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Rotted Wood Repair with Abatron Epoxy

Rotted wood repair
Image Credit: Scott Sidler

You live in an old house? Good! Then you have rotted wood and know the frustration and worries it can cause. When a tree is still alive, water is its best friend, but after we turn that tree into lumber, water is the last thing it needs.

There are lots of products on the market today to patch wood. I listed some of my absolute favorites in this post here:

The 7 Best Products to Patch Wood

But if you are in need of a serious rotted wood repair, then you need a serious product and a structural epoxy is the just what the old house doctor ordered.

Unlike wood filler, structural epoxies don’t just cover up cosmetic issues in wood. They can replace whole sections structural wood elements. So, rather than having to remove some damaged piece of the house, you can simply fill in the damaged portion and move on.

My favorite structural epoxy is 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 to work with it:


Step #1 Remove the Damaged Wood

rotten wood repair
Step #1 Remove the damaged wood Image Credit: Scott Sidler

The first thing you need to do is assess the extent of the damage. You’ll need to dig out the severely damaged wood. I prefer to remove any wood that is mushy or 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 of the rotted wood needs to come out, but anything that is falling out on its own should be removed. Vacuum out the remaining debris and dust so you have a clean area to work with.

If the wood is still wet, it will need to dry out before you begin your repair. Cover it in plastic if you anticipate rain and make sure the sprinklers aren’t the cause of the rot while you’re at it.

Step #2 Prep & Protect

These are some serious compounds you are about to use and once they are in place it is very difficult to remove them (that’s the whole point isn’t it!) Anyway, you’ll want to mask off the work area with plastic and painter’s tape to prevent spills and drips.

Be sure to wear eye protection and nitrile or plastic gloves while handling any of these products. This stuff isn’t like shea butter for your hands. If it gets on your hands, think Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation with the tree sap episode. Don’t touch without protection.

Have a container of acetone on hand which is the recommended cleaner and solvent for these products.


Step #3 Apply LiquidWood

liquidwood application
Step #3 Apply LiquidWood liberally
Image Credit: Scott Sidler

Once everything is dry, it’s time to mix up your epoxy consolidant. LiquidWood is a two part mixture. Part A (resin) and Part B (hardener). These two should be mixed together in a disposable container like a dixie cup or similar in equal parts. (<—Very important!) Mix them thoroughly, or you will have lackluster results.

Let them sit aside for a few minutes to setup. After about 5 minutes, apply the mixture liberally with a disposable chip brush. Once mixed, LiquidWood and WoodEpox both have a working life of about 20-40 minutes depending on weather conditions (shorter working life on hot days, longer on cold days). Don’t get too busy and forget about your mixture!

Depending on the condition of the wood it may need more or less of the consolidant. Apply until the surface is soaked and let it soak in for about 10 minutes before moving to the next step.


Step #4 Apply WoodEpox

woodepox application
Step #4 Apply WoodEpox
Image Credit: Scott Sidler

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. One is white and the other a tan 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 #5 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. Warmer temperatures and bigger repairs cure faster, whereas small repairs in cool weather may take a full day. 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. That’s it!

Abatron makes a really fantastic product and we keep gallons of the stuff in our shop to repair rotted windows and doors, siding, porch columns, really anything you can imagine. And the great thing about it is that the repairs are permanent. Abatron won’t fall out or fail like Bondo or even water putty. It creates a permanent bond with the wood. When your old house finally gives up the ghost the last piece standing will likely be your Abatron repair.

Here’s an idea of how serious a repair you can complete with LiquidWood & WoodEpox

rotted wood repair
rotted wood repair












Abatron is expensive, but in this case you truly do get what you pay for. If you’re not sure it’s right for you but still want to try some, I’d recommend getting the Abatron 24 oz. Wood Restoration Kit. It has small quantities of all four components and won’t break the bank.

If you have large areas to repair, then it is definitely cost effective to buy the larger 2 gallon WoodEpox & 2 gallon LiquidWood packages.

