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Removing Excess Wood Stain

Category Refinishing
When working with wood stain, if the excess is not wiped off quickly you may need to resort to other methods. This is a guide about removing excess wood stain.


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September 1, 2016

I recently stained my son's wood play kitchen, but didn't remember to wipe off the excess stain. The surface never fully dried and remained sticky, so I needed to remove the stain and start over. I tried numerous things to remove the stain including Citrustrip and lacquer thinner. Finally I tried Paint Erase Stripper Gel, which worked really well!


  • Paint Erase Stripper Gel
  • plastic putty knife
  • gloves
  • nylon paint brush or foam brush
  • scrub brush
  • water


  1. Cover your work surface with plastic or cardboard. Using a brush, apply the stripper gel to the surface of the wood. The layer should be applied to a thickness similar to icing on a cake. Cover the entire area that you want to strip.
  2. You should start to see the surface change color after about 15 minutes. It is ready to start scrapping after 1 hour.
  3. Using the putty knife, carefully begin scrapping off the gel. It should roll up as you scrap, taking stain with it.
  4. Apply and scrap off the gel (following the above steps) as many times necessary to remove the stain. I repeated it 3 times.
  5. Use a brush and water to remove any excess gel. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly before refinishing it. You may need to lightly sand the surface too.
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