Grain Filler On Wenge?

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New User
Hey guys,

I am trying to finish this Wenge drum shell I made with Minwax Wipe On Poly.

What I am shooting for eventually is a smooth, glass like finish. :D

As you may know Wenge has a porous, open, irregular grain.

I did about 5 coats on this thing a couple weeks ago and I thought the gloss looked great.

As you might have guess I ended up with a lot of little grooves and holes because of the grain structure.

I incorrectly assumed that the poly would fill in the grain for me as I put more coats on.

I thought to myself "Well, I'll just wet sand and buff this baby down and it will look smooth as glass".

After about 2 minutes of wet sanding I knew I had made a mistake.

The chalk from my wet sanding had filled all the little crevasses and would not come out. :gar-La;

So, for round 2 I think I could be happy with a few coats of the wipe on poly.

The questions I have are:

1. Have any of you guys had such an experience with Wenge and hi-gloss finish?

2. Is there a "grain filler" that can be used under a wipe on poly?

I have attached a picture of this shell.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :D



Senior User

I tried this on Red Oak. I didn't let it dry log enough so can't tell you I had a good experience with it. It a slurry and red oak is extremely porous so it ran into the pores and after I put on finish, the moisture started coming out of the crystalac. I ended up running it through a drum sander and just living with the pores.


Senior User
I use the crystalac that Steve put up a link to, works great but you need to let it dry.

I use it on Walnut all the time, and I'm getting ready to build cabinets using Wenge that I'll be using as Crystalac on


Corporate Member
You can use an epoxy finishing resin (Z-Poxy Finishing Resin, West 105/207 or similar epoxy) intended for finishing work... not regular hardware store epoxy as a pore filler on it. It's used all the time with guitars. Todd Stock has an excellent series of videos on YouTube starting here:
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I would start over and strip off the poly. The poly you have in the pores after its stripped and its properties under epoxy is something you will need to find out about from the epoxy company. I know epoxy under a varnish is ok but not having a poly under a very thin (non structural) layer of epoxy. Definitely replicate the current poly finish you now have on a piece of Wenge scrap, strip and test before diving in headfirst with the epoxy.
You may have to sand back to the current pore depth to get clean wood (and new pores).



New User
Thanks for the tips guys.

I bought some Crystalac but I am still not doing too well.

I will try again this week with a different approach.

If this doesn't work I might try the epoxy method. :)
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