, and allowed to dry in reasonably warm temperatures. (In the 70s would be good.) A few days should be sufficient.

    But, CrystaLac is known to shrink quite a bit as it, so to fill red oak, which has very large pores, will take several coats, It also dries pretty quickly, so that it is almost sure that you will have to sand off excess, which gives a challenge in avoiding sanding though the Watco stain layer.
    I prefer oil based pore filler, which shrinks less than water borne, The “standard” is Por O Pak, though Old Master shrinks less, and Sherwin Williams Grain Filler, even less . The Sherwin Williams is only available in gallons, a major handicap. Another point in favor of the oil based fillers is that they dry much more slowly so you have time to scrape off excess with a plastic scraper, and still be able to use a coarse cloth (burlap) to wipe across the grain to remove remaining haze. Almost no sanding needed, which is good because the oil based filler clogs sandpaper quickly.

    Oil based does need to be well dried before top coating—a week is not too long.
    I like to tint the filler just a shade darker than the base stain to give “depth” to the finish that would other wise be lost when going to the full filled surface

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