How to Use Wood Hardeners

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Things You'll Need

  • Putty knives

  • Wood hardener

  • 2-inch paintbrush


If you're working on a wood surface that you suspect has lead paint, wear a respirator and proper safety equipment.

If you've got an old wood deck or maybe a wood column that is starting to show signs of age, one way to stop the decay is to use a wood hardener. This product seeps into the pores of the wood and hardens after two to four hours, keeping the wood intact. Using a wood hardener takes a bit of preparation to do correctly, but otherwise it's a straightforward process.


Step 1

Identify the area on the wood you want to harden. Scrape away any loose or decayed wood using a putty knife, working until you get to wood that is in reasonably good shape. Make sure there is no grease, oil or dirt in the affected area.

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Step 2

Shake a can of wood hardener. Pour some of the hardener onto the surface of the wood and spread it out around the area using a paintbrush.

Step 3

Apply a second and third coat using the paintbrush for extra strength, applying coats until the wood has a shiny surface.

Step 4

Let the wood hardener dry for two to four hours. Sand, paint or stain the surface, if you wish, to finish the project.



Russell Wood

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.