As always, if you buy through any of my Amazon affiliate links, you’ll get a great price and give The Craftsman Blog a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Happy patching and don’t be afraid of making that rotted wood repair. Let me know how it goes!


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156 thoughts on “Rotted Wood Repair with Abatron Epoxy

  1. I have dug out some rot that goes clear through a step and, to keep it from falling through, I need something to back up the epoxy filler while it is setting. In the picture it looks like you used a sponge for that purpose on the column base. It seems like a good idea because it will expand into the space. Is that true?

    1. You could use a sponge, some wadded up paper, a little spray foam might work too. Whatever you use it should leave enough space for a decent thickness of epoxy (maybe 1/2″ minimum depth).

  2. Hi Scott,
    I need to fix up my giant 1913 wooden door on my colonial revival row house in Brooklyn. It has a 4 foot crack down the center panel that goes all the way through the door. Also there are holes from a previous doorknocker or two.
    I’ve used ordinary Elmer’s wood putty a couple times just to keep the wind out but was a temporary fix and it keeps cracking. I’d also like to sand this door down and go with a more natural pale color. Is there a clear product that can fill in these voids and not be so noticeable? Thanks so much!

  3. Where can I buy this product Abaton wood Epoxy 2 part filler.? Canadian Tire,home depot Rona store ? I live in Richmond Vancouver , canada

      1. Likewise, I ordered from Amazon, their smallest kit at first to check it out, then the mid-sized kit, which I’m now using, and think it will be enough for current needs. Package insert had instructions and sticker for, (303)288-0066, which might be another option.

  4. I’ve started repairing some outside window sills on an old farmhouse, and under filled, now needing to add another level of the wood epox to come above level and then sand to smooth/more level. I tried just sticking another layer of the wood epox onto what I’d already applied, and it didn’t stick. I’m guessing I need to re-apply the Liquid wood as a sort of primer, but don’t find anything addressing that issue on your or Abatron’s page expensive as it is, I don’t want to screw this up again, as I wasted a bit of the wood epox. :-(. Can you please advise me? Thanks!

  5. I’m in the process of painting a wooden porch floor on a 100 year-old house. The boards are perfectly sound except for the ends. The last 3 to 4 inches are somewhat soft and cracked and missing some wood around the nails. Would you recommend Abatron LiquidWood and WoodEpox to fix this or another method?

  6. Help, I repaired and upstairs window sill with a Wood Epox kit. I mixed Am and B Liquid and painted the dug out hole of about 3 Inches and somehow it all ran down the side of my outside wall which is siding. It is a about 6 panels of siding with four brown streaks. I tried mineral spirits and a wire brush and had no results. It had already hardened by the time I realized what had happened. I can reach a hairdryer out the window but I have no idea what to do. So far so good in patching the rotten wood though.

  7. The trim beneath my front windows consists of two boards sistered together. In addition to using the Woodepox to hid the gap, I’d like to spread a thin layer on top. How thin can I safely go?

    1. Linda, stay away from skin coating wood because the moisture inside the wood will need to migrate out and will eventually push the epoxy filler off the surface. Fill voids and cracks yes, skim coat no.

  8. I used Bondo to repair wood on the threshold of a door and the fumes are horrible and have persisted. Does Abatron LiquidWood have the same toxic odor?

    1. The Abatron products have an almost unnoticeable odor. I’ve used Bondo in the past and you’re right that the odor is awful and the performance isn’t nearly as good as Abatron.

