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I'm finishing a very rough piece of scrap wood for use as a tabletop and to practice applying polyurethane. I've since found that the holes and gaps aren't really "filled" by the material and that I should have used wood putty first.

I've already applied multiple coats of polyurethane. How can I address the surface to smooth out the gaps, gouges, deep scratches, and holes, before applying another coat?

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  • Could you please include some closer photos of the defects you're trying to improve? – SaSSafraS1232 Nov 10 '18 at 0:53
  • I've updated my question with photos of various defects on the tabletop. These photos are after the fourth coat (still drying). – Zhro Nov 10 '18 at 6:00
  • It's much more common to address surface defects in wood before the first coat of finish goes on, although you can repair voids, dings and scratches in a completed piece, most or all of the above are definitely in the class of things better dealt with before finishing and not during or after. So, in short, for this I think you should accept that it's a rough piece of scrap wood you started with and leave it. You'll know better for next time. – Graphus Nov 10 '18 at 8:57
  • One other thing, you might benefit from learning about wiping varnish. There are numerous mentions of it here in various contexts so worth a search and doing a bit of reading, but this Answer will give the most comprehensive info. – Graphus Nov 10 '18 at 9:00
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    @Graphus, I think your comment is actually the correct answer for this question. What's done is done seems a reasonable answer here! Four coats of finish is pretty hard to walk back from. – jdv Nov 12 '18 at 18:03

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