How To Remove Stains From Unfinished Wood

In the upper Midwest of the United States it is pretty easy to find quality, local lumber or salvaged wood. Unlike paint, both water-based and oil-based stains are absorbed into the wood rather than laying on top of it. For that reason, the natural wood colour will blend with the colour of the stain you choose. Use a sanding block when sanding the edges of wood to keep your work surface flat as you smooth it. After the test board dries, examine the results in different light and locations to see which amount of stain gives the most appealing results. A light stain could help bring the two tones into the same family, or at least make it more difficult to detect.

If the wood in your deck is pressure-treated with CCA, the EPA recommends using a semi-transparent stain, which tends to penetrate wood and seal in the arsenic, preventing it from leaching out. The longer the stain is left on, the deeper and richer the colour will be. For consistent colour, use careful timing. The first is my own Eastern White Pine floor that I sanded and finished about 22 years ago with 4 coats of satin poly.

If you’re curious about the wood conditioner in the background of that picture, note that I purposefully tested an area with it, as one might commonly do with soft woods, but found that the semi-transparent outdoor deck stain specifically repelled against it. It didn’t seem to do much for the Sunbleached stain either, so I abandoned the idea of using it.

It does not tend to turn blotchy, but like all woods it will stain more evenly after an application of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner or Minwax®Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner To insure that any stain penetrates and fills oak’s deep pores, apply a liberal amount of stain to the wood, then work it into the pores using a cloth in a swirling motion.

Hi Angie – If you want to paint the piece, not use black stain on it, you do not have to remove all the poly, but you do need to sand the surface to provide some tooth” so the paint has something to adhere to. You mentioned the piece has a lot of poly on it. If this is so, when painted over…you may see all the imperfections in the level of the poly.

Gel stains don’t require as much absorption to work and you can leave it a little heavy in the light areas. I just finished sanding the beams of my vaulted pine ceiling in my living room. If it’s too light just apply another coat of stain and keep repeating this process until you match the tone of the rest of the wood. For those looking for darker colors, check out this post to make dark brown and black stain or this post to make dark cherry or mahogany colored stain.

And yes, a light coat of shellac with still allow a water-based stain to penetrate and stain the wood, although the color will be lighter than it would be on raw wood. Yes, our colour swatches show this stain on pine but it can be used on any wood. Whether you’ll ever be able to remove the stain depends on a couple of factors, namely, the type and condition of the wood and the kind of stain you’re dealing with, but under the best of circumstances many stains will be permanent. Oil finishes are applied to the wood and allowed to soak for a certain amount of time.

He said the whole process of end grain getting darker than long grain is because it isn’t sanded as smoothly, so it takes the stain more readily. However, applying multiple coats of stain isn’t always the best way to achieve a deeper color. After testing both stain colors with those methods I realized neither color was really the result I needed. I have now applied two layers of stains and there are spots that remain very light where the veneer comes through.

If so, you might want to try some darker stain in the filled areas to help blend it in. I don’t think a do-over is in order though since the filler will never quite absorb the stain in the same way the wood does. To reduce any blotchiness, first apply a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner Even then, it is advisable to only stain maple with light to medium coloured stains. The trim and walls have been painted, new wood blinds, furniture, and lamps added.

I was hoping to go directly to gray and not have to stain it dark and then use white wash or liming wax to lighten it. I know traditionally staining & MDF don’t really go together, but what I’m after is actually the look of staining under a chalk paint or crackle medium distress finish (so not necessarily a wood grain look). MDF is tricky to stain becasue it’s so absorptive it’s tough to get a uniform look without using a lot of product. Less expensive than hard maple, birch is often substituted for maple in furniture and kitchen cabinets.stains for pine wood

Have a look at how differently the second table reacted to the stain – it looks much darker – or should I say, parts of the boards look darker! Eliminating all of that store-bought smoothness gave our stain a more worn surface to react with; we think that helped a lot, you’ll see in the final pictures. Experimenting with ratios and application time will yield different results, so best to try a few techniques out on some similar scrap wood first.

There could always be adhesion issues between the stain and the existing finish. First, however, a warning is needed: there is zero ‘truth in advertising’ in the finish industry. I recently built a bench for my entry out of pine and used the Classic Gray stain again and absolutely love how it looks. This type of stain has to be stirred periodically during use because the pigment falls to the bottom in a mud-like layer.

Uneven staining is alive and well in this situation, but deep dark staining is also needed, which may not work if the wood is pretreated for uneven staining. I’m attempting to stain dining room wainscotings in my 100 year-old craftsman home. I also experimented with a latex-based stain and boiled linseed oil on the end grain and was pleased with the results.

The main difference here is that wax is easily removed at any time with thinner, because it never hardens like the binder in regular stain. It’s also a good idea to use paste wax on furniture finished using penetrating oils. Leave the lye solution on the wood only until you have good color, usually just a few minutes. If you want to stain it a gel stain would be the best choice as it will go on evenly. Visit the General Finishes Design Center OR Pinterest Board for furniture paint ideas.