Wood Hardener for Soft Wood

Wood Hardener for Soft Wood

Wood is a versatile material that can be used in a variety of applications at home and in the workplace, but it is unfortunate that it is prone to rot.

Even those that appear to be extremely long-lasting do not last indefinitely. You don’t have to sit around and wait for your wooden creations to deteriorate and become useless.

To repair rotting wood surfaces and retain the structure’s integrity before it succumbs to rot or age, use the best wood hardeners.

While learning that wood hardeners may provide a long-term solution to your wood problems is exciting, finding the proper product can be difficult.

With these wood hardener evaluations, you’ll be able to choose one off the shelf without having to think too hard.

Wood Hardener for Soft Wood

Free Close Up Photo Of Brown Wood Planks Stock Photo
Soft wood hardening

Factors to Consider

When it comes to purchasing wood hardener, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. Let’s have a look at some of the key elements in more detail.

1. Type of surface

Some wood hardeners are designed to work better on specific types of hardwood surfaces than others. More importantly, the effectiveness of these hardeners is determined on the type of wood on which they are placed.

As a result, it’s critical to inspect and note the condition of the wood surfaces so that you can get the best wood hardener for them.

Thick wood hardeners, for example, are appropriate for wood surfaces with fissures or large cracks.

Also, if you’re repairing a splintered wood deck that’s constantly exposed to rain, snow, or other forms of moisture, a wood hardener that also functions as a wood sealer might be the ideal option.

2. Time to dry

Most likely, you want your best wood hardeners to dry as quickly as possible in the hopes that nothing will interfere with the hardening process before it is completed.

It’s also possible that you’re working on a number of outdoor projects at the same time, so the hardener needs to cure quickly so you can go on to the next one. Look into methods to get wood to dry quickly.

It is recommended that you use hardening solutions with a rapid drying time for the best results. This is because they are beneficial not only when you need to work quickly, but they also have some advantages when the surface is exposed to rain and moisture.

3. Durability of the Hardener

Using a formula that isn’t long-lasting can only lead to disappointment. You might as well not use any wood hardener at all if the one you choose isn’t long-lasting.

You should check the hardener’s durability before purchasing it. Before you make a purchase, a fast search of online consumer reviews can tell you everything you need to know about the formula’s durability.

Read: How to treat rough cut hemlock

Free Brown Wooden Wall Stock Photo
Soft wood hardening

4. Hardener Cost

When it comes to the greatest wood hardeners, there’s no rule that says the more expensive the wood hardener is, the better it is.

True, there are many excellent wood hardeners in the higher price ranges, but that does not invalidate the reality that there are just as many in the lower price ranges.

The argument is that pricing should not be the most important consideration when making a purchase. Sure, opt for the more expensive ones if you can afford them.

If you’re on a budget, however, you may be divided between spending more money within your means or waiting until you can afford a more expensive one.

The best advise is to look at the less expensive options within your budget; you’d be amazed to learn that some are just as good as the more expensive ones.

5. Color of the hardener

You probably don’t want your work surface to be the odd man out. Because hardeners come in a variety of hues, it’s wise to choose one that matches your needs.

It’s also crucial to consider the color of the wood filler you’ll be using. The best wood fillers for decks that will last a long time are listed below. It’s worth noting that the colors of your wood hardening product and most wood fillers should be compatible to ensure appropriate woodwork.

How to Use Hardener on Wood

Applying a wood hardener is simple, but it does necessitate careful attention to detail.

This PC-Petrifier wood hardener application video can be used to have a better idea of what the application comprises.

Read: Is polyurethane toxic when dry?

The following is a step-by-step guide for applying wood hardener.

1. Make sure the surface is clean.

Before spraying or spreading your hardening product on the intended surface, make it as smooth or even as possible by eliminating any unwanted wood crumbs or rotten wood fibers.

It will be easy for you to work on this approach. Make sure the surface is dry and clear of debris, dust, paint, and any other oil-based pollutants.

