Crystalac - Grain Filler (Rating: 5)

I have recently discovered a product called Crystalac Grain Filler (Rockler, Amazon). It is water based, easy to apply, dries clear and will fill open grain woods like Oak, Walnut, and Koa in 2 or 3 coats. It is the consistency of loose toothpaste and costs about $25/qt. But a quart will last a loooooong time. IMHO, it is hands down the best grain filler I have ever used. It is not granular, doesn't require thinning, doesn't need volatile chemical reducers, doesn't require stain or color to match the wood (tho it can be colored with water or alcohol soluble dyes), and is, all in all, really easy to use.

I apply it generously with a small pad, then gently swipe off the excess (at 45 deg's to the grain) with an old credit card. Sand it flush between coats; 220 or 320 grit. It sands easily when thoroughly dry (that is the real secret). Use a dust mask as it contains silica which is NOT good for your lungs. It requires 24 hours to dry each coat. I have a test piece of Walnut that you can shave in after using 2 coats of this filler and following up with gloss poly.