6 Best Wood Hardeners- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

As a wooden structure owner, it can be so devastating to watch your structure rot and waste away. Structures made using wood can serve for long but not forever; even so, if you notice your fabrics starting to rot, it should not worry you to the breaking point as you can use the best wood hardeners to restore old or rotted wood so that it remains useful.

Much as you might need to use wood hardeners to restore and give your structure a new look, you must identify the right product on the market. However, this is not always the case, as most people tend to confuse between wood hardener and wood fillers.

A wood hardener is a glue-like product that soaks deep into the wood. It offers advanced wood protection against further rot while further protecting it from other elements such as moisture.

Here are some of the best wood hardeners that you can buy today.

The List of The Best Wood Hardeners


If you want the best wood hardener that you will use for windowsills, doors, woodwork, floors, furniture, and decks, you should consider the Minwax 41700000 High-Performance Wood Hardener. It penetrates deep into the wood while reinforcing decayed wood fibers. This feature makes it a suitable hardener that will strengthen your decayed timber.

When you use a wood hardener, you expect it to act as a sealer against further moisture penetration. The Minwax 41700000 High-Performance Wood Hardener meets this expectation and cures into a rock hard solid base for lifting. This functionality is attributed to its thin and watery consistency. This feature makes it dry very quickly, and you can complete your projects on time.

This wood hardener prepares your wood for Minwax High-Performance Wood Filler, giving you great results after finishing the woodworking job.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is thin and watery, which enables it to penetrate deep and strengthens decayed wood.
  • Its special resin reinforces and binds decayed wood fibers.
  • This formula hardens quickly to a rock hard solid base for lifting.
  • It offers high performance and seals your structure against further moisture penetration.
  • You can use this formula on several structures such as windowsills, doors, woodwork, floors, decks, furniture, woodwork
  • It prepares your rotted wood for Minwax High-Performance Wood Filler

Image of Minwax, one of the best wood hardenersPros

  • Seals out moisture.
  • It hardens quickly.
  • Reinforces and binds decayed wood fibers.
  • It penetrates deep into the wood.
  • It works well with a wood filler.


  • Water consistency runs smoothly.
  • It dissolves latex gloves.
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Insects and rotting are among the common agents that will damage your wood. To counter this problem, you must pick a wood hardener that can help you repair the wood damaged by insects or rot. The PC-Petrifier Water-Based Wood Hardener will do this job comfortably and without so much effort. You can apply this formula by spraying, brushing, or injecting it into the wood’s pores.

This wood hardener does an excellent job when it comes to the preparation of your surface for paintingpriming, and filling, and you do not have to worry about your wood not being ready for the next job after hardening.

This formula comes with a thicker consistency, which allows you to brush easily on a rough and vertical surface. It does not drip so much and quite comfortable to use.

The PC-Petrifier Water-Based Wood Hardener is environmentally friendly and does not have a strong odor as some of the wood hardeners we have. Once it has dried, it is not toxic.

Watch the video below on how to harden wood using PC-Petrifier:

The Summary of Top Features

  • Its thicker consistency makes it a good one for rough and vertical surfaces.
  • It is environmentally friendly and thus safe to use.
  • It can be comfortably used in painting and will do double-duty as a free primer.
  • You can conveniently clean it with water; therefore, it makes clean up possible.
  • This wood hardener repairs wood damaged by insects and rot
  • You can apply it by brushing, spraying, or injection into the pores of the wood
  • This formula prepares your wood for filling, priming, and painting
  • It does an excellent job of improving the hardness and minimizes damaged wood removal

wood hardenerPros

  • It prepares the wood for filling, priming, and painting.
  • It cleans up with water.
  • Slightly thicker consistency
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Doubles as a free primer.


  • It does no go along with some fillers.
  • It may not work well for “structural repairs.”
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Wood rot is one of the most common issues you will face regardless of where you stay. It, however, is not a threat because you can quickly repair it with the right products. The Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer is one of the best wood hardeners that you may consider to help you out. It is a stabilizing liquid that penetrates spongy, soft, rotted wood fibers and creates hard surfaces.

If you choose to apply a wood filler after using this wood hardener, you will find it a smooth and effortless experience as the formula cures into one of the best surfaces that you can find in a wood hardener. The Bondo Rotted Wood Restorer will prepare your wood by providing a solid base for Bondo Wood Filler.

This wood hardener dries very quickly and gives you an elegant and smooth surface. You do not have to worry about damaging your wood with spills of water—the wood hardener water-resistant.