2. Put your hardener on.

You may need to shake or swirl the mixture to ensure a uniform distribution, depending on the formula’s composition. Remember to wear your rubber gloves.

Then, to produce the first layer, spray or pour the substance over the desired area and spread evenly with a paintbrush. Wood fillers can be used to fill holes in your wood.

3. Allow time for drying.

This is where the necessity of a quick-drying solution becomes clear.

Allow 1 to 2 hours for the layer to dry after spreading — a fast-drying product would take just over an hour to dry completely.

Then go ahead and apply the second layer. If you want a stronger, ultra-smooth, and shining surface, repeat step 2 up to a fifth layer. After applying the final layer, let it dry for at least 5 hours.

Read: Best polyurethane for spraying

Free Brown Tree Log Stock Photo
Wood hardening

4. Coating

This step is optional, but it is still necessary. Your wood will survive a little longer if you apply a protective layer or paint over it.

Product Evaluations

Picking one off the shelf when it comes to wood hardeners is a difficult task. You don’t want to end up with a difficult-to-work-with product or one that simply hardens the bad wood for a limited period of time.

With that in mind, we’ve scoured the industry and compiled a list of the top wood hardening products from reputable manufacturers.


PC Products PC-Petrifier Water-Based Wood Hardener is the most environmentally friendly option.

PC Products 128442 PC-Petrifier Water-Based Wood Hardener, Milky White, 1 gal

Insect or rot-damaged wood can be repaired with Wood Hardener.

It’s a liquid that’s brushed, sprayed, or injected directly into the wood’s pores.

There will be no mixing.

Fills, primes, and paints wood to make it ready for filling, priming, and painting.

Increase the toughness of the wood and reduce the amount of damaged wood removed.

This product stands out among the many wood hardeners on the market for a variety of reasons.

The most important argument is that it is environmentally friendly – albeit this does not imply that you should squirt it on your skin or consume it.

Most wood hardeners are poisonous, and some have been found to be dangerous when inhaled.

You don’t have to worry about any of that with this wood hardener’s thicker consistency; once it’s dry, even the limited toxicity it has is almost non-existent.

It is not only a moderate wood hardening agent, but it is also multipurpose. PC-Petrifier doubles as an outdoor primer, eliminating the need to scrape off old paint.

Because of its penetrative and quick-drying capabilities, this excellent wood hardener is especially useful for small tasks on old or rotted wood, and even more so when dealing with insect-damaged rotted wood.

What We Found Most Appealing




Spraying, injecting, or brushing

Fills, paints, and primes the surface.

It also serves as a primer.

What Could Be Made Better

Not recommended for structural repairs.

Some common wood fillers are incompatible.


Elmer’s Rotted Wood Stabilizer is the most user-friendly.

16 oz. of ELMERS Rotted Wood Stabilizer (E760Q)

Hardens and seals dry rotted wood.

It’s a simple one-coat solution.

Free of solvents and odorless


Elmer’s Glue, the Orange-Capped Glue

It’s difficult to find a high-performance wood hardener that’s as simple to use as Elmer’s Rotted Wood Stabilizer.

One of its most distinguishing features is the ease of use captured in its easy one-coat solution, but it is not the only one. This rotten wood stabilizer is also solvent-free and has no odor after drying.

The formulation has a wide range of applications, including reinforcing or repairing decayed wood, window frames, flooring, entryways, furniture, fence posts, and door frames, among others.

It is not, however, recommended for structural applications. Though it doesn’t absorb as quickly (or dry as quickly) as the other wood hardeners on this list, it has excellent penetrative abilities.

The wood stabilizer also compensates for its slow absorption rate by allowing for a simple one-coat application. This means that a single coat applied liberally may be sufficient to repair your rotted wood.

The drying time compensates for the time spent applying multiple wood hardener coats.

What We Found Most Appealing

It is simple and quick to use.

Suitable for horizontal use

It has no odor and does not contain any solvents.

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use

What Could Be Made Better

Absorption takes time.


Minwax 41700000 High-Performance Wood Hardener is the best in class.


A pint of Minwax 41700000 High Performance Wood Hardener

The hardener penetrates the wood deeply, and its special resin binds and strengthens the decayed wood fibers.

High-performance wood hardener prevents moisture penetration and hardens to a rock-solid foundation for lifting.

Windowsills, doors, woodwork, floors, decks, furniture, woodwork are all recommended applications.

Penetrates deep into decayed wood, strengthening it.

Minwax High Performance Wood Filler is used to prepare rotted wood for Minwax High Performance Wood Filler.

This is without a doubt the best wood hardening product available, and it has remained at the top for decades.

It’s a high-quality, high-performance wood hardener with a low price tag.

Minwax has always made it a priority to develop impressive rotted wood restorer products that provide comprehensive solutions for a variety of wood conditions.

And when it comes to wood hardening, Minwax 41700000 does not disappoint. The product includes all of the features you’d expect from a wood hardener, plus a few more.

It is considered a high-performance wood hardener for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it penetrates deep and quickly into rotting wood to reinforce decayed wood fibers and prevent further moisture penetration.

The latter because of its ability to function as a sealer. It also forms a solid base when dried, adding strength to the wood surface and making it suitable for structural use.

After applying Minwax wood hardener to the rotted surface, you can be sure of a great finish. However, one of its major drawbacks is that it contains toxic chemicals that can melt latex gloves.

What We Found Most Appealing

Prevents moisture from penetrating further

Penetration is quick and deep.

Applying it is simple.

Almost all wood fillers are compatible with it.

Quick drying time

It has a beautiful finish.

Increases the longevity of the wood

What Could Be Made Better

Harsh chemicals are present, causing latex gloves to melt.

It’s a little too wet, allowing runoff.

When it comes to bodily or eye contact, it’s very collusive.

Fast and easy absorption means you’ll have to work quickly and likely use more.


J-B Weld 40001 Wood Restore Liquid Hardener is the best in terms of durability.


J-B Weld 40001 Wood Restore Liquid Hardener – 16 oz. J-B Weld 40001 Wood Restore Liquid Hardener – 16 oz.

JB WOOD RESTORE LIQUID HARDENER: Is a quick-drying liquid for sealing and reinforcing decayed or rotting wood surfaces, as well as eliminating moisture in decayed or rotten wood surfaces prior to putty filling.

WHAT THE PROFESSIONALS USE: Builders, technicians, and repair professionals know that our products adhere to a wide range of surfaces under even the worst conditions. Choose the product that professionals recommend for your job.

WOOD PREPATION: The unique liquid mix penetrates the wood, reinforcing the fibers and giving a stable foundation for J-B Wood Filler Compound. It’s a no-mix formula that’s easy to apply with a brush.

VERSATILE AND DURABLE: Use on door frames, window frames, sills, sashes, eaves, columns, posts, garages, fences, antique furniture, corner boards, and more!

WE HAVE ALL THE PRODUCTS YOU NEED TO GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT: NO PROJECT IS TOO SMALL OR TOO BIG. JB Weld’s performance as the World’s Strongest Bond is legendary.

J-B Weld Wood is well-known for its 2-part metal-epoxy combinations. They packed as much goodness as possible into their wood hardener, which is quickly gaining traction as a top choice in the woodworking sector.

Surprisingly, it has a significant edge over other J-B products. It is not a two-part combination, thus no special wood preparation or mixing is required.

One of the most notable characteristics of this liquid wood hardener is its capacity to pull moisture out of wood fibers while drying and reinforcing them.

This implies there’s no room for moisture to become trapped within the wood structure and start decomposing the wood from within.

This product is currently the only liquid wood hardener that delivers this service. As a result, the mixture helps to ensure the completed wood surface’s long-term durability.

It’s a bit exhausting to work with J-B wood repair liquid hardener. Though the formula is being tweaked to make it more user-friendly, it is still a dangerous material to work with.

So, while working with this one, you might want to put on your PPE and rubber gloves and keep it away from others.

What We Found Most Appealing

Simple to operate

Repairs that last

Draws moisture out of woods

Formula that dries quickly.

What Could Be Made Better

It’s possible that you’ll have to sand between coats.

a little poisonous


Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer has the best drying time.

Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer, 8 fl oz, penetrating into spongy, dry-rotted wood fibers to create a solid surface

Wood rot is a common problem for most homeowners, regardless of where they reside, and it’s simple to fix with the correct supplies.

Finish that is both elegant and silky.

The item is made in China.

A hardening liquid that penetrates into soft, spongy, rotten wood fibers.

Paintable as well as stainable

Most people think of J-B wood hardener and metal epoxy in the same way they think of Bondo and vehicle structural repairs.

However, the makers also have a jewel of a product in the wood hardening business – one that is also rather outstanding!

Although it is normally twice as expensive as other of the items on our list, such as Minwax wood hardener, its extraordinarily high-quality delivery more than compensates for the expenses.

Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer almost has no competition in terms of drying time. You may expect it to start drying in five minutes if you use it alone or in combination with Bondo wood filler.

In most circumstances, it will be completely dry in within two hours. This is a big benefit for repairs requiring numerous layers of coating because it increases productivity.

In addition to its quick drying time, it is a powerful wood hardener that penetrates deep into wood to strengthen it.

Trying to remove or change it a few hours after application can be difficult due to its incredible power.

What We Found Most Appealing

Enhances productivity

Waterproof formula of high grade

Quick drying

Deeply penetrates

What Could Be Made Better


It does not permit a lot of working time.

a little poisonous


The Abatron LiquidWood 2 Pint Kit is ideal for structural fixtures.

Abatron LiquidWood 2 Pint Kit with 2 Part Structural Epoxy Wood Hardener and Consolidant Resin Abatron LiquidWood 2 Pint Kit with 2 Part Structural Epoxy Wood Hardener and Consolidant Resin

REPAIR ROTTED WOOD: Penetrates and strengthens rotted/deteriorated wood; restores the strength of damaged windows, doors, trim, columns, posts, and other wood elements.

The perfect surface primer for WoodEpox epoxy wood replacement compound; used to fill and restore missing wood; use LiquidWood and WoodEpox together for a permanent, robust, structural, shrink-free repair.

30 MINUTE WORK TIME: LiquidWood has a 30-45 minute working time (pot life); treated wood will solidify a few hours after application; degraded wood may require multiple coats to adequately saturate the porous wood.

MIMICS WOOD: Once the epoxy hardens, sanding, sawing, routing, drilling, nailing, and painting are all simple tasks.

SAFE FOR INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR Usage: This product is GreenGuard certified, which means it contains almost no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It contains no solvents or water and has a very low odor.

If you’re wondering why this liquid wood hardener is referred to as a kit, it’s because it comes in a package that includes epoxy wood consolidant and two other mixable ingredients.

While this raises the price, the rock hard solid base finish it gives more than makes up for it. The thin wood hardener is also well regarded and suggested for structural repairs.

It also rests on the promise of making the wood stronger than it has ever been. As a result, it is ideal for a wide variety of hard and softwoods, and it has the potential to make pinewood as hard as red oak.

Its unquestionable potency also ensures its long-term use as a weatherproof and waterproof wood hardening treatment. It’s also made up of wood filler.

On the negative, it takes a long time to dry, which may be an issue if you’re working on vertical surfaces.

However, this could also imply that you have enough time before the liquid wood hardener dries up to fix any mistakes you may have made.

What We Found Most Appealing

Most wood fillers are compatible with it.

Suitable for any type of wood

Finish that is almost imperceptible

Versatile. It can be used both outside and inside.

What Could Be Made Better

On a vertical surface, this is difficult to work with.

