how to fix rotten wood

How to Fix or Repair Rotten Wood?

Wood is bound to rot sooner or later, no matter how good the quality is, it’s only natural. Now, if you ignore the rot, it can easily damage your home and the beauty. But rest easy, there are quite a lot of effective ways to fix this that anyone can do. Whether you choose epoxy or a wood filler or even another piece of wood over the affected area, it always works. So, read our easy instructions and you’re ready to roll.

First of All, to Remove or to Seal?

Rotting wood is like a tumour that can be removed only by cutting away. So it’s better to remove the deadwood from its source. You can use a claw hammer, saw, grinder or sandpapers to remove those rotten parts. If the wood has just started to crumble, better remove the dead part and make it even. It’s best to replace it with good quality filler.

How to Seal Without Wood Removal

If the rot of the wood is minimum, there’s no need to remove all of the rotten parts. Rather, you can sand the surface thoroughly and keep doing it until you get bare wood. If you are in a hurry, use an angle grinder or a power sander. That will finish your work in no time.

Here’s one thing, rotten wood can surprisingly design interesting color patterns. But, this works only if the rot is in a minor stage, so that’s not always helpful. After you even the surface or the part, do not forget to use a wood hardener and wood sealer. By treating your wood like this, you will ensure there’s no water for fungi to cause rot again as everything is sealed. So, it removes the chances completely.

Best Filler Methods to Fill Rotten Woods:

If the rotten wood is too much to just seal, then you just have to get rid of that part. Take a claw end of a hammer and remove any part of the wood that is crumbling and brittle. Start and remove carefully and do not hit it hard. Hitting too hard maybe damage the unrotten wood and that will be another major problem. After removing, sand away the rest with a power sander or an angle grinder which will save much of your time. We’ve chosen some best filler methods as the next part, so you now have various options to choose from.

Wood Filler:

One of the most reliable and popular methods is wood filler. It’s quite handy and easy too. This stuff is normally made with wood fibers and glue. Since it has glue, the texture is like clay and can be molded into any shape. Great for restoring wood but the only back step is- this cannot be used into parts that are meant to bear a lot of weight. As it’s more of a clay form, it cannot bear much weight.

If you do not have any wood filler, you can make yourself one. All you need is a lot of sawdust and glue. That’s it. You just have to mix these two until you get the desired texture. We suggest using the glue in a small amount and then adjust according to the consistency.

But the above method is not if you do not have any at the moment. Because a homemade one cannot be as good as a professional one. But you have to check the ingredients before that. Certain commercial wood filler products contain Latex which is very strong and completely moisture resistant and most other natural degradation. It also has other benefits that make it stand out from other ones.


Epoxy is almost a long-term solution but it has its problems too. Firstly, epoxy is great for filling wood cavities and it is as strong as steel (some might even contain steel), long-lasting repair and can be painted too.

Epoxy is said to be degraded by sunlight over time so we agree that it is not for outdoor projects. But, we got a solution for that too. Simply use UV-resistant primer and paint that surface, You probably would paint the surface anyway so that shouldn’t be a huge problem. It needs to cure for 24 hours at least or you’d have a hard time cleaning up, so be mindful of that. Though it’s hard and expensive, the quality is worth it.

Polyester Filler:

Polyester filler, a popular choice for cars and often known as Bondo. It’s hard to use for most people like it’s not sticky towards the woods like most fillers. However, it is popularly used for more heavy-duty applications. It dries very hard and makes a more durable surface which makes it eligible for heavy-duty.

Wood Patching:

If you don’t want to use any filler product, you can patch the missing area with another piece of wood. It’s a pretty straight forward and classic way.

Trace the rotten part and remove the wood. Use a small saw to shape the gap into a rectangular or a square cube. Then, take new wood and shape it like the gap. Place it on the gap using glue and wood screws. Try to Use not too thick screws since they tend to split woods. Be careful of the gap and make sure there’s no gap between the cut and the new wood. Be sincere about drilling too.

How to Prevent Wood Rot?

Prevention is always better than cure, so before repairing the rot, you might want to use anti-rot treatment. Borate wood treatment is best to use even though sealing will stop the spread of fungi. For a better and longer life of your wood, this is a good thing to use since it’s not toxic at all

Wood sealer is an important part to prevent rot as it isolates moisture from the environment. Fungi will die without moisture and that will help to preserve wood for a longer time. For outdoor projects, make sure that the nails or screws are plugged with a filler. If there’s any gap or bare wood without filler will eventually rot faster. The sloped surface that won’t collect water is best for this.


Prevention is so much simpler than fixing all those problems. So, make sure you follow all the precautions necessary and if your wood still rots (chances are less) you have all the procedures here. Prioritize your important stuff so that it can survive a little longer to keep your memories alive.