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Thread: Auto body filler on wood?

  1. #1

    Auto body filler on wood?

    Hi all, I'm making a wedding card (safe?) for my sons wedding, It's this hollow heart with a slot in the top and a locking door on the back.
    I made the front and back out of 1/2 inch MDF and the sides out of 1/8 inch paper like product (the kind of stuff you find on the back of cheap T.V. stands). Anyway I have to fill it to get it really smooth, I was going to use drywall compound on it, but a guy at work said I could use body filler on it and it wouldn't chip as easy. Has anyone here ever used body filler on wood, and is it that much more resistant to chiping than drywall compound? And do I have to rough up the surface to make it stick?
    I want to thank you all in advance as I am not on the computer very often.
    Thanks Larry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Tidewater, VA
    Larry -

    While reading your post, I was thinking drywall compound. Just put it on, sand, repeat as necessary and paint. Your "safe" will be good for the few hours it needs to last.

    I don't think you will have a chipping problem with the dry wall compound - here's why. Back in college (in a time far, far away ), I made some speakers stands out of doubled up layers of scrap CDX plywood that was available at a building site (college=$ broke). Glued the pieces together, cut out the shapes and assembled. Applied drywall compound, sanded and painted. They are still in use by my son who is now 25. Nary a mark on them.

    Good luck,

  3. #3
    I have used body putty for years on paint grade work. The advantage I have seen is the fast dry time. Since it is a chemical reaction from the 2 part mix, it is dry and can be sanded in about 15 minutes. If you decide to try this, make sure to avoid any body putty with fiberglas threads in it.

  4. #4
    Larry, you can use body filler, just a couple of things to consider. Body filler has a pretty strong odor, so give the project plenty of time to cure to allow the odor to dissipate. The good body filler shapes and sands much easier than the cheap stuff, for only a difference of about $10 I would go with the quality. I have used a brand called RAGE Gold made by USC, and it worked really well- ~$30 gallon-available at the pro auto paint suppliers, probably not Auto Zone (they probably will have no idea what it is). It does not have fiberglass in it, that is a product different than body filler. You can rough up the surfact with 120 grit to promote adhesion, but probably not necessary as wood is porous. Use a sandable primer and topcoat with your choice, that is compatible with the primer/sealer coat. Don't wait for the filler to completely dry, as it will be like sanding a rock. Start sanding when you can scrape the surface of the filler with your fingernail, and the filler will feel slightly tacky to the touch. If you are using light layers then you can begin to sand with 80 to get the rough shape, and then sand down to 150 or 180 before priming. Sand the primer to 220-320 to remove the sand scratches that were made from sanding the filler, and then seal and topcoat. If something I said is not clear, ask and I will try to clarify. Hope this Helps. Bill

  5. #5
    You can also add a small amount of plaster powder to make it harder. My drywall subs do it all the time to cut down on drying time and make it easier to sand.

  6. #6
    Use it alot. Does exactly what you want it to do. I also use spot putty. It's a pre-mix body putty that's thinner and dries faster. Auto-zone type stores should have that. Not as durable as bondo types but stronger then spackle.

    If this was my project and it needed to be used just once I would use pre mixed spackle; maybe the spot putty. Dries fast and does the job. I would think bondo would be over kill in this case.
    Wife's request is another excuse for a new tool!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Dallas, Tx.

    Joint cement

    ..been using it for 25 years and I can make MDF shine like a silver dollar.
    Phil in Big D
    The only difference between a taxidermist and the taxman, is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. Mark Twain

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