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Gras a lacquer oil based fine surface filler

Listed under Blog, preparation Posted Apr 29 2012

As far back as the 90’s I recall Sikkens had a mysterious product called Kodrin Spachtel. It was an oil based fine surface filler. My mentor and college lecturer had a tub of it on hand for quick filling of nail holes and dings on window cills. It worked great as a filler, but in retrospect, I don’t think it was fully appreciated just what an oil-based fine surface filler could do.

Sure, you can fill surface dings and nail holes, but it comes into its own as a surface finishing filler. You use a filling knife to skim the complete surface of a wooden door or cill with an oil-based fine surface filler, and wait 24 hours. Then wet sand with 240 grade wet n dry or dry sand with 240 grade Abranet. Vacuum the surface clean, wipe with a tack rag and apply your 2 finish coats, with a drop of conditioner added for good measure.

This process will increase the sheen level of subsequent finish paints (oil or water) by a noticeable margin. Legend has it that Toupret oil-based filler was the “secret” behind the sheeny shiny door at Number 10 Downing Street before it went metal on us.

Kodrin Spachtel is one of 4 oil-based fine surface filler products that I am aware of.

Swedish Putty is an oil-based high white filler surfacer that comes in a tube.

The sheen in this picture from 2008 isn’t bad, but I actually used traditional linseed oil based “putty” to perfect the surface prior to enamelling the mahogany planking! The Swedish Putty is much less porous, and I used it on a subsequent identical prep and paint project. It created an even harder surface for the enamel top coat.

In 2011 I was introduced to Toupret Gras a Lacquer, a French-made interior and exterior oil-based surface finisher. It comes in a 1kg tub, you pour off the yellow fluid before use. That product definitely works as a non absorbent, hard but easy-to-sand surfacer!

Colour Republic spotted another French oil-based filler from Beissier called Prestonnet GL, which appears to be a similar, if not identical product to Toupret’s Gras a Lacquer. Performance to be announced. Update. Prestonnet Gras a Lacquer was put through its paces here. Success.

So there are 4 options to add that extra zing to a front door.

I was explaining the Gras a Lacquer technique to another decorator who thought it sounded like a lot of work to fine surface fill a whole front door. With the extra sheen, the extra time and expense pales into insignificance. And anyway, how long does it really take to skim coat a door, and how long to sand baby smooth, especially with an Abranet / power sanding set-up? It is premium work, but Gras a Lacquer does not add days and days to a door. Swedish Puttying a whole boat on the other hand, that is an undertaking.

Just an idea.

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One comment to “Gras a lacquer oil based fine surface filler”

  1. Traditional Painter

    I am posting this email from Patrick Baty of Papers and Paints, specialists in the use of paint and colour in historical buildings

    I’m sure that you know this, but this is how the painters in Amsterdam produce such a smooth, high gloss finish on the external woodwork.

    The wonderful very dark green colour seen in the historical district is a colour that we at Papers and Paints mix and is called “Amsterdam Green”.

    We only show a tiny fraction of our colours on the site. Bear in mind that we have many hundreds of thousands, and produce custom colours every day. If you want a colour we can do it (if it is possible to make).


    Best wishes


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