Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot or Damaged Wood

Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot or Damaged Wood

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Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot saved our Exterior Shutters!

Last year, I decided I couldn’t avoid fixing our exterior shutters any longer. The bottom of each shutter had taken on water somehow and was rotting. I knew right away I’d be using bondo to repair wood rot on these shutters.

We had our house painted a few years ago, and the painters used it to repair some damage to the columns around our front porch. It held up well. So, why not use it again? Plus, it dries so fast, it makes the repair work so much faster than normal wood filler.

I have to say, using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot saved our Exterior Shutters. Here are my easy to follow steps and a quick video of the repair work. This is an easy DIY, guys! #AbbottsAtHome #Bondo #WoodRepair #WoodRot #RottenWood
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Now, let’s get to the easy wood repair steps!


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Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot – Materials Needed

Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot – Steps

Be sure to watch the video to see me actually mixing and using Bondo on our exterior shutters.

Step One

Start by cleaning and prepping the surface for Bondo. This can be done in basically 2 ways. One is removing all the soft and rotten wood with chisels, utility knives, screwdrivers, or whatever you have on hand. That’s what I went with.

Two is, removing just any mold, then hardening the rotten, soft wood with Bondo Wood Hardener, before applying the Bondo Putty. I’d go with hardener on curvy or routed wood. It’s hard to recreate that detail with wood filler or putty.

Using tools to remove soft and rotten sections of wood on our shutters. Next step, wood repairs with Bondo. #AbbottsAtHome #Bondo #DIYProjects
Grab some hand tools to remove the rotten wood. You’ll know what’s rotten because it will be easy to gouge it with a screwdriver.
Step Two

You may want to replace large sections with wood, to create a good base and scaffold for the Bondo to stick too. One of my shutters lost so much wood, that I replaced the bottom with new wood. Then filled in between the old and new with the Bondo.

This large section of wood rot will be repaired with new wood and Bondo. #AbbottsAtHome #Bondo #DIYProjects
This large section of wood rot will be repaired with new wood and Bondo.
Step Three

Once the surface is solid, hard wood and clean, you can apply the filler. Mix just the amount you can use in about 5 minutes. Follow the directions on the Bondo. You can see how I mix mine in the video.

When using bondo to repair wood rot, always wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. The fumes are quite strong and even flammable. Mix the bondo, then apply it to the area. Spread it around with the spreaders. Try to get it as smooth as possible and filled over the level you need it at. Be sure to wear a mask, while sanding!

The rotten wood on our exterior shutters has been removed. Now, I'm ready to apply the Bondo. #AbbottsAtHome #Bondo #DIYProjects
Once all of the rotten wood is removed, I can apply the Bondo to the empty areas.
Step Four

Let harden for 30 minutes, then sand smooth with your sander. I used 80-grit to start, to make quick work of the sanding. Once, you’ve smoothed to the right level. You can decide if you need to add more Bondo.

I tend to just use normal wood filler on shallow dings and divets. Once, the wood is smoothed and sanded to a medium grit. It’s ready for a few good layers of exterior paint and primer. Or, you can sand to a fine grit and stain or seal with an exterior-grade product.

Exterior shutters repaired with bondo and wood filler. Then sanded smooth. #AbbottsAtHome #HomeMaintenance #Repairs #DIYRepair
After using Bondo, and a little wood filler, I sanded it smooth. Next step, painting. A few layers of a good exterior paint should do the trick!

I do not recommend patching large areas that will be stained. It is very hard to match the filler to the wood and will likely look patched. But, smaller areas are less obvious and may work fine. It’s easier to hide a large patch with paint.

And, be sure to use the Bondo wood filler, if you are hoping to stain the wood. The putty dries grey and doesn’t stain well.

Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot – Video

I have to say, using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot saved our Exterior Shutters. Here are my easy to follow steps and a quick video of the repair work. This is an easy DIY, guys! #AbbottsAtHome #Bondo #WoodRepair #WoodRot #RottenWood
All finished and hung back up!

That’s it for Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot. Good luck with your repair! 🙂


Looking for more handy DIY projects for your home? Check out my favorite way to fix ugly grout that won’t scrub clean.

You can restore that grout color without scrubbing. It's really quick and easy. You can even switch to a new grout color, with Grout Renew. My how-to video will show you how easy it is to update your grout color.

Or, my steps for the easy way to strip paint from wood furniture.

Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.


Thanks for checking out my Steps for Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot. Please let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

2 thoughts on “Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot or Damaged Wood

  1. My dad owns an auto body shop and I used to love watching him mix up bondo to work on cars as a kid. I am so glad you shared this tip about using it to repair wood too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks so much, Chas. Isn’t it so strange what can bring back sweet childhood memories. I always love the sound of a circular saw and seeing screws in Mason Jars for the same reason. 🙂

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