Filling Outdated Designs on Furniture

5 Materials
1 Hour

Does your furniture have designs that don’t fit your style? Here’s one way to to bring it to your style!


Outdated shell design? No problem.

I was creating a modern finish for this customer and the engraved design was holding the look back. So I decided to take care of it.


Sand the design flush with the rest of the wood.

Wood Filler

This is my favorite wood filler.

It works great.


Start filling in the lowest areas first, then build up from there.

Make sure you create a layer slightly higher than being flush. This will give you more room for blending when you sand.

let it dry completely. It will take longer since there is so much, I waited 2 days.

Sand again

After your wood filler has dried completely, sand back the excess until it’s flush with the wood.

Fill in the low areas and repeat the process until it’s all level.


After you get it level, time to prime for paint. I always prime wood filled areas. It helps seal in the wood filler.


After the primer dries, time for paint. You can’t even tell there was a design there!


Now Paint with your favorite brand and products.

This is a nightstand that I used this technique on. You can't even tell where the original design was!

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

  • Aimee Aimee on Jun 16, 2020

    Wow! You really can't see the old design at all. Impressive :)

  • William William on Jun 18, 2020

    It's a good solution. Since wood expands and contracts and wood filler does not there is always the chance of the wood filler separating, cracking, or shadowing. A better solution would be to use Bondo, auto body filler. Metal expands and contracts more than wood and the auto filler never shows since it is polymer/fiberglass based. Wood filler is good for filling small areas with no problem.