Now that the insulation is done and the major part of the van is covered by plywood, it’s time to hide our mistakes. That’s one of the tasks that are less pleasant, because you don’t see the progress as easily at the end of the day. However, for a good final product, it’s an important step.
In woodworking, when you make a hole in the wrong place, or a piece is worn out and you want to fill it in so that the wear doesn’t show when you paint it, there’s a simple trick you should know. Two ingredients are necessary, as well as a spatula to apply it: wood glue and wood shavings. All you have to do is mix the wood shavings (preferably in the same colour as the original wood) with the glue, create a paste, and apply it. We often see people using wood glue alone as a paste, and applying too much. However, wood glue has a particularity of losing strength if it sticks only to itself.
The more you apply to a surface, the less solid the bond is. The role of wood glue is to wet the wood fibres to get them to mix in with the glue and then maintain the bond. If you use too much, the pieces of wood don’t touch each other and the glue has no fibres to bond together. The glue won’t hold. It’s therefore impossible to fill in the holes with only glue. That’s why, by mixing in some wood shavings, you recreate the alchemy necessary, even in a hole.
Having used the first wood we came across, we realized later on that it wasn’t reading the same colour. No big deal, the stain will hide that little fault and will only mark the darker part.
Once this step was finished, it was then time to put a finishing touch on creating the visual aspect that we wanted. A bit of stain, and there will be nothing left to do but to varnish the wood!
We used a water stain that we diluted with water, a blue stain and a green stain. Depending on the look you want, there are different ways to apply it. You can either use a brush and let it dry, or use a brush and then use a rag to wipe of the excess water, or you can apply it with a rag dipped in the stain. We chose the third method, as it allows us to bring out the grain of the wood more.
Also published on Medium.