Fix Rotted Wood from the Source!
DIY How to Fix Rotted Wood for Good!
DIY how to fix rotted wood addresses the window sill rot, the rot on wooden railings, wood steps, and similar surfaces. To begin the process of fixing something, you must first identify what’s broken. This is a delicate process because you already know or have a suspicion that there is rotten wood. Some signs of rotted wood might be it has started splitting, sticking out or up, it literally may have begin falling apart, falling to the floor or ground, or flexing under pressure/movement.
How to Stop the Wood Rot?
So now that you have identified and located the rotted wood, you don’t want to just paint it or cover it up. This creates a nice environment for further rot to emerge. Ultimately, we want to first stop the rot and repair the rot. In my DIY experience, this requires removing a piece or a section of the rotted wood. Here I’d advise you to mark the spot where the rotted wood transitions into “good” wood that can be salvaged. Then, you guessed it! We would remove the rotted wood up until the salvageable wood.
Using Wood Filler
Next, we’d get some replacement wood and/or wood filler. It depends how wide or long the open space now is that will determine next steps. If the space is 1inch or smaller, use wood filler. If the open space is wider, then use a combination of replacement wood and wood filler. Depending on your needs, you might need to use the replacement wood as a wood filler, in addition to the wood filler. Ultimately, a combination of wood filler and replacement wood is preferred based on needs.
Another tip with wood filler is that you can use spray foam and go over it with wood filler. For example, if you were covering a lock hole in your door. You could spray foam in the hole to create a filler effect. Let it dry, then cut the excess foam like using spray foam for window insulation. After you cut the excess flush, then cover it with a layer of wood filler. Let the filler dry and harden, then you can sand it smooth.
What to expect when you use wood filler. So if you get Bondo, there is a quart sized amount of wood filler. There is a small tube of activator located underneath the cap. Mix a generous amount of filler with activator. The activator hardens the filler. This gives you a short working time up to around 15mins. (check the label) before it hardens. Once it hardens, it is literally solid as wood and you have to sand it to even it out.
Our goal in this post is to go from this:
Step 1 Mark the Good Wood
Mark the part of the wood where the rotted wood meets with the “good” wood. Cut away the rotted wood.
To remove the rotted wood, you can use a reciprocating saw (that’s what I used). It’s $99 on Amazon (see below).
Step 2 Apply Wood Filler and/or Replacement wood
Depending on the size of the area you may need just wood filler or both replacement wood and wood filler to fill the gap from the rotted wood you removed. You do not need special replacement wood, it can be any piece of wood you have around or spare wood from another project.
Now that you have the replacement wood positioned, you are ready to apply wood filler to create the bond between the existing wood and replacement wood (see next step).
Step 3 Sand the Wood Filler
Sand the wood filler so it is level with the existing wood. The key with sanding is, there are many grades of sand paper. The lower the grade, the rougher or coarser the paper. The higher grades provide the smoothest finish. You also want it smooth so it can receive the paint, varnish, or finish. Note, paint it on a dry day. I painted it may be an hour before it rained and let’s just say it looked like it was never painted. To be clear, you can use an orbit sander or a corner cat sander depending on how big the area is. If it is the corner of a window or in a tight space, you’d use the corner cat to reach a smaller space.
Step 4 Be Proud of your Work!
Congratulations DIYer, you just learned how to fix your rotted wood! This post titled, DIY How to Fix Rotted Wood is about sharing DIY tips to help others. Please comment, share, and subscribe if this post was helpful in some way.