How to Make Dark Stained Wood Lighter?

There is a dark stained wooden table in your house, and you are thinking about what to do with that?

Because all the other furniture you have is light-colored and that table does not look good with them.

So, what can you do to make the table look appropriate with other furniture? The answer is simple, remove the dark stain from that.

But, how to make dark stained wood lighter?

how to make dark stained wood lighter

There is a huge variety of woods that are used to make furniture.

Some woods like Mahogany, Walnut, Ebony are naturally dark in color. But other woods like Oak, Maple, Cedar are light colored.

Typically, wooden furniture is stained. If you color the wood light over the dark stain, it will not help. The dark color will still be visible.

So, removing that dark stain will lighten the furniture color.

How to Make Dark Stained Wood Lighter: A Step by Step Process

To make a dark stained wood lighter, remove the topcoat using sandpaper after applying the chemical stripper. Using a paintbrush, apply bleach on the dark stained wood. Remove the bleach using a vinegar solution. After drying the wood, sand it to make it smooth. Apply topcoat to prevent damage to the wood.

Lightening the dark stain from wood is not that difficult. With the help of a few simple tools, you can easily do that on your own.

There are different methods of doing that. Lightening the color of the wooden furniture will give that a new look.

The old piece of furniture will look like a new one. So, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to replace old furniture.

Step 1: Gather the essential equipment

First, you need to gather all the necessary stuff for this project. Safety first; make sure to have protective gear like gloves, masks, and glasses.

You will need a wood scraper, varnish, vinegar, wood bleach, 100-grit sandpaper, rags, and water.

These will be enough to lighten the dark wood stain. Using proper equipment will make the work easy for you.

You can find these products at a hardware store near your home. And they will not cost much.

And you will save a considerable amount of money to buy new furniture.

Step 2: Remove the topcoat

Before starting any other process, remove the top coal first. Your furniture may have a top protective coat of varnish or polyurethane.

If you begin bleaching or painting the wood in light color without removing the topcoat, it will not work.

You can use sandpaper or a scraper to remove the polyurethane coat. Or you can use a chemical stripper too.

For this, apply the stripper evenly on the surface and wait for a few minutes. The stripper will start working.

Then with the help of a scraper, remove the topcoat. You can use steel wool or sandpaper too.

This will eliminate the plastic coat completely. Allow the wood to dry completely before doing further process.

Step 3: Prepare the wood bleach solution

Using bleach is the best way to lighten any dark color. There is wood bleach available in the market which you can use in this project.

You can use two-part bleach for a better result. It will work with water-based and oil-based wood stain. Wear safety gear before working with bleach.

So, it cannot cause any irritation on your skin. Follow the instruction given on the packaging. Pour the equal parts of bleach in a container and mix.

Step 4: Apply the bleach on the wood

After preparing the bleach, take a paintbrush to do the work. Dip the brush into the bleach mixture and apply a thin layer of it.

Make sure to cover the whole wood surface evenly with a thin coating. Then let it sit there for about half an hour.

The bleach will start working, and you will notice the color going light.

Step 5: Remove the bleach

After 30 minutes, you must remove the bleach from the wood. For this, take a container and pour equal parts of water and vinegar and mix.

This mixture will neutralize the wood bleach. Take a piece of cloth or rag and soak it in the vinegar solution. Wipe the wood with that rag.

This step will stop the bleach from working further.

After that, take another cloth and soak in clean water. Wipe the entire wood surface with that wet cloth. This will clean the vinegar solution too.

Step 6: Dry the wood completely

With a clean, dry cloth, wipe the wood. Make sure to wipe all the excess moisture. Then let the wood dry.

Keep the piece of furniture in an open and dry place. Leave it there overnight in the open air. You will see the result the next morning.

If you want the color to be a little lighter, repeat the bleaching process. If the color is perfect, go for the next step.

Step 7: Sand the wood and make it smooth

The whole bleaching process will make the wood grainy. To smooth that out, use 100-grit sandpaper. Sand the wood surface completely.

Keep doing this until the wood is smooth. This will make the surface even.

Step 8: Apply wood color if necessary

This step is optional. If you are going for a different color then, this is the perfect time for doing that.

Or to get that ideal light color, apply wood color. With a paintbrush, apply it evenly. Then dry the wood.

Step 9: Apply a topcoat

After doing the whole process, you need to apply a topcoat on the wood. This coat will protect the wood from damage and will keep the color perfect.

You should go for a polyurethane finish or wood varnish for this. Take a paintbrush and apply the finish evenly on the wood. Then let the coat dry completely.

These are very simple steps. If done right, this whole process will lighten the wood color. Your dark-stained wooden furniture will get a new life.

You don’t have to throw away your old furniture anymore Because of dark color. Just follow these steps and lighten the color.

The furniture will look like new. This process will also remove dark spots from wood. And will make it look even tone.

Make sure to wear safety gear like gloves and glasses before doing any of the steps to prevent injuries and skin irritation.


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