The Summary of Top Features

  • This formula penetrates soft and rotten wood fibers and creates a hard surface.
  • It provides a solid base that allows you to apply a filler.
  • Thye hardener dries very quickly, giving you a smooth finish that is track free.
  • It offers an elegant and smooth finish
  • This formula provides you a stabilizing liquid that penetrates deep into soft, spongy, rotted wood fibers to create a hard surface
  • It is stainable and paintable
  • You get a solid base for the application of Bondo Wood Filler
  • This formula takes just about 2 hours to dry into a clear and tack-free finish
  • It is water-resistant

wood hardenerPros

  • Water-resistant.
  • Dries clear and track free quickly.
  • Leaves your surface stainable and paintable.
  • Intense penetration.
  • You can recoat it after only two minutes.


  • It does not offer a lot of working time.
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You want not only a wood hardener but also a product that will restore rotten wood. I appraise the LiquidWood Kit as the best wood hardener if you are looking to renovate the rotted wood material. It will fix any bit of wood and make it even stronger. Using it on softwoods like pine is a good idea as it helps make them more durable than oak.

Most wood hardeners will prefer particular fillers, but the liquidWood Kit bonds well with virtually all the wood fillers. This feature relieves you from the pressure to get a specific fill for your wood.

The LiquidWood Kit does a good job both indoors and outdoors. This feature makes it convenient for most of your woodworking projects.

The wood hardener does not have any noxious odors, and you are safe working with it for more extended periods.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Expedient for both outdoors and indoors purposes, thus, can be used for a variety of projects.
  • It contains no VOCs or noxious odors, making it safe to use for more extended periods.
  • Its waterproof finish makes it very appropriate for outdoor tasks.
  • It’s perfect for regenerating and waterproofing rotted
  • This product can be sawed, planed, routed, carved, drilled, nailed, sanded, glued, and painted
  • Liquid wood is also a primer for your wooden surfaces

wood hardenerPros

  • Durable for structural repairs.
  • You may use it for both indoors and outdoors purposes.
  • Bonds well to most wood fillers.
  • Nearly undetectable once dry.
  • Extended working time.


  • It can be hard to sand.
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As a woodworker, I can comfortably tell you that the J-B Weld 40001 Wood Restore Liquid Hardener will do an excellent job. It is a quick-drying liquid that you can comfortably use for sealing and reinforcing decayed or rotted wood. This formula functions by significantly reducing the moisture present in the decayed or rotted wood surfaces.

The wood hardener will seal the rotted wood surfaces before you consider applying a filler.

If you want a wood hardener that you can use for various tasks, then this is one you need to pick. It is ideal for Ideal on door frames, window frames, sills, sashes, eaves, columns, posts, garages, fences, antique furniture, corner boards, among others.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It penetrates the wood to reinforce the fibers of the material, preventing further decay.
  • It provides a solid base for the J-B Wood Filler Compound.
  • It reduces the moisture in the decaying or rotting wood surfaces, thus preparing them for a putty filler.
  • This formula is an easy one component application that help makes your wood restoration duty a simple one
  • It comes with a faster drying time which makes your job easy
  • You can use this formula on both large and small projects
  • The wood hardener also seals the surface

image of one of the bst wood hardenersPros

  • It dries quickly.
  • Seals rotted wood surfaces.
  • Versatile and dependable.
  • It draws out moisture.
  • It is long-lasting.
  • Very convenient.


  • It needs you to sand between coats.
  • Fairly toxic.
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The Elmer’s Rotted Wood Stabilizer is very easy to use wood hardener. With only one coat, you will preserve dry and spoiled wood from further harm. It does this by sealing and solidifying the wood surface offering enhanced protection and restoration in the process.

Once you have this wood stabilizer, you can use it over a variety of projects. You can comfortably use it for fixing, re-establishing, and reinforcing decayed wood. It is a versatile formula that can perform these functions on different surfaces such as window bands, windowsills, flooring, entryways, picture outlines, furniture, wood siding, and fence posts, among other surfaces.

What’s fascinating about this formula is that it is solvent-free and has no odor. This attribute makes it an excellent wood hardener for a woodworker who is doing the job for a long time and cares about the impacts of chemicals on the environment.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It seals and solidifies the wood surface preserving it from further harm.
  • It is solvent-free and has no odor and thus safe to use for long.
  • It can perform various functions such as fixing, re-establishing, and reinforcing decayed wood, making it suitable for multiple projects.
  • The formula is an easy, one coat solution
  • Seals and hardens dry rotted wood

wood hardenerPros

  • Easy to use.
  • It is suitable for various tasks.
  • Used for interior and exterior surfaces.
  • Quick to use.
  • Solvent-free and odorless.
  • It works well on horizontal surfaces.


  • It does not penetrate that well into the wood.
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Best Wood Hardeners Buyer’s Guide

There are significant considerations that you need to undertake when you are looking to acquire the very best wood hardener in the market. There are so many such products in the market; however, you need to have a keen eye and pay close attention to many significant aspects of a hardener.

To help you get a product that will give you real value for your money, I’ve provided a comprehensive buyer’s guide with some of the critical aspects you should look for in a wood hardener. They include:

  • Surfaces To Restore

Usually, you will find that wood hardeners are very efficient on various surfaces. Even so, some hardeners perform perfectly on some surfaces than the others, and that’s why you need to know the surface that you want to restore and the type of a harder that will give you the best results possible.

