Can Wood Hardener Be Used On New Wood?

Do you have a new wooden surface that you need to protect and want to know how can wood hardener be used on new wood?

Protecting new wood is essential. Doing so will prolong its life and make it resistant to moisture and insects.

Let’s see how a wood hardener can help you preserve a new wooden surface.

Can Wood Hardener Be Used on New Wood?

Wood hardener is a liquid-based compound used to strengthen rotten wood, making it resistant to moisture and enhancing its appearance.

You can also use wood hardener on new wood to:

●      Protect it from future rot and moisture

●      Enhance its visual appearance

●      Fill cracks and holes.

As you can see, a wood hardener is especially useful for preserving new wood and prolonging its life. The application process is simple, and we will cover it further in the article, together with all the benefits, in more detail.

However, we must first distinguish between an epoxy resin and a wood hardener.

Read more: Top 9 Wood Magazines For Woodworkers

Is wood hardener a type of epoxy?

Wood hardener is a type of epoxy, as they both have wood-strengthening properties.

Epoxy resin differs from a wood hardener because it can fill dents and holes primarily in healthy wood. It gives the wood a more aesthetic look as it hardens with glass-like properties.

Another difference between epoxy and wood hardeners is the consistency. Wood hardeners are often low-density quick drying liquids; you can apply wood hardeners with a brush.

On the other hand, epoxy usually consists of a liquid resin and a chemical hardener, which you mix and then become hardened plastic.

Epoxy cures fast, releasing heat from the chemical reaction between the resin and the hardener. That is why it is advisable to mix small batches at a time. Wood hardener, on the other hand, takes anywhere between two to four hours to cure.

Even though wood hardener and epoxy both strengthen the wood, they have different properties and applications.

Read more: 5 Fun Woodworking Projects – Amazing Plans

Does Minwax Wood Hardener Actually Harden Wood?

[affiliate_video_pro id=”vi163dfbb4bc8252″]

Benefits of Using Wood Hardener on New Wood

While wood hardeners are mainly used for preserving rotten wood, you can also use them on new wood, resulting in several benefits:

1. It strengthens new wood.

The first and most important benefit of using a wood hardener is that it enhances the durability and strength of new wood. What does this mean?

As wood is the only construction material most vulnerable to environmental changes, it will rot and decay very rapidly if left unprotected. It is most susceptible to moisture, insects, and bacteria, which can prove fatal, especially for load-bearing wood.

A wood hardener prevents this type of damage, sealing the surface of the wood, and protecting it against the outside elements. This protective layer enables the wood to remain strong and healthy for a very long period.

2. It fills holes and cracks in new wood.

Together with strengthening, a wood hardener fills any cracks and dents in imperfectly cut new wood.

Since wood hardeners are low-viscosity liquids, they are more suitable for filling shallow dents in wood rather than more significant gaps. You may need to apply several coats of wood hardener for deeper holes.

You will also use wood hardeners to fill cracks and holes in wood, mainly used for support and construction rather than furniture. For furniture, a better solution would be to use epoxy resin, which is more challenging to apply.

3. It enhances the appearance of new wood.

A wood hardener provides an added benefit to strengthening the wood and filling dents. It also enhances its appearance, but only slightly. But why?

That is because the primary purpose of a wood hardener is to protect the wood. Not to say that it can’t enhance its appearance, although it would take multiple coats (more than five) to achieve it.

In any case, using wood hardener will enhance the appearance of wood, but not to the extent you would expect if you used epoxy resin, for example.

Read more: List Of Must Have Hand Wood Working Tools

How to Use Wood Hardener on New Wood

Using a wood hardener is relatively easy, and you will only need a clean brush to apply it. We will cover all the steps below.

1. Prepare the wood

Before applying the wood hardener, ensure the entire surface of the wood is clean of sawdust and debris. Chip off any pieces of unwanted wood using a chisel, and smoothen the surface out.

Give the surface one final wipe with a damped cloth, as this will pick up any dust and debris left on the wood.

2. Apply the wood hardener

Once the surface is ready, start applying the wood hardener with clean, straight brush strokes. Make sure to use as much of the hardener as you need and cover the surface evenly.

Also, use the brush to get into each corner and dent the wood. Take your time, and don’t rush the process.

For regular use, We recommend putting in at least two coats of wood hardener, which is enough to protect the wood long-term. But if you want a shiny and more appealing look, you must apply at least five coats. Note that each coat takes at least two to four hours to cure and become dry to the touch.

3. Finish the wood

After applying the last layer, let the wood hardener dry completely, which usually takes 6-12 hours, depending on the compound.

You can then apply paint to the wood or add an additional protective coat for maximum durability.

Read more: 6 Important Facts About Router For Woodworking

Things to Consider When Choosing a Wood Hardener

Before choosing a wood hardener, there are several things you should consider.

1. The price and quality of the wood hardener

The quality of a wood hardener will mostly depend on its price. More expensive wood hardeners, like the Minwax High-Performance Wood Hardener, are more costly but have a higher quality formula that penetrates deep and seals all cracks and dents.

On the other hand, if you’re working on a smaller, not-so-important project, then going for a cheaper alternative than a Minwax wood hardener will also work fine.

2. The drying time and ease of use

Wood hardeners are easy to use, but that can mostly depend on the drying time. Many have a fast drying time, so you must work quickly.

If you have yet to gain experience with this compound, we recommend choosing one with at least two to four hours of drying time.

3. The coverage area and shelf life

Lastly, consider how much area a single package of wood hardener will cover. If you only have a small wood area to cover, it doesn’t make sense to purchase a large container that will be left unused. Most wood hardeners have a 12-month shelf life if stored at room temperature.

On the other hand, if you need to cover a larger area, measure it and purchase the right amount of hardener so that you don’t run out in the middle of the job.

Read more: A Handy Woodworking Power Tools List for Woodworkers


As you can see, a wood hardener is an excellent choice for preserving old and new wooden surfaces.

Even though it doesn’t produce an excellent finish result like epoxy resins, it is still easier to use and has a longer drying time, which makes it ideal for beginner and hobby users.

So, can wood hardener be used on new wood? Now that you have learned, you can confidently protect your new wooden surface and keep it safe from long-term damage.

Scroll to Top