06:36PM | 07/20/04
Member Since: 07/19/04
1 lifetime posts
When I asked the hardware store clerk today how to remove water stains (from a rainstorm leak) on my pine wood wall, he suggested using a wood bleach. When he couldn't find any on the shelf, he told me I could use regular chlorine household bleach mixed 50/50. I did and applied it with fine steel wool. Now I have an entire pine wood wall that is grey! It is horrible and doesn't match the rest of the pine ceiling. Can you please help me!!! Thanks.


07:12AM | 07/21/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
558 lifetime posts
Chlorine bleach and oxalic acid are clearly different animals. Chlorine bleach is an alkaline oxidizer, and oxalic acid is an acidic reducer that in the environment completely breaks down to CO2 and water, leaving no residual. The term "bleach" simply refers to the lightening action of oxalic acid on wood. It actually removes oxygen and forms CO2, so its not an oxidizer. This renders tannin pigments colorless causing a lightening of the wood. A 50% mix of chlorine bleach is much too strong for most applications. It leaves an alkaline soapy residue. The alkaline residue can be neutalized with a weak acidic acid (1 part vinegar 2 parts water).

Sorry about the chemistry. Now, what to do. Tannin bleed was the problem you had. You never needed to bleach the wood to remove color, just redistribute it. I have evened out tannin bleed on cedar and pine with plain water, lightly soaking the surface and using a brush to even the spread of the water. It allows the uneven tannins (water soluble) to even out, and removes some of the excess stain. You may be able to restore color by neutralizing the surface evenly with the acidic acid described above. Try a small area first and observe the effect. Keep an evenly wetted surface along the length of any board you treat to prevent rings of tannin from forming at the wet/dry interface.

An alternative may be to stain the wood. First get an oil base stain color that you like on the pine and apply it to a small area to confirm it enhances the color and grain. Apply to whole area if you like the effect.

If you actually need to lighten the wood, use oxalic acid or a product like house and siding or deck cleaner that contains oxalic acid as an ingredient. I don't think you actually need to do further bleaching.

Hope this helps, I apologize for the length.


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... For windows, doors, and mirrors that could use a little definition, the Naples Etched Glass Border adds a decorative flora... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon