If you notice that the wooden trim in your home is covered with dings, dents, and scratches, then you may consider replacing the trim to make your home look more appealing. While this may be a good plan in the trim is completely destroyed, wooden molding is expensive. To save yourself some money, it may be a better idea to repair the trim instead with wood putty. If you have not worked with the putty before, then follow the tips below to use it effectively.
Choose the Right Putty
Before you start adding filler to the molding, you will need to choose the right type of product to use. There are several different types you can pick from. Wood putty varieties include latex, solvent-based, epoxy, and exterior putty varieties. Both latex and solvent-based fillers are ideal for indoor use when small holes and dents need to be filled in. These fillers are typically colored to match the wood type you are repairing, and most companies will have a color guide to help you match the putty with the wood you are repairing. These basic fillers are easy to work with and you can sand them and paint them after they dry.
Outdoor wood fillers are similar to the indoor varieties, but they are made with elastomeric materials instead of latex or solvents. This allows the filler to expand and contract with the changing weather. An outdoor wood putty will resist moisture as well and prevent mildew from growing around the wood repair area. If you need to fill in molding dents in moist basement, bathroom, or kitchen areas, then an outdoor elastomeric putty may be a good solution.
If large molding cracks and dents need to be filled in, then a regular putty or filler may not be solid or strong enough. In this case, an epoxy filler that has more structure should be used instead. Epoxies cure to create a bond with the wood and the resulting repair is often stronger than the molding itself. Epoxies come in clear, white, and wood colored varieties like other types of fillers. However, the material does not sand off easily, so you need to be careful to not overuse the product.
Prepare Repair Areas
Before you apply the filler, you will need to prepare the crack or chip first. Start by inspecting the damage for signs of rotten or damaged wood. If you notice damage, then use a utility knife or putty knife to remove it. Most fillers will not stick to wet and decayed wood. If wood decay is severe or widespread, then you can use a rotten wood stabilizer before applying the filler. The product will seep into the rotten wood to harden it and seal it. This creates a structurally sound area that the filler will be able to stick to.
Loose pieces of wood should be removed from the repair areas as well. If you note any sharp edges or splinters around the damage, then gently sand them. Also sand the area before applying the filler. A medium grit piece of sandpaper will work well for the job.
Once the area is ready, use a putty knife to force the putty into the crack, chip, or dent. While most fillers can be sanded once they cure, you should keep overfilling to a minimum. Use a smaller putty knife with a three-quarter or one inch blade to minimize the mess. Also, if you are making a repair to a piece of molding made of soft wood, then make sure the putty knife has a flexible blade. This will minimize scratches during the repair. Soft wood varieties include pine, ash, birch, beech, and spruce.
These two tips will ensure you are prepared to get the repair job done. For more information or assistance, visit resources like http://www.paintingbyjerrywind.com.