Tips from the Pros: Surface Preparation for Outstanding Wood Repair

LiquidWood® and WoodEpox® target repairing rotted or damaged wood. Getting the best results from these products requires some easy prep work. Following the steps below will help you get the most out of your project.

1. Cleaning. Scrape any loose paint away from the area being repaired. LiquidWood doesn’t soak through dry paint, so it’s important that it is applied to bare wood. Clean off the surface. Be sure there is no dirt, grease, oil or paint present. If chemical cleaners or strippers are used, be sure to thoroughly remove any residue.

2. Test the moisture level. Use a moisture meter if available to confirm that the moisture content of the wood is less than 17%. Insert the contact probe into the damaged wood to test. If the moisture reading is above 17%, either temporarily postpone the repair until the wood has dried, or dry the wood using a hair drier or heat gun. Brushing acetone on the damp wood will also help draw the moisture out. If the wood feels dry, it is probably dry enough.Additionally, drilling a series of small holes in the wood will help moisture to escape. Follow the suggestions described in step 4 of this article before using this method.

3. Remove loose, crumbling wood. If there is any crumbling or loose wood in the repair area, it should be removed. A wire brush is useful for this purpose. LiquidWood will consolidate and harden the soft material that remains after wire brushing.

4. Drill Holes for a better LiquidWood application. LiquidWood penetrates best through the end grain. Use a 1/8” diameter bit to drill into the damaged area across the grain of the wood. Be sure not to drill completely through the wood. A drill bit collar stop can help control depth. Brush away any debris that may have been created while drilling.By drilling holes in the damaged wood, you are allowing the LiquidWood consolidant to better penetrate into the repair area and reinforce its strength before applying WoodEpox filler. Pour LiquidWood into the holes with a squeeze bottle. After each application is absorbed into the wood, apply another until the wood is saturated.

Investing time in surface preparation will pay off handsomely for your project. Visit www.abatron.com for more helpful product advice and ordering information. For a video demonstrating these techniques, visit our YouTube channel here.