How To Repair Decayed Wood

Just because you have decayed wood on an outside wood structure it does not mean that you have to replace it. If the decay is advanced than you will probably need to replace the wood but if it is not too far advanced you can repair the wood. Repairing the decayed wood is much less expensive than replacing it.

Here are some steps to take to repair decayed wood.

* Use a tool in order to remove any wood that is either loose or not sound. For this you can use a wood chisel, and electric drill that has a spade bit, or any tool that can dig loose wood out.

* Take an awl and probe the area that surrounds the decayed wood. If it has the feel of other areas that are not damaged drill a few holes, close together, about 1/8 inch deep in the wood and put liquid wood hardener in the holes. Follow the directions of the hardener manufacture when doing this.

* Make a mix of two parts polyester wood filler or epoxy. Only make enough mix that you will be able to apply to the wood and shape in a short time. Once you use the filler and it hardens, which is will do quickly, throw it away.

* Use the filler and fill up the hole or build up the area that is affected by the decaying wood by using either a putty knife or a plastic spreader. You will need to press in the filler hard to the first layer so that a good bond will form. (This is important because if a good bond does not form on the initial layer the whole thing can fall out.)

* Clean off the putty knife or plastic spreader and container you use to mix the filler right away.

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Before the filler dries completely but is set up in the hole or affected area use a rasp tool to shape or level the extra filler. You have to do this quickly so that it does not dry.

* When the filler is completely dry take sandpaper, medium or coarse, to shape and blend the patch that you filled. If the surface is flat use a rubber sanding block or even a power sander. If the surface is contoured use a wood dowel to sand the area.

* When you are done sanding blow, or lightly brush, the dust off and then apply some freshly mixed filler to fill in any holes or depressions that remain in the wood. You can also use the new filler to build up the material into any shape you would like.

* When this final step is done sand it using medium sandpaper.

* Brush off the dust and switch to fine sandpaper and feather the patch into the surrounding wood.

* If necessary you can touch up the area you worked on with primer and paint or varnish.