How to use grainfillers

Finney's Grainfiller is used to fill the pores of wood in order to achieve a higher shine. The problem is that if you get it wrong, hundreds of pale flecks will stand out on darker decorative woods such as mahogany and walnut … or just as bad, the filler will look patchy.

It is quite common to have to adjust or alter the colour of the grainfiller. Try to use a colour which is the same or a little darker than the background colour of the wood. Prepare the grainfiller by adding Finney’s Powder Dry Colour into a little White Spirits to create a concentrate. Add this to the grainfiller and stir well in. Test the colour produced on scrap. After adding Powder Dry Colour to achieve the right shade, stir again to ensure even distribution.

Using fillers

The grainfiller is effectively rubbed on across the grain and then rubbed back off again to keep it flat in the pores. Leave to dry before lightly sanding along the grain, then you can start applying polish.


There are lots of grainfilling processes. Here are a couple for you to try:

Method 1

  1. Apply Finney's Professional Naphtha Stain or Finney’s Professional Water Stain to obtain the colour you require and leave to dry.
  2. Seal in with a single coat of Transparent French Polish or FINPOL Easy Polish
  3. Apply Finney's Grainfiller
  4. Polish to a shine with either Transparent French Polish or FINPOL Easy Polish

Method 2

  1. Start by applying a coat of Finney’s Professional Water Stain to the wood and leave to dry.
  2. Apply coloured grainfiller directly on top of stain. The colour in the filler will become part of the final colour produced.
  3. Seal in with Transparent French Polish or FINPOL Easy Polish

Note: After stage one you can seal the surface as method one and then apply the filler to create a paler overall tone.

Expert Advice, Simple Solutions, Beautiful Wood
All of the information offered in this Question and Answer format is given in good faith and no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage however caused. Always carry out a test before proceeding and if in doubt, contact our free wood finishing Advice Line on 01246 261664 before starting.

Our range of wood finishing products has been developed over many years so that customers can be assured of compatibility and of achieving excellent results. The advice given here refers solely to the specific products mentioned and not to other manufacturers products which although may appear to be similar, invariably are not.