If you live in an older house like me, you have probably experienced some wood rot. Your first reaction to wood rot may be to replace the wood. But, have you considered wood rot repair instead?
Replacing wood can be an expensive and time-consuming project. There is a do-it-yourself alternative to replacing wood: repairing damaged areas with epoxy. Most repairs can be completed in a few hours and are simple to follow.
The above photo is of my exterior garage door frame.
For my wood repair, I used Abatron Liquidwood & WoodEpox.
This system uses a combination of wood consolidant (LiquidWood) used to strengthen and rejuvenate weak, rotted wood and a filler (WoodEpox) used to fill in missing sections of wood.
Here’s how Abatron works:
Step #1: Remove Rotted Wood, Clean and Prep Area
Dig out the severely damaged wood. I removed any wood that was soft and weak enough to dig out with a screwdriver. LiquidWood can be used on extremely weak wood to strengthen it and bring it back to life so not all the rotted wood needs to come out, but anything that is falling out on its own should be removed. I vacuumed out the remaining debris and dust. I also used sand paper and scraper to strip off as much old paint as possible.
Step #2: Apply LiquidWood
LiquidWood is a two part mixture. Part A (resin) and Part B (hardener). These two should be mixed together in a disposable container in equal parts. Mix them thoroughly. You’re supposed to mask off the area and wear protective gloves. In my case, I didn’t worry too much about my concrete garage floor since I want to epoxy coat it in the near future. I did wear plastic gloves and eye protection.
Let them sit aside for a few minutes to setup. After about 5 minutes apply the mixture liberally with a cheap, disposable brush.
Step #3: Apply WoodEpox
WoodEpox comes in two parts (a hardener and a filler) just like the LiquidWood. You’ll need equal parts of both and then blend them together until you have a uniform color.
If you see any streaks of color in your mixture you need to keep mixing. Once everything is well blended it’s time to start pressing it into place.
Press the mixture firmly into place to fill the missing areas. Press it deeply into the gap to make sure you fill any air holes and have a solid repair.
The other important thing to remember is to leave enough epoxy proud of the surface so that when it is ready to sand you have a smooth well-blended repair. If you use too little you won’t have a level surface to sand down to.
Step #4: Sand, Prime & Paint
The epoxy will begin hardening immediately and depending on the size of your repair it will be ready to sand in anywhere from a few hours to a day. I gave it 24 hours just to be sure. Below 50°F it may not harden at all so save it for a warmer day. When it has hardened, sand the surface smooth and apply a coat of primer, then paint your preferred color.