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Bottom of the wooden bannister post at my house in Thailand is 50% rotten, what can I do?

Reader’s E-mail:

About half of one of the main posts holding up the wooden banister rail on my balcony is rotten at the bottom. i think it will cost more than I can afford it to get it replaced. Any suggestions on a ‘cheap fix’? PS. I have no carpentry skills or tools.

Reply from Thailand Info

I had the same problem a few years back, and I fixed it for about 400 THB. It took me an hour in total and it is still holding solid.

Dig Out the Rotten Wood

What I did was to dig out the rotten wood out, which went some way down into the area where the wooden post was set into the concrete. If you do this make sure you get all the rotten wood out first or the repair won’t hold. I then filled the whole with a two-part epoxy resin I bought from my local Home Mart in Thailand.

Two-Part Epoxy Resin

Home Mart sells two-part epoxy resins in small plastic packs. The best ones contain two separate foil packages which you open and mix together in your hands. You need to mix the two Plasticine like substance together just before you are about to use them so get all your prep done first. The recommended advice is to wear rubber gloves. Like Plasticine, this type of epoxy resin is easy to mould into a shape and work with on this type of repair although a vertical surface it will ‘sag’ a bit and you will need to adjust it a few times by pushing it back into shape whilst it dries.

Sand Down and Paint Once Its Dry

I had to use three packets because of the size of the hole in the post, hence the cost (it was a big hole in a thick piece of wood). Once it has set solid I sanded it down and painted the area with wood stain to make it blend in. I was very pleased with the result, it has held solid for over three years now, stopped any more wood going rotten, and you would have to look very carefully to tell the difference. Easy DIY job and very cheap.

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