How to Repair a Rotted Column Base

Wooden porch columns and posts eventually rot, particularly at the base where they are exposed to water.

It is important to repair a rotted column base before it becomes necessary to replace a portion of it or entirely remove it. The repair can be made with a two-part epoxy system. The drying time on the epoxy is slightly long, but the repair will be durable and lasting if done correctly. Removing all of the rotted wood from the base of the column and taking your time will ensure a seamless repair.

Drill a series of holes, with a 1/4-inch drill bit, into the rotted area to assess the depth of the rot. Chip out all of the rotted wood at the base of the column with the tip of the putty knife.

Brush the rotted area vigorously with a wire brush to remove all of the remaining rotted wood. Always brush with the grain of the wood to prevent scratching the area surrounding the rot.

Brush on an even coat of epoxy primer, using a natural bristle brush. Allow the primer to dry for up to one week. Drying time will vary based on weather conditions.

Fill the repair area with epoxy fill using a putty knife to sculpt and smooth the filler to the shape of the column. Allow the filler to dry for 24 to 72 hours or until the filler is completely hard. The drying time will vary based on the weather.

Sand the epoxy filler to achieve a seamless repair, using 120-grit sandpaper.

Apply an even coat of exterior primer to the repair with a paintbrush. Allow the primer to dry for at least four hours. Brush on two coats of exterior paint. Allow four hours between coats.

Things You Will Need

  • Drill
  • Drill bit, 1/4 inch
  • Putty knife
  • Wire brush
  • Epoxy primer
  • Natural bristle brush
  • Epoxy filler
  • Exterior primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Exterior paint

Tip

  • Keep the paint on your porch columns and posts well maintained to help prevent rot.

Warning

  • Wear eye protection and follow epoxy safety precautions carefully.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.