Wood Repair & Refinishing

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Old House Journal's compendium of articles about repairing and refinishing wood in old houses, including glazing, painting, wood sash repair, and molding repair and replication. 

SEE ALSO: Architectural Salvage Projects |  Construction & AdditionsDoors & Windows | Floors & Flooring Repair | Hardware Guides | Period Paints & Finishes | Restoration ProjectsTool Reviews | Walls, Ceilings, Plaster

Abatron

Shop Tour: Abatron

We take a behind-the-scenes look at Abatron.

solid Western red cedar knee braces, ProWood

Woodworking Tools

Useful items for building, cutting, sanding, or repairing wood.

building a new porch railing

Building a New Porch Railing for a 1920s Home

When Bill Ticineto and Jill Chase added a period-appropriate verandah to their 1920s-era home, building a new porch railing for the steps to their side yard was a necessity. Here's how they did it.

old-porches-fenton-house

How to Repair Old Porches

Tips and techniques for restoring and repairing old porches, including repairing porch posts, columns, flooring, skirting and more.

Old Florida heart pine from Goodwin

Taking Care of Wood Floors

Flooring has become subject to the whims of fashion. But traditional wood floors were meant to last, and to age gracefully.

wood column repair process

Epoxies for Wood Repair

Learn about epoxy products and their best use, get tips from the experts, and see a DIY project.

Fix for a sticky handrail

A Fix for Sticky Finish

Dealing with an old finish that gets tacky in hot weather.

The ogee comes into play in this prominent kitchen shelf designed by Heartwood Kitchens of New England.

How To Make Compound Ogee Molding

When you can't find the right ogee molding off the shelf, here's how to make it.

stairs

How to Repair Your Stairs

Whether your stairs are loose, squeaky, or moving away from the wall, we’ve got the cure.

Nancy Hiller made a cabinet to illustrate her technique. It shows several different pickled/stripped effects.

Green Pickling

A cabinetmaker’s serendipitous discovery has her using milk paint to create an aged, pickled finish that’s non-toxic.

Ben Prowell dry-fits a gate prior to final glue-up.

Joinery Tips for Fences & Gates

A pro woodworker offers advice for creating long-lasting joints for gates and fences.

Custom molding repair using epoxy

How To Make Custom Molding Repairs

Learn to replicate small sections of molding using a technique borrowed from plasterers.

Faux wood graining before and after

How To Create a Faux Wood Grain Finish

Follow this step-by-step process to create a convincing wood grain pattern.

damaged wood dooe

How & When To Use An Epoxy Wood Filler

Using an epoxy wood filler is a great way to restore rotted wood. If you’re hesitant, this step-by-step repair will demystify the process.

Egg-and-dart molding original and replica

How To Carve Egg-and-Dart Molding

Make your own version of this classic profile with just a few simple tools.

Shim for fixing stair rail

One-Day Project: Fix a Wobbly Stair Rail

Sooner or later, all staircases will develop a case of the wobbly spindle.

Reglazing windows is often the first step to improving their efficiency.

Repair a Wood Window in 12 Steps

Pro tips for glazing and painting wood sash like an expert.

All of the house’s exterior wood has been completely stripped and repainted; it now looks as good as the day it was built.

Tips for Finishing Old-House Woodwork

These Minneapolis homeowners stripped, painted, and dye-stained their woodwork with professional results—and you can, too.

Even beaten-down shutters like the ones above can hang like new with a simple repair procedure.

How To Repair Sagging Shutters

If time and the elements have left your exterior shutters hanging loose, use this step-by-step repair to set them right again.

Confessions of A Stripper

Adventures in Stripping Woodwork

One old-house owner's simple quest to bare her woodwork becomes an obsession that takes its toll on time and tempers.

A 1918 bungalow in Mount Ranier, Maryland, displays beautiful, original tongue-in-groove pine floors that had been covered for decades by vinyl tiles—then subsequent layers of plywood, vinyl tiles, and carpeting—until they were refinished and restored in 2003.

Simple Wood-Floor Fixes

Two traditional fixes for damaged and worn wood floors can add years to their lifespan.

The demand for wood floors at the turn of the 20th century led to long-handled scrapers--a tool designed to increase production but one that was criticized for mediocre results. (Photo: National Archives Associates)

Wood Floor Finishing Techniques

Two finishing techniques of the past, scraping and filling, help make wood floors look their best today.

using borate to treat wood rot

Battling Wood Rot & Termites With Borate

Borate gets new attention as a less toxic safeguard against wood rot and wood-destroying insects, such as termites.

Products of the Week

Indow Windows

Indow Window Inserts

Enjoy modern comfort while preserving the charm of your original windows. Indow window inserts press inside your window frames without a mounting bracket to give you all the comfort and efficiency of high-end replacement windows.

Indow’s compression-fit acoustic panel, interior storm windows

Window Inserts

Save energy. Reduce noise.