patching a table top

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Forum topic by Rich L. posted 05-03-2018 05:21 PM 465 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rich L.

39 posts in 2885 days

05-03-2018 05:21 PM

Hi all,
I’ve been watching several videos on furniture restoration. Looks interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.

I found this painted black and peeling coffee table on the side of the road and thought it would be perfect for practice. After stripping and sanding I discovered these imperfections. They look like veneer but the table is solid wood!

I want to stain it a dark color and I’m wondering the best way to fill these gaps so they’re not obvious. I believe that even stainable putty stands out but maybe not. My finishing skills are, admittedly very limited. I’ve seen videos where they stain it, seal it and then touch up the filled areas (glazing?) I purchased some crayon type fillers but I think the gaps are too big for them. I even considered trying a different approach on each area; but I’d like to see it nice for wherever it ends up. (Goodwill etc)

Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks, Rich

-- Rich, Southern CA

5 replies so far

View Garry00's profile


5 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 05-03-2018 05:47 PM

Try taking some wood glue and sawdust and making a paste to fill the deepest crevices. After drying, sand and then apply your stains and finishing. Another way is to add sawdust and then “Super Glue” and use a vibrating sander to smooth out before staining. Sometimes the imperfections in wood add to the look..

View Rich's profile (online now)


5146 posts in 1197 days

#2 posted 05-03-2018 06:18 PM

If you’re interested in getting into restoration, why not invest in a few items that will help you down the road? A burn-in knife and some fill sticks would be a good start. So would some Blendal sticks and Prismacolor pencils. I use Mohawk products, but there are others. Some different colors of epoxy putty is handy too.

For fills of that size, you could use fill sticks. The hard fill, hard fill plus, EZ Flow and PlaneStick products from Mohawk are all durable enough to use on a table top. They are generally used after the wood is stained and a couple of coats of finish have been applied.

If I were doing it, I’d probably go with epoxy putty. I did a blog post about it recently that can be found here. There’s no need to use gouges like in the blog post since the voids are pretty random as it is.

Another option if you want to show off the fills as a feature is to use epoxy with a black pigment or even the black epoxy putty stick.

Mohawk put out a DVD years ago that covers all of their products and how to use them. More recently they have put all of the segments on youtube. Search for Mohawk videos and you’ll find them and lots of others to learn from.

Finally, if you do want to buy some Mohawk products and don’t have a dealer in your town, I recommend ordering from They are a full-line dealer of Mohawk and Behlen products and their shipping rates are reasonable.

Good luck. If you have questions ask them here or PM me.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Rich L.

39 posts in 2885 days

#3 posted 05-05-2018 05:28 AM

Thanks for the input. Lots of good info! I read your post Rich. Again, very helpful. I also viewed a few of the Mohawk videos. It’s a bit intimidating seeing the number of products available for restoration! The fill sticks I purchased are Mohawk but they’re the rub in kind for scratches etc. I like the idea of the burn in knife I think I’m gonna get one of those and few other basic starter items. I like the idea of using blackened epoxy as a feature instead of hiding the repairs. I think i’m gonna try that on this table.

Thanks again for your replies.

-- Rich, Southern CA

View ChefHDAN's profile


1499 posts in 3458 days

#4 posted 05-05-2018 12:31 PM

Easy, tinted epoxy, a bit more advanced do an inlay with a router kit You can cut your own template, I had 3 defects in the top of this entertainment center and i went with inlays because they blended better for the look of the top at a distance, but were noticeable with a closer look. If the table will be sticking around, i would personally always enjoy sitting at the table and admiring the patches….

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Rich L.'s profile

Rich L.

39 posts in 2885 days

#5 posted 05-07-2018 04:17 PM

Those inlays on your entertainment center look good! I’m definitely going to look into adding that skill to my woodworking.


-- Rich, Southern CA

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