Aqua Coat Clear Wood Grain Filler Review

Updated on July 29, 2018
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter sharing house-painting tips, related product reviews, and his experience in the trade.

Why Use Grain Filler?

When preparing oak cabinets for paint, I use grain filler to smooth the surface. Without filler, the deep cracks in oak grain are difficult to prevent from showing through paint, especially if you're spraying instead of rolling.

In my experience, most of the grain filler I've used, including Aqua Coat, doesn't completely mask the grain pattern of oak in one coat, but one coat does fill the cracks, reducing the grain.

Aqua Coat is a clear, water-based gel that can be used on a number of wood surfaces including kitchen cabinets, table tops, mantels and guitars. This product fills wood grain and helps seal it too to help prevent tannin bleed in painted wood.

I have only used this product to prepare oak cabinets for primer and paint, so my review is solely based on my experience using it for that purpose.

Does Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler Work?

I tried this product based on a recommendation from another painter. It's a water-based gel with a funky odor that smells like M&M's. It's messy to work with, but it's performed pretty good, so far, when prepping cabinets I painted. It doesn't completely mask the grain, but it fills the deep cracks that would otherwise show through paint.

Applying this product on twenty-plus cabinet doors is very tedious, but worth the effort. I apply two coats, which fills and reduces the grain pretty well. If you want to only get rid of grainy cracks on the surface, one coat is enough.

Completely leveling the grain with the surface would take several coats because this product is very thin and shrinks a little as it dries. In fairness though, I've yet to find grain filler that totally levels out grain with the surface in one or two coats.

As of this writing, this product is only available through Amazon. The pricing per quart of Aqua Coat is around $35 per quart, which is similar to other products I've used. Most of the cabinet jobs I've used it on required three to four quarts, depending on the number of coats being applied.

Applying Aqua Coat Grain Filler

The surface must be clean and dust free. I wipe the surface with a tack cloth first to remove dust. The company itself suggests using a small squeegee, or putty knife, to apply the material, but an old credit card, or plastic taping knife, worked good for me.

A credit card makes it easy to work the gel into the corners. I don't recommend using a metal taping knife, which could scratch the surface of the wood. Wearing work gloves is a must. This stuff is messy.

You must apply this product in very thin coats, avoiding heavy build-up, otherwise the sanding is difficult. Applying the material too heavy also results in a longer dry time.

The gel dries in a glossy film that must be sanded before top coating. You can sand the surface with a sanding sponge, or an orbital sander, using 220-grit sandpaper. If you apply a thin coat, sanding is easy. Depending on what you're using this product for, it could take more than two coats if you want to level out the grain with the surface, but one to two coats will get rid of the cracks and pores in the wood. When applied thin enough, the gel dries in about one hour.

When applying Aqua Coat, a little goes a long way. You can waste the material pretty easily by over-applying it. The company recommends waiting twenty four hours before top coating with primer, paint or lacquer. I let the filler dry overnight before priming.

It's important to note that you cannot apply an oil-base polyurethane coating over this grain filler. The polyurethane won't bond well with the filler, resulting in peeling and failure. When using a sealer, the sealer must be wax-free as well. You can coat this product with oil-base primer, or shellac primer, like BIN.

Is Aqua Coat Good for Cabinet Painting?

I primarily use Aqua Coat for prepping oak cabinets and recommend it. The product makes the grainy cracks go away in one, or two coats, but if you want to totally rid your oak cabinets of the grain pattern itself, you'll need to apply more than two coats. Most of my customers want to reduce the grain and not have the cracks be visible in the paint, so one to two coats is good enough for that purpose.

Most grain filler, at least the products I've tried, require more than one coat anyway if you're trying to totally reduce the grain to the point to where you don't see it anymore through the paint. One minor complaint, or wish, I have about this product, is that I'd like to see it available in a white color instead of only the clear gel. White would make it easier to see the product on the surface during and after application.

Questions & Answers

  • I’m using Aqua Coat clear wood grain filler on a Northern Ash guitar body. How much do you thin the gel with water? Is pancake batter consistency correct, as I’ve seen with other fillers?

    I've never thinned this product. It's very thin out of the container so I'm not sure you'd need to for your application. I recommend reaching out to the manufacturer.

  • What are your thoughts on how well this product might work on teak interior stair nosings to match the prefinished teak flooring I'm using for the treads?

    I have only used Aqua Coat for filling the grain on oak cabinets. I would contact the manufacturer.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)