Eco-Friendly Wood Hardener Alternatives for Your Home

You simply don’t want to lose a piece of wood if you already know its versatility and the way you can harden it to make a perfect piece of art. A woodworker has to come out with ways that will harden the piece of wood.

Apart from using a traditional chemical-based hardener, a wood hardener alternative can save your money and trouble to a great extent. You just need to learn the alternative ways for your own advantage.

Basically, there are many alternatives that will harden or stabilize your wood. Among them,polycryl wood fortifier, epoxy resin, any commercial wood hardener like Minwax wood hardener, using fire, and many other homemade methods are famous for hardening wood.

Let’s talk broadly about them.                      

Alternative Methods of Hardening Your Wood

From adopting cheap ways to expensive ways, you can harden your ways by taking many alternative methods. These methods are effective, reliable, and mostly, long-lasting. You just have to pick on examining your wood condition because not all the methods are applicable for every kind of wood and its condition.

Polycryl Wood Fortifier

Polycryl wood fortifier is a hardener that you can use as an alternative way to a wood hardener. This fortifier basically hardens the surface of the wood. It does not penetrate deeper into the wood fiber so, you need to keep that in mind.

The application of this fortifier is almost pretty much the same as the application of other wood hardeners. A generous coating of Polycryl wood fortifier will close the pores of wood and let the surface look tight and shiny, and it prevents the wood from damaging for a pretty long time.

Epoxy Resin

Another great alternative to wood hardener is epoxy resin. It makes the wood surface strong and the wood fiber stronger. There are several types of epoxy resins available. Bring the strongest one to make your wood harder. It will even mend your brittle wood.

Epoxy gets mixed with water and you need to make a thick texture by mixing them together. Then the application of epoxy resin will work efficiently. To get better performance, you can make drill right into your wood surface and pour some epoxy resin mixture to embody the strength of wood fiber within.

Fire Method

This firing method as an alternative to wood hardener is unique and risky at the same time. But this process comes around traditionally and it is effective. To make this method work you need to put your wood in a fire pit and lit a fire using charcoal or firewood.

Make sure the heat is under control and won’t burn the wood pieces as the wood pieces should be placed at least six inches high from the fire beneath. This method actually removes the moisture from the wood and makes the fiber bonds strong.


Using pentacyl for hardening the wood may cost you a little bit more but the result it provides is amazing. After applying this hardener you need to cover up the wood pieces with a plastic bag so the molecules of air don’t cause any reaction with it. Also, this way the wood can soak the hardener in a good environment.

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Once the wood pieces have soaked the hardener, unpack them from the plastic bag and let them dry in a drying space. Once they are cured, the wood is hard enough not to break easily.

Acrylic Resin

As epoxy resin is chemical-based and can react with air and irritate your nose or other body organs, you can adopt acrylic resin instead. It is water-based but has hard polymer emulsions. So, it works on wood pretty well. It is a safer option for DIYers who have sensitivity towards harsh chemical-based hardeners. You need to infuse this acrylic resin into your wood to harden it.

Natural Oils

If you massage your wood surface with a natural oil like linseed or Tung oil, you will see your wood getting hardened with time. Though the surface takes time to be cured completely, this natural process is the easiest one. It creates a barrier for penetrating moisture or water and thus tightens your wood.

Homemade Hardener

This homemade hardener requires ingredients that are water, salt, cornstarch, and egg white. You need to mix them all together until you get a paste-like texture. Once you get the texture, apply it to the surface of the wood and then let the wood cure and you’re all done with hardening your wood.

Cheap Alternatives

You can use a screw as a cheap stabilizer of wood. For thinner wood pieces, screwing nails or brads to the wood is not a very bad idea. Besides, you can use glue and fix your damaged pieces of wood apparently.

Commercial Hardener

There are several commercial wood hardeners available in the market like the Minwax one. These hardeners are chemical-based. You might need to deal with them carefully. However, they efficiently harden your wood with the least possible hassle.

There are countless other many alternatives ways to wood hardener. Whatever way you adopt make sure you wear hand gloves, a mask, eye goggles, and a suit if possible. This is for your own safety. 

DIY Wood Hardener: Make a Homemade Wood Hardener by Yourself

Wood Hardener Alternatives

As a DIYer, you should know how to make a wood hardener by yourself so you don’t have to depend on commercial wood hardener during a hard time. Save your energy, time, and money, and let yourself flourish by being self-dependent.

Besides, some kind of wood needs instant stabilizer, otherwise, the moisture in them ruins them to be efficient anymore. If you need an instant process to save your softwood and make it stabilize, follow this method we are providing now.

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

First, you need to collect the ingredients that this method requires. These ingredients are easy to get and you should have them if you are a woodworker.

