Water soluble stain is applied to wooden furniture or floors to create a darker color than the wood naturally offers. However, if the darker color is no longer desired or a lighter stain is required, the existing stain must be removed through sanding and applying two-part hydrogen peroxide bleach. This process, though somewhat tedious, paves the way to a new look that is much cheaper than replacing items.
Place the furniture item on a plastic tarp or other material to protect the area. Sand all surfaces of the wood with an oscillating tool equipped with a hook and loop pad accessory and 120-grit sandpaper to remove dirt, oil and debris. Sand with the grain, never against it. Use a clean painter's brush to remove all dust left from the sanding process. Pay special attention to any furniture joints or detailed areas.
Read the two-part hydrogen peroxide bleach manufacturer's instructions on the two cartons. Depending on the manufacturer, some require that equal amounts from each carton be mixed together prior to application, while others require application from one carton onto the wood surface, then the other carton to the wood surface. In either case, wear rubber gloves and apply the bleach with a household kitchen sponge to flat areas, and use a clean painters brush to apply the bleach to all joints and detailed areas.
Sponge over the entire area with vinegar wash to neutralize the bleach. Then sponge over the entire area with water (don't allow too much vinegar wash or water onto the sponge, to prevent saturating the wood.
Wait 48 hours for the wood to completely dry. Sand over the entire area using the oscillating tool. Clean away all dust left form the sanding, using the painter's brush -- pay special attention to all joints and detailed areas. Run a tack cloth over the entire area to remove all finer sanded particles.
Tips & Warnings
- Avoid using an orbital sander as it will leave swirl marks in the finish.
- Wear protective eye gear when operating power tools.
Things You'll Need:
- Plastic tarp
- Fine sandpaper
- Oscillating tool
- Hook and loop pad accessory
- 220-grit sandpaper
- 2 clean painter's brushes
- Two-part hydrogen peroxide bleach
- Rubber gloves
- 2 kitchen sponges
- Tack cloth
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images