  9. I have an outdoor shed – the door front crossbraces and roof to ground corner wood pieces – 1x6s and 1x4s – have rotted in places. On the doors, where they join at angles in the corners, and the 2 sides of the shed front, about 2-3 ft up from the bottom. Should I just use the hardener and WoodEpox to remold that 2-3 ft part and paint? Or would it be better to just cut that wood out and have new wood there? On the doors, the inside corners are hard to get to, so I just want to use the liquid hardener then paint – not using the WoodEpox to fill in. Can that be done – just paint over the liquid hardener? Also, I recently primed with a latex primer on most of the shed except for the parts that need repair. Can/should I use a real good oil top coat? I painted it 15 yrs ago but don’t remember if I used oil or latex. It’s held up incredibly well – only failing where the rotted wood is. Will use the best outdoor/exterior paint I can get so it’ll last another 15 – 20 yrs. Looking at Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore – any preference between the two, or some other recommendation? BTW, I know you can put oil over latex, but not latex over oil.

  10. I have a eight inch dia. cedar post that is rotting in the center. It is pinky down three feet but the outside is dry and sound. What would you recommend ? Regards

  11. We have a rough hewn log cabin and the woodpeckers have made a ton of seriously deep holes and gouges in search of carpenter bee larvae. Would the Arbatron Wood epoxy work to repair the damage? And you mentioned it can be tinted to match the wood. Any tips on that? Our logs are not stained…just aged.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Virginia, it should work great for filling these holes. As for the tinting, mix a few small test batches to make sure you get the color right before mixing a big batch otherwise it can get expensive when you mis-match the color.

      1. One thing to keep in mind-
        Heat helps to cure the compound faster, and since it makes its own heat once mixed, a larger batch will set up more quickly than a small batch.

      2. We will definitely give this a try. One more question…where do you get the tint (and what is it called)?

        Thanks so much!

  12. Scott:
    First timer in the blog, Thanks.
    I just replaced a wood fascia part been rooted in the miter junction (2004 home, Miami).I will start this week-end checking all perimeter fascia. Question: If I find a damage, it’s always advisable to replace the fascia board or may I use a patch in some cases? If yes, which product and to what damage extent?
    Appreciate your blog!

    Reinaldo in Miami

    1. Reinaldo, you can almost always patch and save some money. Make sure any rotted wood is dug out and you treat the area with a consolidant like LiquidWood before adding the filler (WoodEpox). There are other 2 part epoxy systems like Abatron you can use, they just happen to be my favorite.

  13. Hi, I am working on a porch floor. I removed the fiberglass hollow pillar and the douglas fir wood under the pillar is wet and showing signs of rot. Can I use this product to fix the wood so I don’t have to replace the wood. Is the product strong enough to put a weight bearing pillar back on it? Thanks

  14. We have Palladian windows with rotten spongy wood. The exterior of the windows are clad in aluminum. Any advice for addressing this problem?

    1. Aluminum clad are hard to fix. You have to somehow get the rotted wood out and repaired and then re lad which is almost impossible. Wish I could give you more help other than wood clad with anything doesn’t leave you many options for future repairs.

      1. Can the product be put in a syringe using that to get into rotted wood ? Is this product a competitor to “GET ROT” and what does the product cost ?I have rot in the low wood member of a Pella aluminum clad window,

