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Repairing Dark Stains on Wood

Category Furniture
old desk
Age and moisture can cause wood to be darkened. Before getting out the sandpaper and stain, there may be another solution. This is a guide about repairing dark stains on wood.
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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 1 found this helpful
April 6, 2015

I have successfully used three chemical bleaching methods. Go to your local real hardware store for the supplies. I suggest you protect yourself with rubber gloves and eye protection.

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Bleach contact will dry your skin and feel like a burn, so rinse ASAP if it gets on you. Start with weak dillutions and work through stronger concentrations until you achieve the desired amount of removal. You must let the area dry to judge the result. Be careful how you apply the solution as it will remove the natural color of the wood as well.

I use a sponge with a abrasive pad on one side, a wash cloth, or steel wool and carefully rub it into the dark area. For small spots padding on with a folded up paper towel or a cotton swab is more precise and deliberate to avoid bleaching unaffected wood as much as possible. The grain will raise so sanding may be necessary after the area is completely dry, depending on your needs. More than likely staining will be necessary to blend the area back to match the surroundings. I use 1 part bleach with 9 parts water (10%) stepping up to most concentrated solution, 100% before moving up to the next regime.

Weakest: household bleach
Strong: oxalic acid (granular powder before mixing in water)
Powerful: 2 part bleach. Part A and B. (Note: this gets hot when applied.)

Oxalic acid is usually enough. It will get black stains from water out of an oak floor!

Source: old school book: The Furniture Doctor

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Comment Was this helpful? 1

Questions

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March 17, 20150 found this helpful

What caused and what can fix a large, dark, oval stain on my dining table?

By SMJ from MD

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 17, 20150 found this helpful

In all liklihood, that is a water mark. Did you have a plant on it at one time? Or, perhaps a spill of water from some other source? I had the same thing but really didn't notice it until I moved the pot. I had to sand the top down to bare wood and re-stain and finish it. On a piece of knotty cedar I was able to just sand down the spot and refinish it.

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March 17, 20150 found this helpful

SMJ, I forgot to mention that some of these water stains go deep into the wood, especially if the stain is the result of repeated wetting of the wood.

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July 10, 20130 found this helpful

I watered a plant and it overflowed and I didn't realize it. Now it's the next day and there is a very large, dark water stain on my mom's light colored wood dresser. She's gonna kill me. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

By Cydney

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 11, 20130 found this helpful

This happened to me and I found the info below on google. It worked. Try but be careful not to lift the venere. Good luck!

So here is what you need:

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A hot iron--no steam

A soft, clean cloth

Wood furniture oil

What you need to do:

Place the cloth over the stain. Press the iron down and hold for about 10 seconds. Wipe the stain. If it is still there, don't worry, try again. Keep repeating until the stain is completely gone. It may take a few times, but it will come out. It took me about 5-10 minutes to completely remove a giant stain on my kitchen table. After the stain is gone, remember to oil the furniture.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
April 29, 2016

I have a dark circle stain on my dining table. I don't know what caused it, maybe moisture? What do I do?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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