Ask yourself questions such as, how bad is my wood damaged? What’s the location of your structure? Thick wood hardeners are great for surfaces with big cracks and crevices. Additionally, suppose your structure is located in the exterior environment where it receives a lot of rainfall and moisture. In that case, you must go for a hardener that acts as a wood sealer.

  • The Dry Time of the Formula

As must have already known that there are several wood hardeners in the market, you should also know that they come with different drying times. Working with hardeners with faster drying time always comes as an added advantage. 

First, a fast-drying formula allows you to complete multiple projects within a short duration, making it best for projects with a short timeline. With a hardener that dries faster, you can add wood fillers shortly after the hardeners dry. Additionally, if you live in areas that see frequent rainfall, a quick-drying formula wood works for you to perfection.

  • The Color of the Hardener 

These products are available in many colors; usually, you need to go for one that pleases you the most and will coordinate with your home. If you are going to apply wood fillers, it would be best if the colors of the fillers and the hardeners do not clash. 

  • The Cost of the Formula

I tell my clients in woodworking from time to time that budgeting is an essential aspect of buying wood hardeners. I’d like to disagree with the notion that expensive wood hardeners are the best, that is not necessarily true because I have used some very cheap wood hardeners and did a greater job than the products at the high ends of price.

The bottom line is that you should budget for your product before buying it. If your pockets allow you to purchase expensive products without experiencing any form of financial strain, then why not buy such products? And if you are working on a small budget, I can confidently tell you that you will find a cheap product that will work for you. So make a decision.

  • The Durability of the Formula

It does not make any sense whatsoever if you can apply a hardener to your structure today and need to redo the work after a couple of months, that’s where durability comes. Before settling for a wood hardener, ensure that it is durable and sustain your project over an extended duration.

You can tell a durable formula through intensive online research; such information is available on woodworking forums, customer reviews, and even the product manufacturer’s websites. Additionally, you can choose to consult with the woodworkers around your location for the best products to use.


If your wooden structure is rotting and even splitting, you don’t necessarily have to necessarily replace the entire structure as that would amount to incurring extra cost. All you need to do is use the best wood hardener in the market to restore your structure.

These formulas are a quick and less expensive solution to problems such as rot and weathering your wooden structures. My overall best product to use as a hardener is MINWAX 41700000 HIGH-PERFORMANCE WOOD HARDENERthis formula is thin and has one of the best penetration that you can find in a hardener. Additionally, it seals the surfaces against water, making it great for projects located in the exterior environment.

If you own a wooden structure, you certainly know the expenses involved in constructing a structure. Considering that wood will ultimately rot, wood hardeners present the perfect solution to restore them. You should always look at them as alternatives to replacing the entire structure.

I want to believe that you found this post helpful, especially if you are looking to restore your old, rotted wooden structure. Do you have a question, opinion, or suggestion regarding the subject idea? Kindly share your thoughts with me in the comment section below. Meanwhile, happy shopping and happy wood restoration!

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

6 thoughts on “6 Best Wood Hardeners- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide”

  1. John Clagett, Architect

    In your Liquidwood pros and cons, you say
    Pros: You may use it for both indoors and outdoors purposes.
    but then say
    Cons: It is not as suitable for outdoor exteriors.
    My question is: do or do not use on the exterior?

    1. Thank you John Clagett for your observation, It was an oversight mistake that I have corrected. So thank you again
      I’d like to stress that you can you Liquidwood for both indoors and outdoor projects.

  2. Hi. I’m sealing deck 2×4” horizontal railings with top rot. I live in a very rainy place, Seattle, with exposure from three directions. Is one of the less expensive products suitable? Also, how many coats. I’m hoping for something that comes in smaller amounts as only the rails have rot and total about 40’ of top only rot that penetrates abt 1/4 inch in places. Thanks.

    1. Hello Joan,

      Considering the fact that you live in a raining area like Seattle, ensure that you seal all the sides before you assemble them.
      Also, you should use a marine wood sealer (Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer)

      Smallest quantity of this product is a Gallon, might be too much for you but it is arguably the best sealant you can use out there.


  3. I just made a custom wooden shoehorn from a scrap piece of wood. The problem is, it keeps splitting/breaking at the end of the horn that goes into the shoe,…from the stress of maneuvering my heel into the shoe & the stress on the thinner wood at the end of the horn. What sort of wood hardener/strengthener would be best for this application.? It would also be beneficial if the product allowed for flex, wouldn’t it?
    I also would prefer a clear solution to keep the natural look of wood, as much as possible.

    1. Hello Sicilian,

      It is a quick drying liquid that will help seal and reinforce weak segments on your wood.
      The formula is flexible enough and should serve you right.


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