How-To Videos

How to Patch Damaged or Rotten Wood

By: Danny Lipford
Rotten door casing and jamb.

Rotten door casing and jamb.

You can often repair damaged, nonstructural wood—such as molding, siding, or trim—on your home by filling the damaged area with automotive body filler. Here’s how.

How to repair damaged wood:

  1. Dig out any rotten wood.
  2. Mix up two-part automotive filler.
  3. Fill the void with the filler.
  4. As the filler starts to cure, shape it to conform to the molding.
  5. After the filler hardens, sand it smooth with the surface.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: When you’re dealing with damaged woodwork, the question that always follows is, “Do I repair it or do I replace it?”

The answer can be found in the purpose of the damaged component. If its function is purely aesthetic—like molding, trim, or siding—then it can often be patched.

Automobile body filler is a great choice because this two-part compound dries very hard, very quickly, so you can fill voids and make repairs very easily.

Once it’s dry, it can be sanded just like wood to create a smooth, finished surface.


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7 Comments on “How to Patch Damaged or Rotten Wood”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 18th, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Hi, LES,
    Great question! We recommend submitting it to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for an in-depth answer.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • LES Says:
    May 10th, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    I would like to know can you paint ceder shingles and if so what kind paint do you recommend to be use?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 7th, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Hi, Constance!

    We’re fond of Bondo.

    Good luck with your project!

  • Constance Says:
    July 2nd, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Is there certain Automotive filler brand to use or just any Automotive filler will work?

  • Monique Says:
    February 21st, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Amazing! I have been looking for a solution for hours then I found yours. I’m so happy!

    How do I subscribe??

  • Jessica w Says:
    May 19th, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Thanks so much, most places only tell you to replace, but it’s solid wood molding that was scratched up by an animal and it seemed silly to replace. So glad I found this article.

  • Sheena Calderwood Says:
    November 20th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Perfect article – solves my problem and explains clearly how to do it.

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How to Patch Damaged or Rotten Wood