        1. I’ve not used GIT ROT but I have used The Rot Doctor product and it handles pretty well, I think, being a first time user of any of this stuff. Never having used it (or any other product)before, I can’t say how well it holds up in outdoor weather conditions of wind, rain and snow. That result will take a few years. Tried to compare Abatron to The Rot Doctor by their descriptions, and they seem pretty much the same. GIT ROT does not seem to have the same abilities that Abatron and The Rot Doctor have. The Rot Doctor does NOT have a “kit” you can try – each item is sold individually. The smallest amounts of each item needed cost a total of about $65 including shipping. Abatron’s “kit” cost $83 plus shipping, so I thought I’d save $20+ and try the Rot Doctor stuff. Even in a well-ventilated area (outdoors) the fumes will get to you if in prolonged contact with them. Can’t find anything about the fumes of Abatron on its site. The Rot Doctor stuff is very easy to use (but for it’s stickiness) however, they don’t supply nor suggest in their information any type of applicator – you have to have your own tongue depressor, putty knife or popsicle stick and plastic bottle. Spray or squeeze bottle, as in empty window cleaner like Windex or those squeeze bottles typically gotten at Beauty Supply stores. That’s the kind I used. Has gradations on the outside so mixing is very easy. (Can’t seem to find them at hardware stores, even big box ones) They also sell, as does Abatron I believe, remover. However, I found regular nail polish remover does the job nicely, and much cheaper. Has to be the regular kind though, with acetone, not the acetone free kind. The liquid I squirted in/on the wood dripped on previously painted areas and left trails but was easily painted over. If you don’t want that to happen, you have to be very careful. I did not try to sand it off since I was painting over it. Waited a couple days for the liquid to dry as well as it was gonna and applied the epoxy putty. That is VERY sticky so it’s hard to make nice and level and not stick to places you don’t want it, but easily mixed. As hard as I tried to level it off, due to its stickiness I had quite a few peaks that needed to be sanded off. That was easily done with a palm sander and 60 grit, but took much more effort by hand. Not easy to sand in corners. I used it on a shed so didn’t really care too much about appearance in those tight corners. Even relatively thick areas seemed to be rock hard the next day. Did not try to build upon that, so can’t tell you if a new layer of epoxy would stick to previously applied stuff or if it needed to be “primed” with the liquid stuff to make it adhere. I’d try the Abatron next time just to compare.

          1. Adrianne, thanks for the detailed breakdown of the product and application. For your comparison, Abatron comes with a plastic putty knife, has no noticeable odor, and isn’t sticky at all. Curious to hear what your experience is when you try both to compare.

          2. Yeah, the fumes were pretty bad and the stuff is VERY sticky. Of course, hindsight is the best sight – had I known what I do now I would have opted for the bit more $$ just to avoid the fumes alone. Next project when this kind of product is needed will be the Abatron. At least I’ll have a comparison now.

        2. There are 2 versions of my reply. The 2nd one is the one you want. Apparently no way to edit so there’s 2 of them. Sorry…….

  15. Scott,
    I have cedar picket fencing and I am trying to repair the underside, before I re-stain it; noting it is 13 years old and there has been areas that touched the ground, water seepage, and thus rotting. I took a 3 in one tool and got out the old rotting wood, and then tried Minwax product Wood Hardener, they should have said, “Hardener that is very hard to use!” Since this is vertical and I had to use a bristle brush; I cut the handle down and still tried, not knowing what went it and what it would do. The next step was Minwax Wood Filler, and another mistake. The 16:1 ratio is a big guess, and it starts turning so hard I 4.5 minutes it is useless, and thanks for the instructions around a round can in a 4 font count. Would this work on vertical fence slats?

  16. We have just discovered significant termite damage on our 17th-century colonial affecting window framing and the siding on one side of the house. While we are waiting for the colony to be exterminated, I’m considering how best to deal with the damage. The siding is very unique, and we’d prefer to try to “save” it using an epoxy product. Any suggestions for how well you think the LiquidWood and WoodExpox will work on wood siding that is still in place?

    1. It works great in situations like this. I would suggest though that for the severely damaged siding (more than 30-50%) you find a local mill shop to make matching siding. There is almost always a place nearby that you can bring a sample to and have them make matching siding profiles.

  17. Ok, here’s a situation that I haven’t seen yet & am wondering if this LiquidWood/WoodEpox might be the answer: Remodeling a house (on tight budget, of course) that was built in 1980. Lots of wood paneling & rough cedar trim that was “updated” with white latex paint. Am planning to remove/replace most of the trim. However, for the skirting on the switch-back stairs, am looking for a way to “re-face” the painted rough cedar. Have read that sanding would be very difficult. “Re-skinning” it w/ a think hardwood laminate might be an option. But am wondering if this epoxy product might work? My goal is to smooth out the roughness & paint it so that it looks like a smooth board. Does this make sense? If so, what do you think would be the best alternative?

    1. The WoodEpox work well for skimming rough surfaces when it’s thinned out with LiquidWood, but I think you’ll get the best results from sanding/planing the cedar smooth and repainting.

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