Asked on Sep 18, 2015

Help! How Do I Fill In The Groves On This Table?

We purchased this table at World Market 4 or 5 years ago. At the time I loved it. Farmhouse Trestle table, what's not to love?

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I have 4 kids under 7. I'm convinced they are the messiest kids that have ever existed. The grooves in this table top collect EVERYTHING!!
Bread crumbs, play dough, spills, crayon particles etc... You get the idea. Yuck!! I've tried all kinds of ways to get the crud out and nothing works very well.
The table needs to be refinished and what I really want to know is if there is any way to fill the grooves. Can I fill them with white wood filler then refinish the top? I just need ideas. Thank you!!
  18 answers
  • Z Z on Sep 18, 2015
    I feel your pain! Why in the world they do this in dining tables, or table for that mater, I have no clue. I'm working on refinishing our dining table now and am planning on filling these darn little crevices with stainable wood filler. I like Elmer's. After staining I'll be putting on quite few coats of Minwax PolyAcrylic. I don't do oil based, but since your children are still young, you might want to go that route. Remember that oil based polyurethane will yellow over time.
  • Janet Janet on Sep 19, 2015
    If you can vacuum out the crud, use a glass table top over it. We have a coffee table that is like this and we went to a glass shop and had them cut a glass top. It's a great way to keep the wood look without the hassle of "the crud".
    • Danna Raley Reeves Danna Raley Reeves on May 14, 2022

      I have a similar table that is very heavy and spinal stenosis. The grooves are just 5" to the inside on our dining table, but they collect crud unless I use a tablecloth. Buying an expensive piece of glass (beveled) sounds expensive for an 8 foot table. 🙃

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 19, 2015
    Fill the cracks in with a wood filler. Min wax should sell that.
  • Moxie Moxie on Sep 19, 2015
    I wonder if after you refinish the top if you could fill the groves with a clear epoxy to keep the look but loose the hassle?
  • Molly Molly on Sep 19, 2015
    I would fill in the grooves with the wood filler the sand the whole top, tape off the edges onf the grooves and paint the groves dark brown or black then stain the rest of the table so it basically becomes faux grooves.
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Sep 19, 2015
    The best way to do it would be to fill in the cracks with a "lac stick," which is solid lacquer that comes in assorted wood finish colors. The space would be filled by melting the lacquer with a device much like a soldering iron, then smoothing over the area with a slender and thin spatula-like tool. This is a technique that requires some finesse and should only be done by a woodworker who knows what they are doing. Wood fillers are not all created equal and not all accept stain well. If you go the route of using wood filler, I recommend that you test them before using them for your task.
    • See 1 previous
    • Oliva Oliva on Apr 30, 2020

      Hi, John,

      For the cash you've invested, I'd invest in table pads specifically cut to measure. Wouldn't trust my investment to wood fillers...

  • Kiesoj Kiesoj on Sep 20, 2015
    If you are going to sand that table to refinish it save the sanding dust after the finish dust is gone. Mix the sanding dust with wood glue to make a paste. Put shop vac on bottom of Crack this will suck you paste into the crack. Reason for using the sanding dust is that you will get a better finish that will match because you will be finishing the same material as the table.
  • Sharon Gavala Sharon Gavala on Sep 20, 2015
    maybe some grout filler like they use for ceramic can then press it into those grooves after you clean them with a knife to get out all the creative stuff your children have put it,, :).. might give it a different look altogether, or wood filler and stain that matches. good luck..
  • Kathyanne Pera Kathyanne Pera on Sep 20, 2015
    clean the grooves with a wire brush, which yes will scratch the wood around it a little. then sand the area, fill with clear epoxy, let dry and then epoxy whole table
  • Marjoycek Marjoycek on Sep 21, 2015
    Lay the table on its side,then use an old soft toothbrush to clean out the grooves. Use a spray cleaner if you need more cleaning,let set a few minutes,then use the bush. After its clean and dry,fill the grooves with wood filler,sanded it,then stained the top again. Worked very good.
  • Lori Stevens-Nicholas Lori Stevens-Nicholas on Sep 21, 2015
    Thank you everyone!! I appreciate the info and suggestions. :)
    • Debbie Debbie on Sep 29, 2017

      Hi Lori: I have the same problem. What did you finally do?

      Debbie in Central Oregon

  • Tarra Tarra on Feb 12, 2016
    I have this same problem, what did you do and how did it work for you?
  • Bernice Bernice on Jan 31, 2019

    Same problem

  • Annie Takagi Annie Takagi on Mar 25, 2019

    what did you end up doing? We own the same table :(

  • Megan Hurd Megan Hurd on Jun 22, 2019

    I have the exact same table & problem. What did you end up doing?

  • Diana Nelson Diana Nelson on Sep 01, 2019

    I have the same issue. Kids are a mess and I'm tired of digging out crumbs. I like the look so I'm going with the clear expoxy. I've done it before when I turned an old dresser into a bathroom sink. This will be contained in the grooves though so I'll look for a more satin finish than shiny this time. Wish me luck.

  • Leigh Malone Leigh Malone on Nov 02, 2019

    Same table, same problem. Anyone successful?!

  • Cassandra Cutbirth Cassandra Cutbirth on Apr 24, 2020

    I have this table as well and have been looking for a solution. I decided to clean it out with a stiff brush, vacuuming as I did it. Then I cleaned and oiled the wood with pledge. I bought this 36in x 72in clear acrylic sheet at Home Depot for 70$. I think it looks good and is not a permanent solution so I can still fill in the grooves if I ever find a better way

    • Sara Sara on Jan 29, 2021

      I have the same table. I want to try your idea. What's the thickness of the sheet you got?