I patched a hole in a door. I want to keep the Golden Oak finish on the door and don't want to paint the door another color. I have put putty on the door and sanded the door. The first picture below shows the sanded putty with the color that doesn't really match. So then I tried picture 2 (which is Minwax wood putty). The color is much better but then I realized that it is made NOT to harden and be sanded. I was thinking about hand-painting with a dark brown some fine lines to try to make it look like the wood grain but I can't even sand it and smooth it. Is there a way to make the Minwax Wood Putty harden or is there a better way to try to match the color and wood grain of the the door? Thank you for your help!
In this case, the oak really has two colors for the wider grain and the narrower grain. Even if you were able to get the wood putty to dry, you only covered one color and therefore it will always look like a "patch." Plus, it looks like the color you choose is lighter than even the lightest color of the door.
So, a couple of things. First, if you apply the putty in thin layers as opposed to all at one, it should dry. Second, you may need to add some stain to the putty, and mix it in well, to get it to the base color of the door. For the streaking (narrower_ grain – here's trick. Get a Minwax stain touch up stick to match. It's a wax pencil, much like a freezer pencil. Peel off the end and heat it with a lighter and or a match, then work the soft wax in to the grain and emulate the "streaks" of the natural wood. Once you have a match, cover it with a couple of coats of polyurethane, and you be good to go.
This wax pencils are really helpful. Years a go I used to install kitchens for a living. I got so good at using this technique I could fill a quarter-inch hole in the face of a door cabinet and it's be invisible to the homeowner!