DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Filling nail holes in door frames for clear varnish finish

Postby Matteo » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:42 am

After some very helpful advice from theshedman on painting new plaster, I joked about needing advice on doors. Now it seems I DO need some help so I hope someone here can...

Our new house has untreated beech doors/frames. The door frames, naturally, have some nail holes which we'd like to fill.

Unfortunately, we got conflicting advice about WHEN to fill those holes: some said before varnishing, some said after.

Just about all the advice on line seems to say AFTER but this is directed to people who want to stain the wood - this makes sense since I can assume that wood stain will not stain filler the same as wood and matching stained wood with coloured filler is easier.

There doesn't seem to be any advice regarding filling in holes for a clear varnish finish.

The problem we've discovered is that having applied a beech coloured filler (which you could scarcely see against the raw wood) then applying the clear varnish (which has resulted in a slightly darker, more golden finish) on one door, is that the filler shows up in lighter spots/patches through the varnish.

Does anyone know:

a) how to rectify this problem
b) how to prevent the problem occuring with all the other door frames that my wife has "efficiently" filled already in preparation for varnishing.

Am I also right in thinking that we should remove excess filler with a scraper or sharp edge, rather than sanding?
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:23 am


Gorilla Glue heavy duty grab adhesive

Postby s.kilpatrick » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:11 am

An option, if you havn't used a 2 pack (hard)filler.
Gouge out filler with a pin or nail, if its awater based filler like brummer.
Stain/varnish the door architraves etc then use a coloured beeswax stick
to fill the pin holes, if you get an extensive range of colours you can hold the stick to the timber to match colour.
The stick is then rubbed over the hole until its filled, the carefully scrape
off excess wax with a stanley knife blade, the wax will blend in with the timber finish, no sanding required.
This is a common method used in cabinatery manufacture for solid and veneered work.
See hyperlink below for wax stick supplier

Google ""
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:54 am

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics