How to Repair Rotted Wood Doors

Your beautiful wood front door is the centerpiece of your entryway but it is not impervious to the elements and must be maintained to ensure years of life.



Your beautiful wood front door is the centerpiece of your entryway. However it is not impervious to the elements and must be maintained to ensure years of life. Rotting wood on your door should be replaced as soon as possible. It can create a weakened product that lets in the outside temperatures and will diminish the overall appearance of the door.


The first step is to identify where the rotting wood is, usually by sight or feel. Inspect routinely, looking for discolored areas or areas that are soft to the touch, where wood underneath paint is beginning to deteriorate. Begin by using a screwdriver or utility knife and cut or carve away the rotten part of the wood. Chances are if it comes off easy, it needs to go. Ensure you remove all of the rotten wood, no matter how deep or extensive it is, as leaving behind any can allow the wood to continue rotting after the repairs have been completed. Once you are sure 100% of rotting area is gone, use a shop vac to suck away all debris from every little crevice. Some of the materials you’ll use to fix the door are very sticky, and once stuck will never unstick. Finally, clean the workspace to prepare for the next step.


Next you need to gather supplies. Latex gloves, LiquidWood and WoodEpox (or QuikWood) are what you will need. While wearing the latex gloves take the two epoxies that make up LiquidWood and mix the containers. One is a resin while the other is a hardener. Mix them in equal parts as directed and keep in mind that it is extremely hard to remove. After the mixture has set for roughly five minutes you may begin to use it. Use cautionand patience when applying it to ensure that you apply it perfectly, and that you keep a clean workspace.

Apply it to the areas you hollowed out and fill them in with an old brush or something you never intend to use again because you will ruin it. Make sure you fill the holes in fully; every crevice and chip need to be adequately filled. Once the surfaces of the door have been entirely coated let it stand for 10-20 minutes to set. Next use the WoodEpox, which comes in a similar set of two containers and should be mixed the same as the LiquidWood. Press it in place so that it pushes the layer of epoxy below it deep into any crevices’ or cracks. You will fill the hole with a bit of excess, a little more than is necessary as you will sand it away later once it is fully dry.


This last step in your wood repair will occur 24 hours after you have applied the epoxies. Using a hand held or belt sander sand the areas you are repairing until they are flush with the doors surface. Now you prime the surface and allow it to sit for 2 hours to fully dry.

Finally, you are at the last step, apply the paint or stain desired to match the rest of the door. Depending on the placement or size of your repair you may want to just redo the entire door to ensure it is all uniform, with no clearly visible fresh spots while the rest of the finish has become faded.


Avoiding having to do these repairs is entirely possible with basic wood door maintenance. The best way to prevent rotting, warping and damage to your door is be vigilant in inspecting and taking precautions.

When you first get the door, whether you install it your own or have a professional do it, look it over. Check for dings, dents and cracks where moisture could enter, and repair them immediately.

Periodic door inspections should be performed fairly thoroughly. You don’t need to check it every day, but twice a year should give you enough warning to repair small damages. Also you should it give it a once over before and after a big storm, to protect before the storm, and to identify any damage caused by the elements. Inspection checklist is:

Check door hinges, handles and locks to be sure they are as tight as they should be. Tighten any looseness so moisture and heat to not creep in.

Check the seal around the door. Make sure it keeps out the rain, heat and cold.

Inspect all surfaces of the door, including inside and outside edges. Look for faded paint, chipped or stained paint, dings, scratches or dents.

Every several years, apply a new finish. The outer layer of paint or stain is the wood’s only real defense against the harmful weather that can cause it to rot and warp. When you see it start to fade, give it another coat. This is pretty inexpensive and simple, as you won’t need much material and it should only take a maximum of a few hours of your day and then some time to properly dry. This also keeps your door looking new and clean.

If you are not a “do it yourselfer”, don’t have the time or just aren’t able to perform the work needed, you can always call a general contractor or handyman to take care of this for you. The work is simple and should be cheap due to it not being a labor-intensive task. It’s worth a quick coat to prevent a full sanding and sealing.

Wooden doors are of one of the most desired doors due to their stunning appearance, strength and classic feel and can last you a lifetime with the proper maintenance and care. Take care of your door by giving it the small things it may need and it will take care of your home for years to come.For more information about doors, go to



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