How to Remove Stain from Wood in 2023
Contents hide What is Needed to Remove Stain from Wood? Prepare the Work Space and the Surface The Process of Removing Stain: Step-by-Step Instructions... How to Remove Stain from Wood in 2023

Staining can be a messy process, and it can happen that you either spill some paint on your work desk or use a little too much on your project. Also, when the time comes to repaint and freshen up your wooden surfaces, it can be useful to remove old stains from wood before you apply new colors.

Whatever your reason might be to learn how to remove stain from wood, here are some tips from my experience on the best way to strip stain from wood, sanding stained wood, and also some ideas on how to remove stain from wooden furniture without damaging your materials.

What is Needed to Remove Stain from Wood?

Removing wood stain is not very complicated, although it can be very sensitive. The key point is to choose the right tools and paste to disintegrate the paint, but not to put too much pressure on the surface of the wood for you can make scratches that are hard to recover.

Depending on which stains for wood you have been using, there are three ways to remove the paint. Both water paint, heat paint, and very dark and persistent paint can be removed with the material you already have in your house and workshop: toothpaste, non-gel paste, baking soda, sandpaper, bleach, petroleum, rubber gloves, cotton cloth.
More resilient stain is to be removed in a rougher way that comes close to removing wood glue. For stripping stain from wood you would need a chemical stripper, a plastic scraper, and a respirator mask to prevent you from inhaling the toxic substances.

Prepare the Work Space and the Surface

If you know how to stain wood and prepare the space for painting, you will also prepare the workshop for removing the stain as well. Make sure to have a clear space and protect your desk and surroundings from chemicals and paste you will be using. Also, you should create a draft of fresh air not to contaminate your room.

The Process of Removing Stain: Step-by-Step Instructions

The only right way of how to remove stain from woodwork is to be very gentle and careful the whole time. The best way to remove stain from wood is to use natural wood stain remover, whenever it is possible. 

Here are the key steps to removing wood stains:

Step 1: Prepare your workspace.

Your area of work should be spacy, comfortable, and safe from any damages.

Step 2: Clean the surface that you are removing the stain from.

A simple wipe with a wet cloth will do, to remove dust layer that is covering the wood.

Step 3: Prepare the paste for stain removal.

If you are removing water stains, a basic non-gel toothpaste is enough to do the trick. You can also use petroleum jelly as an alternative, or make your own paste by combining baking soda with water in a 50/50 ratio.

For heat stains, your substance should combine toothpaste and baking soda, which is more aggressive approach for persistent colors.

For dark stains, you should use a chemical wood stripper that you would need to purchase special. Also, for this activity you will need to use protection: rubber gloves and a mask.

Step 4: Remove wood stain.

Apply the paste to the cloth and brush gently over the stain. If you use petroleum jelly, let it soak overnight and wipe it off the next morning.

With resilient stains, you should strip stained wood with a plastic scraper and a heavy grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Sand the wood surface.

Use a fine-grit sandpaper to polish the residual stain left after the treatment.

Step 6: Clean the wood after finishing.

Especially after applying the wood stain stripper, you should know how to clean wood stain properly. Rub it in circular moves gently with a wet collon cloth to take off the heavy chemicals.

Tips for Removing Stain from Wood

Whenever it is possible, use only natural wood stain remover substance. Even with resilient stains, it is always better to sand the surface layer of the stain. The matter of how to choose sandpaper for this task depends on how thick the stain coat is on your wood.

The principle is simple of how to sand stained wood. You should go easy and pay attention not to damage and scratch the wood itself. If the paint is resistant, you can use electric sanders to make your job easier.


Can you remove dark stain from wood?

It can be tricky how to remove dark stain from wood because not all are the same thickness and deep in the wood the same way. For darker shades, it is usually best to strip stain from wood. However, a stain stripper used for such agressive removals usually contains heavy chemicals so you have to be careful not to damage the actual wood surface.

How to strip stain from wood also involves mechanical removal with a plastic scrapper. Stripping stained wood is a process that you should try only if the natural paste doesn’t show effects.

How do you remove wood stain from wood?

How to remove wood stain is a very simple process especially if you were working with water, oil, or gel stains that are made of natural extracts. To remove stain from wood, you should apply a layer of homemade paste and wipe it slowly with a cotton cloth. This is how you make a simple stain remover for wood furniture, but for more resilient and dark paints you should go with wood stain stripping instead.

Jeff Richardson Editor

Passionate about wood carving since high school. Always been able to relax while carving. 7 years ago, I decided to dedicate my whole time to wood carving; this is when I started my blog. I am a fan of DIY, fitness, and crafts. Also, I love to spend time with my friends, carving something out of wood. I hope you enjoy my articles.

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