A little pricey

Mixing with other chemicals is necessary.

Read: Best wood finishing techniques

FAQs on Wood Hardener for Soft Wood

Is it possible to use wood hardener on damp wood?

Yes, but as a substrate for hardening wood before applying wood fillers, not as a surface treatment. Wet rotting wood hardener, which is specially developed for this purpose, is utilized in such instances.

Is it possible to use a wood hardener on particleboard?

They certainly do. However, not all wood hardening products are designed to be compatible. Hardening particleboard with Minwax wood hardener and a few other products is possible, especially after the board has been well dried.

How long does a wood hardener take to dry?

Wood hardeners take two to four hours to thoroughly dry after application. Some products, on the other hand, may take longer to dry; in these circumstances, it’s advisable to wait two to four hours for them to dry completely before starting to coat or finish the surface.

Is it possible to paint over a wood hardener?

You certainly can. Of course, before you paint over the hardened surface, make sure it’s smooth and dry. Painting can give another layer of protection to a surface if done correctly.

What are the ingredients in wood hardener?

Wood hardeners are solvent-borne compounds that typically contain a crosslinking polymer, a film-forming agent, water, and, on occasion, a defoamer and/or a biocide. The polymer or film-forming agent employed in a product differs by manufacturer.

Will the wood remain sturdy after it has been hardened?

Yes, for a period of at least one year. The extended durability, on the other hand, would be dependent on the state of the wood before it was hardened. Woods that were not too soft before being hardened should last another 5 years, whereas very soft or rotting wood should last at least another 2 years.

Is it possible to make any kind of wood stronger?

Yes, it’s doable. Softwoods and hardwoods, on the other hand, are more easier to strengthen than human-made woods like soft plywood, particleboard, and fibreboard. Most wood hardening products are unable to repair softened human-made woods.

Is it necessary to harden a splintered piece of wood?

Yes, you certainly should. Hardening can be done on wood that has been fractured or has a crevice, splits, or cracks. In the strengthening process, using wood fillers and protective coatings is extremely beneficial. This ensures the tough wood’s long-term resilience.

Is it possible to put wood hardener on fresh wood?

Yes, they certainly can. It makes no difference how old the wood is or where it was placed. If you want to use it again, you should have it repaired.

What is the best way to get hardener out of wood?

There are a few unconventional methods for removing wood hardener from wood. Try soaking a paper towel in vinegar and rubbing the hardened surface until it softens before using strong solvents. Then scrape the surface. Other alternatives include acetone, acetone-based nail polish remover, cellulose thinner, or xylene, but you must exercise caution when using these.


To be honest, picking the finest among all of these goods is difficult since when one falls short, the others make up for it.

Nonetheless, for some reason, Minwax High-Performance wood hardener gets the top spot as the best wood hardener.

It’s reasonably priced, from a reputable brand, absorbs rapidly, and can be used in a variety of ways.

Regardless of your preference for Minwax, it’s critical to consider the little nuances that distinguish these hardeners and determine which would be best for you.

The wood hardener reviews in this article are meant to offer you with information that will assist you in making an informed and intelligent decision.

Shirley B. Leavitt

Shirley graduated with a Carpentry Technology Certificate Program at Northwestern Michigan College. Her study focuses on art criticism in its various forms, the history of Canadian and American art after 1940, and the psychology of creative thought. Sixty of her pieces have been published in periodicals such as Art International, Arts, Vie des arts, Studio International, The Canadian Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Art. The Caro Connection: Sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro from Toronto Collections, The Heritage of Jack Bush, A Tribute (Robert McLaughlin Gallery), and Caricature and Conscience: The Sculpture of Dora Wechsler (with Carolyn Robinson) are among the exhibitions she has produced. Shirley has served as a guest critic and speaker at various universities in Canada and the United States, including the Emma Lake Artists' Workshop and the University of Toronto. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations honored her with their award for teaching excellence.

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