  • Resin
  • Wood flour
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Wiping rag
  • Sandpaper

Step 2: Make a Paste

Now that you have all the ingredients, we can move forward to make the hardener to save wood. For this take wood flour and some cup of water. You need to make a paste by mixing them together. So, pour water on the flour till it turns into a paste-like texture.

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To complete the mixing, add resin, the most important ingredient. It helps to harden your wood by lessening the moisture level from the wood. After pouring the resin, you need to stir it properly to make the paste work well.

Step 3: Prepare Your Wood

Now that the paste is ready, it’s time to make your wood ready to make it stable. For this, you need clean and make the surface of the wood dirt free. Dirt and debris should be out of the way before applying the next step.

You can sand the surface with sandpaper as well. The sanding will make the surface warm up and increase the penetration power of your wood.

Step 4: Brush the Hardener

After preparing both the wood hardener and the wood surface, now it’s time for applying the paste to the wood. Bring a paintbrush and brush the surface taking a generous amount of the paste. Now, where the damage of the wood is prominent, take good care of those areas and apply the paste gently. You’ve got to clean or wipe the extra paste from the surface with a wiping rag.

Step 5: Let It Soak and Dry

Now, let your wood soak the hardener so the hardener penetrates deep into your wood and works as an agent of reinforcement, and bonds the molecules tightly within the wood. Also, let the hardener dry completely as well. Give it a day or two and the surface will be dried.

Step 6: Apply a Topcoat and You’re Done Preserving

When the surface of the wood with the hardener is all dry, you can apply a topcoat to intact the hardener. This way you can preserve your wood for a longer period of time. Also, moisture cannot attract wood as well. Besides, the damages will be all gone for a longer period.

So, after applying a topcoat, let the wood take a rest for a day. And when it will be dry completely, you can preserve them in a storehouse for later use and that’s all about it.

How to Stabilize Wood or How to Harden Soft Wood

Stabilizing Wood is not difficult if you have any commercial wood hardener like Minwax wood hardener and some other basic stuff that we mentioned in the above section. It stops wood warping and prevents your wood from damaging and crumbling by lowering the moisture level. Also, this hardener helps to reinforce your wood in humidity too. Let’s go straight toward the steps.

Step 1: Prepare the Wood Surface

In the preparation process of the wood, you need to cut off decayed sections which cannot be restored in any possible way. Then, sand the space. With a rag clean off the surface. No dust, debris, oil, or paint should be on the surface, otherwise, your hardener will not work effectively. Also, clean the surface with a wet rag.

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Step 2: Make the Space Dry and Apply the Hardener

Before applying the hardener, the surface needs to be all dry. For a quick process, you can use a hairdryer and make the surface ready for the application of the wood hardener. However, after that, bring a Minwax wood hardener and a bristle paintbrush.

Dip the paintbrush into the can of the wood hardener and brush the surface of your wood properly. Apply it thoroughly and evenly.

Step 3: Let It Soak and Apply the Wood Hardener Again

After brushing the first coat of the wood hardener, you need to let the wood take a rest so it can soak the hardener. Then also, make sure the surface is cured for the second coating of the wood hardener. Apply the second coat in the same manner as the previous one.

If needed, then apply a third coat of the wood hardener in the same process. This second or third coating will help your wood to provide a hundred times better service.

Step 4: Add a Protective Coat and Sealer

To make your wood moisture-resistant apply a topcoat. Adopt polyurethane, stains, or varnish, whatever is within your grasp, and then apply the topcoat. Let it be cured and then apply a penetrating sealant to make your wood more moisture-resistant.

Step 5: Apply Wood Filler and It’s All Ready

This is the last step and an alternative one. You can stop at step 4 and preserve your wood in a storeroom for later usage. But if you find any void or gauge in the surface of the wood, then you can simply use a quality wood filler before applying topcoat or sealant.

Just fill the void with it and let it dry and you are all done with the process of turning your softwood into hardwood. Now place them in your storeroom that is dry and not damp.


What can I use as a wood hardener?

You can use numerous things like epoxy resin, any chemical-based commercial wood hardener, natural oil, or other many ways. But before that, you need to check the condition of your wood and select one way by examining the range of conditions.

What else can I use if I don’t have wood hardener?

You can use a mixture of glue and water instead of wood hardener.

How can I make my own wood hardener?

You can make your own wood hardener by mixing equal parts of polyurethane and acetone.

What’s in wood hardener?

Wood hardener usually contains a mixture of solvents and resins such as epoxy or polyurethane.

Does epoxy make wood stronger?

Yes, epoxy can make wood stronger.

How can I stabilize wood without chemicals?

You can stabilize wood naturally by drying it slowly or using heat and pressure.

Can varnish make wood harder?

Varnish can make wood harder, but it’s not as effective as a wood hardener.