How to Restore Cracked Painted Wooden Columns

Painted wooden columns give a home's plain-looking exterior an elegant appearance and support an overhanging structure, such as a deck or porch roof. Cracks in a painted wooden column allow water to seep into the column's recesses. Usually the deep areas within the crack remain moist at all times, creating an ideal habitat for insects. The constant exposure to moisture eventually rots the columns. Restoring a painted wooden column prevents the moisture- and bug-caused damage from expanding to the solid portions of the column.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-grit sanding pad

  • Wood chisel

  • Hammer

  • Wood preservative

  • Paint brushes

  • Two-part wood epoxy putty

  • Bucket

  • Margin trowel

  • Hand broom

  • Primer paint

  • Finish paint

Step 1

Sand the column's surface with a medium-grit sanding pad. Remove all of the old paint around each crack and scuff the surface of the column's remaining paint. Use the edge of the sanding pad to reach the deep areas of the column's decorative designs.

Step 2

Remove any soft or rotten wood from the column, using a wood chisel and hammer to excavate the damaged area.

Step 3

Treat the wooden column's excavated areas and cracks with a wood preservative, using a paintbrush to force the preservative into the deep recesses. Discard the paintbrush. Let the wood preservative dry completely before continuing.

Step 4

Mix a two-part wood putty in a bucket with a margin trowel, following the wood putty manufacturer's instructions. A two-part wood putty, an exterior-grade epoxy putty, withstands weather and will not crack or crumble as it ages.

Step 5

Fill the wooden column's cracks and excavated areas with the putty, using the margin trowel's blade to force the putty into the cracks. Mold the putty to match the wooden column's shape, using the trowel's blade as a carving tool along the column's designs. Let the putty dry completely before continuing.

Step 6

Smooth the wooden column's putty patches with the medium-grit sanding pad. Sand each putty patch until it matches the wooden column's shape.

Step 7

Clean the dust and debris from the wooden column with a hand broom.

Step 8

Coat the wooden column with a primer paint, using a paintbrush to apply the primer. Pay special attention to the column's putty patches. Clean or discard the paintbrush. Let the primer paint dry completely before continuing.

Step 9

Cover the wooden column's primer paint with a finish paint, using a paint brush to coat the column. Clean or discard the paintbrush. Let the finish paint dry. Apply a second coat of finish paint, if required.

References & Resources