PC Petrified Wood Hardener

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Forum topic by M2D2 posted 05-07-2018 12:31 AM 2543 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 935 days

05-07-2018 12:31 AM

Hey All,

It was suggested to me, that the use PC Petrified wood hardener applied to wood, would be a good idea as not all parts of wood are hard and consistent, some maybe soft? I’m having difficulty in understanding if its a resin based substance (comes pre-mixed in a bottle), also is there another means without adding joints or epoxy to fix cracks in wood?


8 replies so far

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2398 days

#1 posted 05-07-2018 12:54 AM

What exactly are you attempting to repair? To fill checks or solidifying punky wood?

View M2D2's profile


26 posts in 935 days

#2 posted 05-07-2018 06:05 AM

here’s the slab. I don’t know if I need to use a hardener at all. It was “suggested” to me. It may not be required step in the finishing process. There are some cracks that run in the middle. I’d like to stop them from getting bigger, but, I can’t use epoxy due to environment. And I don’t have the skill level to create those dovetail things that stop the crack from growing. The guy said to use a hardener, because the wood will have different densities. But i’m not 100% sure it would make a difference if it does. Its spalted maple.

View mel52's profile


1695 posts in 1144 days

#3 posted 05-07-2018 06:52 PM

I am sure you HAVE the skill to build those ( little dovetail things ), I was in the same thought process and was told to just practice a little on scrap pieces. I may not be the best at it now, but do them more frequently and they look pretty good. I also do all mine, so far, mostly with hand tools, less chance of mistake than with power tools.

-- MEL, Kansas

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2398 days

#4 posted 05-08-2018 08:55 AM

I have no experience with premixed wood hardeners. I have used clear penetrating epoxy sealer (CPES) on punky wood before with good results. It was used on heavily spalted bowl blanks, have not tried it on flat work but i would expect equal results.

CPES is very thin allowing it to penetrate deeply into the wood fibers in need of repair. I would assume the premixed wood hardeners are super thin as well. They would be a poor choice for gap filling applications. The PC website says it preps wood for filling, priming and painting.

The premixed wood hardeners could also have color to them, again no experience with them. CPES is clear.

With all of that said, I can’t see any places in the slab pictured that seem too bad or in need of solidifying. I would personally use an epoxy resin to fill the checks but butterfly keys would also be a good choice. Really depends on the look you are after.

What about the environment would rule out expoxy resin fillers?

View M2D2's profile


26 posts in 935 days

#5 posted 05-08-2018 11:57 AM

Hey Joey,

I actually called the company that makes PC Petrifier that wood hardener, turns out, the guy who suggested, was wrong. I gotta actually return it and get something called PC Wood Epoxy, it apparently has low VOC’s. I’m doing this in my little apartment I’ve sectioned off the dining area (L shape living/dining combo), 7×10 feet, so I’d prefer not to gas myself to the high heavens. You gotta use the space you got, and the things available to you. If I had a nice big acreage, I’d build my own workshop. But that’s just not an option at this stage, as you can see, I’ve already flattened one side.

In my finishing my process, I’m thinking that I would use that wood epoxy to fill up any small cracks or voids. at this stage there’s nothing super large. While they appear long, I think the widest I’ve observed is maybe 1/8th inch. I just want to stop it from getting bigger. So the epoxy should fix that up. Then sand it smooth.

I already attempted sanding 1 side, with 36G belt, but it really didn’t take much off from what I saw, so I’m gonna try with 80G next then 120G.

TO actually finish, I’m gonna see if I can get some dye tints. It is spalted maple, So I’d like the veiny black lines in it and grains to really pop out more, so I’m thinking vintage chery, or cinnamon or med. brown. Its gonna be on pipe legs (hammered silver) so the contrast should work out, but not 100% sure hence some test samples.

What I’m not sure on is…do I go with General Finishes – water based DYE stain, or do I mix it myself with an anilene powder dye (,190,42942) I really like the coloration in this picture….so its what I’m going to strive for.

It says in the article, that it was amber shellac, that said, I know shellac is good for finishes, the thing is, is it good for table top or desk finish, where things could be spilt on it. SO did he color the shellac amber russet with the dye directly, or are they 2 separate stages? To avoid blotching I’ve read that you can use 1/2 pound cut of shellac that acts like a conditioner so that the wood takes a more uniformed coloration when dye is applied. The example maybe just a touch to amber though, again I have to do some sample tests.

But from what I’m thinking….and reading….

1. Epoxy fill and sand.
2. 1/2 pound cut shellac and light sand?
3. Dye application repeat until desired color.
4. Shellac full strength probably 3 – 5 coats.
5. From some youtube video’s it seems General Arm top coat (oil based) would probably protect the top surface fine

Did I miss anything? Am I doing too much, too little? Anything words of wisdom anyone can offer? Are powder dye’s better than pre-mixed? Is Step 4 Shellac and Top coating 5, the best finishing for a table top? Do I need both?

Anyone really skillled and experienced in to hear from you ..

Thanks for in put folks

View LittleShaver's profile


695 posts in 1499 days

#6 posted 05-08-2018 12:25 PM

3-5 coats for full strength shellac is a bit much. I’d go with 1.5 lb cut and 2 or 3 coats for color and if you’re going to top coat with varnish. I’ve not used General Arm, but a poly top coat (3-4 coats) will give you the protection you need for table or desk.
Test your full schedule on scrap, you can always adjust and do another test if you don’t like the results. Much better than having to re-sand or strip your project if you don’t like the results.

-- Sawdust Maker

View M2D2's profile


26 posts in 935 days

#7 posted 05-08-2018 12:39 PM

LittleShaver: Do you add the dye directly into the 1.5LB cut of shellac then? So you combine the dyeing stage with the shellac’ing stage?

View buckhorn_cortez's profile


7 posts in 923 days

#8 posted 05-10-2018 03:14 AM

If you’re using a dye stain, that has to be put on first or it will not penetrate the wood. Shellac is a barrier coat. If you sand the wood, then put shellac on it, you’ve sealed the wood and either a water-based, or alcohol-based dye stain will not penetrate – you’ve blocked the wood with the shellac.

You can put oil stains, or gel stains over shellac and they will work fine as they have pigment in them. Another way to approach this is to add dye to the shellac coat for a toned shellac base coat.

You have to be careful with putting shellac over dye stains as the alcohol in the shellac can interact with the dye stain causing the stain to lift from the wood. If you put shellac over dye stain, do not heavily brush the surface, simply use a well loaded shellac brush and make ONE pass per stroke – do not attempt to smooth or brush the shellac again as it may lift the stain.

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