Removing Exterior Wood Stain: Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

Exterior wood stain adds a rustic look to any piece of wood and makes it able to withstand the elements. Just as there are rules when you apply paint or stain, there are rules when removing them. You want to keep the wood looking nice and some mistakes can ruin the wood to such an extent that it can no longer be painted or stained. The following article will share with you tips on how to remove exterior wood stain, along with mistakes you can avoid.

Wrong Chemicals for Stain Removal

You have to keep in mind that exterior wood stain is not paint, and once it is set into the grain of the wood it is not easily removed. Using paint remover will not remove stain from wood. What will happen is that people will use these chemicals and various scrubbing implements and all that will happen is that the wood will get scratched. The only chemical that has a chance of working is using bleach. When you bleach the wood you are making the stain lighter. You do this until you can stain the wood again.

Steel Wool

Those who wish to remove wood stain will tend to use bleach to lighten the wood and employ the use of steel wool to work the bleach deeper into the grain. Though this is an acceptable method of removing stain, it is also as much a tip as it is a mistake. Using steel wool is not the problem, but using the wrong steel wool often is a problem. Thick steel wool will certainly damage the wood, but very fine steel wool will be acceptable.

Work Slowly

Exterior wood stain removal is a process and it cannot be rushed. Working too quickly can create a mess with little recourse to repairing the potential damage. Using bleach and steel wool to remove exterior wood stain can take many applications over several days in order to get a piece wood that can be stained or painted.

Too Much Bleach

Bleach is definitely a product that makes exterior wood stain removal a job that is somewhat easy. Some people are of the mindset that more is better. This is not so, as too much bleach will damage the wood. Dip your application instrument into the bleach and allow it drip off the excess before using it on the item you want to remove the exterior wood stain from. Apply the bleach in a thin coat and remove with a wet towel. Repeat until you have a final product you are happy with.

Not Enough Elbow Grease

There is always a worry that you will ruin the wood when trying to remove the stain. Bleach is harsh enough as it is, but add steel wool to the mix and you have a cocktail that screams damage. You need to apply pressure, very little pressure, but still need to scrub hard enough to remove a layer of the wood.