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Grain filler problem

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Should you stain the wood before or after grain filling ?

I have stained before filling and have had to sand through the stain to get all the excess filler removed. What a mess the grain filler makes...I scraped the exess off before leaving to dry but when sanding if goes all gungy and blocks the sandpaper.

I take it I have done this all wrong ? Anyone any tips on filling swamp ash, or removing the filler ?

I have only removed the filler from the back so any help with removing the rest would be great...I will post a photo later so you can have a look at the devastation.

Chalk 1 up to experiance.


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You should be using this before you dye/stain the guitar. It also appears that you're using a white or "Clear" filler...I'd suggest using a darker filler. The filler will actually darken the wood a bit, and often I just go with that.

There shouldn't really be too much filler to sand off...it's more of a flattening process rather than a removal process.

1. Apply grain filler and rub into the wood. Let this sit for ~5 minutes

2. using an old credit card, scrape the filler off the wood. You should be removing almost all of it, leaving only the portions in the actual grain. Let this sit overnight.

3. Lightly sand with 220 (with the grain!) using a block.

4. Repeat steps 1 & 2 until you can't see open pores in the wood when held to the light.

Hope that helps, I'd tell you to sand that guitar back all the way and start over...sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear....

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The filler should be applied with the grain then scrape off at a 45 degree angle to the grain. So, as is, the surface of the guitar is level? That is, the white areas were low spots? If that is the case I would scrape off what you can with a putty knife, if its still gummy, and then sand flat with a rigid sanding block. Just check the surface from every angle with a straight edge like a steel ruler looking for gaps and pinch points (humps).

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