Step 19: Pore fill & Finishing
PORE FILL: Walnut wood has a lot of pores that must be filled to get a smooth finish. The first mistake I made at this point was thinking that Behlen’s natural pore filler (which I had already purchased) was clear. Opening the can clarified my misunderstanding. It was not clear. After a conversation with a friend and some additional reading, I ended up buying clear epoxy for the pore filling process. I used System 3 epoxy from LMII for the pore filling. After light sanding and wiping down the guitar, I applied the epoxy per the instructions on LMII’s site. The mixture is supposed to be very accurate for the epoxy to cure properly, so this is where I used the small digital scales. A few ounces goes a long way. I worked in small areas, applying some epoxy and using a hotel room key card to scrape off the excess. Once this dried 24 hours later, I sanded level with 320 grit sandpaper. It appeared that there were still a few open pores, so I applied another coat of epoxy. I let this dry for a week before sanding with 320 grit.
FINISHING: Next I applied two coats of Behlen Vinyl sealer, per the manufacturer’s instructions. I applied 5 coats of lacquer, allowing drying time and completing sanding with 320-400 grit between coats.