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.
Now, let’s get to the easy wood repair steps!
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Using Bondo to Repair Wood Rot – Materials Needed
- Bondo All Purpose Putty or Bondo Wood Filler
- Bondo Spreader, 3 Pk
- Protective Gloves
- Tools to Remove Soft and Rotten Wood: Utility Knife, Flathead Screwdriver, Chisel, etc.
- Optional: Bondo Wood Hardener
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Or, my steps for the easy way to strip paint from wood furniture.
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.