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Skinny Stick Flooring

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Hello! I am wrapping up my first dollhouse build, and it's pretty rudimentary. I caved on the flooring and decided to go with Skinny Sticks because it was the cheapest alternative (instead of scoring the floor, which I didn't care for. Not 3D enough if that makes sense.)

My question to you is, how should I go about finishing it? Lots of gaps in between, and my Dad recommended putting wood filler between them all, then sanding it all down until it's all perfectly smooth, then staining it. I wanted to know if anyone else had done something similar before?

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It's my experience that wood filler doesn't stain too very well. What I did for mine was sand really well, but not wipe off the sawdust. Let that settle into the cracks. Then stain and sand and poly. But be aware, that if you got any glue on the sticks while you were gluing them down, then that area will not take the stain properly.

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Sand it like crazy to level it, and save your sawdust (I generate a lot when turning things on the lathe, and scoop all the clean sawdust into containers). Stain your floor the color you plan to stain the skinny sticks before laying them, BTW. Then mix your sawdust with an equal amount of wood glue and add drops of the same stain until it looks a bit like the color of the sticks, and use that to fill the gaps. When I used sticks for wainscot panels I hit them a lick on DH's belt sander to make the edges perfectly flat & even, and I had no gaps.

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That is PERFECT. I never would have guessed about keeping the sawdust, but that makes perfect sense! The gaps didn't bother me, personally, reminded me of an older house. But it will look better slightly filled in. Will start the sanding tomorrow! Thank you!

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I bought wood filler recently that is less like a paste and is actually gritty. I'm sure it's half made of sawdust. It's minwax stainable woodfiller. I just used this tonight and last week as well, it took 2 different color stains without issues. I posted about craft stick floors here just last week.

I have no doubt the sawdust method works, I just never seem to have enough around to do the whole job!

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April, I'm glad to hear of a truly stainable wood filler, because the one I tried wasn't, which is how I got started making my own. It wasn't sandable, either! How does the Minwax filler sand?

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So far, so good on sanding. I looked more closely at the packaging. It says right on the tube: designed to accept stains. Seems this stuff is getting horrid reviews... however, after working in high-end furnishing sales in College I learned that people expect wood to be perfect :blink:. Wood is "naturally flawed" and color will vary to some degree. That said, there is no possible way any filler is going to look like wood on a large space, it will stick out like a sore thumb because it will be uniform in color. So, I take those reviews with a grain of salt.

Personally, I have used it with a light and dark minwax oil stains and have had good results (though best with the lighter color). I'm thinking that has a lot to do with being used for tiny gaps and possibly because I don't mind sanding, filling, staining, then repeating.

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I have used elmers and minwax wood filler both with good sanding and staining results.

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That elmer glue is exactly what I have right now, I think I'll do the sanding, then apply the elmer glue, then sand and then stain!

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Don't apply glue to your skinny sticks before you stain them, stain will NOT penetrate glue. If you use manufactured wood filler or make your own, use it after you've stained.

I always had lousy results trying to stain OR sand the "stainable" Elmer's. I'm glad to see that someone got decent results!

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I did mine this way and when it sanded it with my sander it was much more uniform

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