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  • Bleaching wood

    I have a good carving gone bad. I didn't test the wood before putting oil on it and it turned a putrid yellow. Then I put stain on it in hopes of making it better. Then I had a horrible mess as the cottonwood absorbed it into big ugly bloches. It looks like her face has leprosy. Then I started trying to pull it off. That worked well but only in some areas. I wonder if I got some wood bleach if it might make her face white again? When will I ever learn?

  • #2
    Re: Bleaching wood

    My friend had a gun stock do the same thing. It was birch. He just left it as is. He sold the gun tho. I never tried to bleach wood. I have had some disappointing experiences with stains tho.
    Have fun with your food, eat with your fingers!

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    • #3
      Re: Bleaching wood

      Is it something you can paint? If not and it were mine, I would probably try a piece of the same wood with some minwax prestain sealer and then try a gel stain over that...just a thought! ???

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      • #4
        Re: Bleaching wood

        Good Morning
        I have used wood bleach before -- tried 2-3 different brands,but like Klean Strip best. I mostly use it on carvings of white animals or carving that I want to look evenly all off white.

        This stuff is pretty potent--best used outdoors or with good venting. And the wood must dry thoroughly afterwards before you seal/finish.

        If you still have piece of the wood you used for the carving, I'd try to recreate the stain mishap on the scrap--then try bleaching it to see what it does---BEFORE applying it to your carving.

        Another techique I've tried when I've not been happy with a staining process that had some really uneven staining results or a bad color, put the stain in your airgun/airbrush and apply a light, but even coat of stain on it and DO NOT wipe it off. A furniture refinisher taught me this one.

        Good luck. Sometimes we learn more from the mishaps than the successes.

        Donna T

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        • #5
          Re: Bleaching wood

          thats basically what the prestain sealer does, it coats the entire piece and doesn't let the stain soak in unevenly, then the gel stail can be controlled to put where you want it. I posted that note and the more I think about it, the more I think it would be an easy solution..let us know.

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          • #6
            Re: Bleaching wood

            Hey thanks a bunch gang. Now I have some things to try which is much better than where I was before. Will have a picture when it is done.
            Barb

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            • #7
              Re: Bleaching wood

              Plain Bleach of severl coats will bleach the wood out. Let ir dry completely.

              However, If you can paint it like Dave said, May be the better choice or what Donna sugjestd to do as I believe the product she used is meant for wood where the plain Bleach isn't.

              I do know that once it is bleached, It is hard to get it back to natural wood. Had some kitchen cabinets that were Picked a from of bleaching and after 6 weeks of stripping and washing,sanding, and refinishing 43 doors and drawers, we were done.
              Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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              • #8
                Re: Bleaching wood

                Well, just hurry it up, Barb!!! LOL I want to see that carving!

                Hugs :-)

                Teri
                "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&http://www.teriembrey.com&&[email protected]

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                • #9
                  Re: Bleaching wood

                  Well Donna, I found some wood bleach but it is saying not to apply to wood with any oil or stain added. What do you think? :P

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bleaching wood

                    This will get a bit messy, but will probably work. First use one of those spray-on strippers, and follow the directions to get all the old finish off. Then mix up a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy (maybe a 50/50 mix with water) and soak the piece in that overnight. It is a fairly mild bleaching agent and I don't think it will damage the wood, or bark. Next day soak it for a while in plain water to rinse and then let it dry. I've never done this whole procedure, but have used the hydrogen peroxide to mildly bleach some wood, and it worked fine.

                    Al

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bleaching wood

                      No, I've never tried it on anything already stained. Sounds like a sticky wicket. Don't know anything to tell you to try then. I've been known to strip a carving and start all over, but not this.

                      Sorry I can't be of more help.
                      Donna T

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bleaching wood

                        You could try oxalic acid. It comes in crystal form, you just mix it with water. That is the traditional wood bleach. I believe it is available under different brand names - mine is Bondex, I got it at Home Depot. Probably available in most large hardware stores.

                        Hope this helps.

                        Dar

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bleaching wood

                          I wish I had something useful to report. I stripped and sanded but parts of the carving wouldn't let go of it. I tried the oxalic acid wood bleach with no real sucess. Then I tried the peroxide. Then I tried the pre-stain sealer, a little more stain, EEEK. Washed it partially off with turps, okay how about the standby shoe polish? Pretty color but still blotchy. Hmmmmm I really didn't want to paint this life size lady with the wavy hair. LOL I am about to sand blast the whole thing or something drastic. For now I will put her away for a couple days. One thing I have learned. If you like a clear finish the way I do, use cottonwood bark but never the tree. I could have carved her in black walnut in less time than this whole process. LOL Thanks all for your suggestions, I will let you know if and how she turns out in the end. : :'( :P

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