How to Repair Rotten Wood

Rotten door casing on entry door.

The top board in our bench has a couple of spots of dry rot. We can’t change the board at this time and would really appreciate your home remedy. -Denny and Danna

Auto body filler works great for repairing rotten spots in wood since it hardens in a matter of minutes and can be used to fill large areas.

Start by using a chisel to remove the rotten wood. If the hole is large, drive a few nails or screws below the finished surface to give the filler something to grab onto.

Next, mix up a batch of filler, and apply it to the hole following the safety instructions on the can. It sets quickly, so don’t mix up more than you can use in a minute or two.

Once the filler has set for a few minutes—but before it has time to get really hard—use a sharp chisel or hand plane to remove any excess, then sand it smooth and finish.



Please Leave a Comment

9 Comments on “How to Repair Rotten Wood”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Pat Says:
    October 10th, 2017 at 8:17 am

    How can I repair rotting wood floor in and around my toilet? I’m afraid in time the toilet will fall through the floor. Please help

  • Official Comment:

    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    July 28th, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Mary, Bondo is a popular brand. Here’s a link:

    Thanks for watching, and best of luck on your painting project!

  • mary ford Says:
    July 27th, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I can’t read the answers to questions people ask in their comments – imp.
    I wanted to try this auto body filler but when I went to buy it at the big box store, I was asked which type I wanted – can you advise…..hope I can do this as I am approaching 70 and not too handy but willing to try….painter wanted to charge me 11,000 to paint and repair – sounds a little high for small house and little cottage. Thanks, really enjoy your program –

  • Denise Says:
    May 27th, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Great idea, never thought of that and I dabbled in auto body work as a teen and early twenties. I was going to just use bond cement but auto body filler sounds more bonding and longer lasting than just plain bondo, do u recommend any special brand that u use that works the best?

  • Michelle Zazulka Says:
    February 28th, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I think my attached garage is falling down on one side and is dragging my house down with it. I dont have alot of money morelike nothing extra but I am afraid that the house will fall. What can i do to repair the cracked floor in the garage that is dragging the one side of the wall down.

  • Church guy Says:
    June 23rd, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I have been trying to do some repair work on old church… where there are a lot of project to do. One of them is replacing the bottom of part of the siding all around the church. I was told the siding was not properly sealed and the rot resulted. I would like to take of the bottom 10″ all round the bottom and replace it with a treated 2 x 10 but concerned of what I will run into when I begin to cut into the siding…
    Do you have any suggestions?

  • J.J. West Says:
    February 6th, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    we bought a new stove top, and the lower right corner of the control panel has popped up and I cannot find anything that will glue it back down. I have tried super glue, gorilla glue and locktite glue. None of them work. I am afraid to use contact cement because it is a gas appliance. Cannot get a response from Westinghouse about whether or not the warranty covers it.

  • J.J. West Says:
    February 6th, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    we bought an older home and have noticed that the windows sweat a lot causing water to collect on the window sills. Holes had been drilled into the sills earlier, but we have noticed some of the sills are in bad shape. The sills are very thin, and the wood has buckled. Any suggestions on what is best strategy to repair these window sills? I have read about using auto filler, and it sounds like something we would hve difficulty doing. We are over 70 and not handy about doing carpentry things and we cannot afford a handyman.

  • nathaniel shofner Says:
    June 29th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    we resent had some foundation repair done on

    our small frame church building.they tried

    but could not fix a bump and a 2″ dip in the

    entry area of sub-floor out of fear of damag-

    ng a main support beam. how this be fixed.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

 characters available

How to Repair Rotten Wood