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  • Filling in nail holes

    I am doing the casing for windows and crown with paint grade MDF. I use 18g brads for casings and 15g finish nails for the crown and stools. I am also doing the painting.

    What I want to know is there a trick to filling in the nail holes.

    When I first tried I really gooped on the painters caulk figuring I would sand it later. Well sanding it is a pain. Second I was careful and lightly went over the spots wit ha wet rag after I gooped in some caulk. Well the hole looked like it was filled but after the caulk dried it seemed to shrink into the hole. I would have to redo this 3 tiems to fill in the hole. Its taking me longer to fill in the holes then nail up the casings, that can't be right!

    I would appreciate any tricks or tips on how to make this go faster. I have tried dry wall paste, it does not shrink when dry, bit its much more fragil then painters caulk... plus I feel dumb using it.

    Has anyoune any suggestions?

    Robert

  • #2
    Re: Filling in nail holes

    Ackually the best place to find info on painting is in a painters forum, however, I have had some experence with painting my own house.

    I would not use caulk, use painters putty, push it into the hole and your done. Some painters use drywall compound to fill the holes. They seem to like it and I have found that the job does look better when drywall compound is used. However, there is more work when using drywall compound, you need to sand off the excess.

    Gary W.

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    • #3
      Re: Filling in nail holes

      Robert,
      I too had a similar problem with nail holes and tried different products. I found one I like, Interior Spakling Paste by Custom Home Products. I buy it at the Home Depot, comes in a qt. or larger, ready to use and dries in 15 min. Most of all it is easy to sand. It's in the paint section. Try the link below (hope it works) so you can see what it looks like.
      Beware of the Patch-N-Paint which is right next to it. Says no sanding required, I tried it and did not like it at all. Who knows, may work for you.
      Keep in mind, I am just a do-it-yourselfer so I would also wait to see what the "true pro's" use.
      Good luck.
      Hope you find something.
      Saul


      http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...ceffdfgidgkj.0

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      • #4
        Re: Filling in nail holes

        Gary, true its a bit of topic. But you have to admit its better than another coping vs mitering thread.

        Thanks for the advice, I check out the wood putty.

        Saul, that Patch-N-Paint is very much like the stuff I called drywall paste (err compound). BTW sanding dry wall compound is 10X easier than sainding painters caulk.

        Robert

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        • #5
          Re: Filling in nail holes

          Set'em and forget'em. Make your joints tight and let the painters fill the nail holes with their preferred material. If your filler is incompatible or falls out ,it's your headache.

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          • #6
            Re: Filling in nail holes

            First, block sand your work where you nailed; nailing into MDF leaves a slightly raised "nipple" or "volcano" that must be flattened level with the surrounding work. Then, mix some sanding dust from your sander filter bag with some polyurethane glue, like Gorilla, into a heavy paste. Apply it to your nail holes like any other putty. A light sanding after it drys works it down easily. The advantage of using this homemade putty is that it expands as it drys. No more shrinkage.

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            • #7
              Re: Filling in nail holes

              I've used plaster of paris, fairly hardened to a rubberlike consistency. I walk around with a golfball-sized chunk and fill holes easily. It takes paint well and it's cheap too.

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              • #8
                Re: Filling in nail holes

                Bondo can be used with very good results.

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                • #9
                  Re: Filling in nail holes

                  Someone, and I can't remember who, said to take the flat side of a chisel and shave off the raised crater edge around the nail holes before filling them. Apparently this helps a lot with the sanding of the filler. I just heard about this tip and haven't had an mdf job to try it out yet. I like to use Dap latex spackling putty which drys fairly quick and is easy to sand.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Filling in nail holes

                    Ditto on the shaving/gouging of the nail holes; rarely does this stuff not crater after nailing. Before filling with putty, you really need to prime the holes; because mdf swells when it comes into contact with water, I use oil based primer for this. This helps to seal the mdf and eliminate the swelling that seems to take place when using water based fillers/putties. Just my $.02 worth....

                    Sam

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                    • #11
                      Re: Filling in nail holes

                      Ditto on the shaving/gouging of the nail holes; rarely does this stuff not crater after nailing. Before filling with putty, you really need to prime the holes; because mdf swells when it comes into contact with water, I use oil based primer for this. This helps to seal the mdf and eliminate the swelling that seems to take place when using water based fillers/putties. Just my $.02 worth....

                      Sam

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                      • #12
                        Re: Filling in nail holes

                        Robert,
                        Sorry,I missed your line about doing the painting yourself. The tips on filling seem great,but I still hold,if you're not doing the painting, set'em and forget'em.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Filling in nail holes

                          I always use drywall compound and overfill the nail holes. By overfilling I don't have to worry about shrinkage, plus, when I sand down the "glob" it usually also takes care of the MDF "volcano." Drywall compound sands very easily!

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