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I may well be asking a silly question but here we go....
Can papier mache be used as a wood filler?
I have a piece of wooden furniture with a few wormholes in it. I have subsequently killed the woodworm with a chemical and wanted to fill the holes with kit.
As most.kit doesn't expand and contract with the wood, I thought I might fill the holes with a papier mache pulp. Then sand it and chalk paint (gesso) it.
Would it work?
I've never heard of it being used for that -- which doesn't mean it hasn't been done.
How large (esp diameter) are the holes? How much bulk would you need to use, a cubic cm or so? The main problem that I am visualizing is the paper fiber "clumping factor". Even when you break down the paper source into fibers, the stuff still wants to clump together, even when it's quite liquid.
The only way I can think of doing it might be to make or acquire a lump of dry papier mache -- really dry. Then file or sand it down into a spoonful of dust. Carefully gather up the dust and mix it with some quality wood glue in a tiny container, not too liquid, maybe clay-like or just a bit softer.
Depending on the diameter of the holes, you might be able to roll the pulp/glue mix into a 'snake' to get it into the hole, then tamp it in, packing the mix with some kind of tool, like a metal rod that is just slightly narrower than the hole.
As you're tamping it in, wipe off any liquid glue that squeezes out of the hole. As you get to the last bit, pack it in, but try to leave some sticking out in sort of a lump. Let it dry really well, then sand the lump down so it's flush with the surrounding surface. Make sure it's really dry before you finish it. And remember that PM tends to shrink as it dries, so the less moisture you can use, the better.
This is the only way I can think to do it. Maybe someone else will come up with another idea.
Think you're on to something here Sue.
I know you can do it with wood shavings and glue but just wondered if paper could be used as well.
I read on on of the other forums not to use newspaper as it's acidic, so I'll try it with a box and let you know.
You got GIANT woodworms?? If the holes are less than one half inch diameter, it really isn't worth thinking of papier mâché. There are good proprietary fillers on the market in a variety of colours. I have used paper pulp to caulk between floor boards and larger areas of furniture. If it is made properly, it can actually be quite hard to sand.
I just thought of the more obvious: get or make some very fine wood dust and mix that with your wood adhesive, and work it into the holes. It would probably be even easier to work with.
I see no reason why a papier mache and glue mixture wouldn't work (paper is wood after all), but a sawdust and/or wood shavings and glue blend would probably look better and be more malleable/smooth. I've used some of that store-bought stuff (can't remember the brand name) for filling in holes in the past too, and I'd bet that's more-or-less what it is, sawdust and glue.