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  • Wood Bleach

    Would like to know if anyone has used wood Bleaches and why would you and what is the reasons for the use if it ..................MB
    Usually busier than a cat in a sandbox !!!!!!!!!!! MB { Dewalt 788 only }

  • #2
    Hi Marshall - I've not used bleaches myself but I have a video on staining and pigmentation techniques which talks about using peroxide based bleaches to impart some added whiteness to yellowish woods such as pine when you are not able to source naturally white woods like holly or aspen.

    I suppose you can look at bleaching as the reverse process of ebonizing and like most things, if you are willing to experiment and you obtain a result you like there's no reason why you shouldn't use it.

    As a side issue, I've regularly used white alcohol based stains in the past. These however are pigment based and tend to cloud any grain in wood and not always to a good effect. I would think that as bleach is 100% soluble and is a chemical which attacks the natural colourants in the wood then the effect would be somewhat different compared to stain.

    Now you have me curious to give this a try and see what happens - LOL!
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

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    • #3
      Thanks Jim , I have stripped some old 60 year old wooden Oak Benched and they had some dark places and I went ahead and I sanded the fire out of it and it was still dark . I went ahead and re-stained it - well I guess it'll be alright , but the though did occur to try this method - but I didn'tuse the Bleach - probably should have - just had some fear of it .............MB
      Usually busier than a cat in a sandbox !!!!!!!!!!! MB { Dewalt 788 only }

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      • #4
        In one of my wood Carving Magazines the author used a two part wood bleach on a Santa and then painted the flesh color and trim. It Came out real nice. I suspect it would work for clouds etc if you did not want paint.

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        • #5
          A crafter I talked to last year used bleach, guess it wood bleach, on holly to keep it white before it was finished to keep it white. Worked real well, as the holly was white as white could be.
          Betty

          "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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          • #6
            I have used wood bleach on kitchen furniture. Our original fitted kitchen had elm doors which had darkened considerably. We also had pine shelves which had darkened, too. I bleached both woods until they were the same colour and then lime waxed them. They still look fine 10 years later.

            Sue

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jigsue View Post
              I have used wood bleach on kitchen furniture. Our original fitted kitchen had elm doors which had darkened considerably. We also had pine shelves which had darkened, too. I bleached both woods until they were the same colour and then lime waxed them. They still look fine 10 years later. This is new to me lime waxed ..please explain to me this process Sue ......
              Sue
              Last edited by marshall; 03-23-2012, 10:19 AM.
              Usually busier than a cat in a sandbox !!!!!!!!!!! MB { Dewalt 788 only }

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              • #8
                Hi Marshall - I'm sure that Sue can give the down and dirty on lime waxing but just for general info 'liming' of wood was a very popular technique used way back when to protect from insect attack the woodwork of Tudor, and older, style buildings, where oak was generally used not only for doors and windows but also exposed house framework.

                Caustic lime was applied in a water solution and brushed into the surface of the oak where it opened the already fairly open pores this wood has leaving some of the lime impregnated in the wood to act as a very powerful insect deterrent. At the same time it gave a pleasant whitened washed out effect to the wood particularly as the greyish white lime contrasts against the darker wood grain. This aesthetic appeal has been capitalized on and these days the technique has been refined to apply the lime in a solvent rather than water base in order to get a better penetration and then follow with a waxing and polishing of the surface to make it water repellant and easier to clean.

                A couple of areas in the UK where it is possible to see many fine buildings which use the original non waxed liming treatment is in Shakespeare country around Stratford-upon-Avon and in a number of the Cotswold villages, usually in the larger homes of the more affluent of the society but there are many other fine examples of liming in the older buildings in the south or south east of the country.
                Last edited by jim_mex; 03-25-2012, 06:40 AM.
                Jim in Mexico

                Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                - Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  Thanks for that explanation about "liming" oak.

                  I heard the term "limed oak" many years ago. In fact my father made a desk for me when I was in highschool and he finished it with a technique he referred to as limed oak, I'm sitting at that desk at this moment, it's 60 years old!
                  I've since seen that process described in several woodworking magazines. However, there was NO lime actually used, so I never understood where the term came from. The finishing was done to acheive the appearance that the original insect repelant finish yielded.

                  If you like the look here's how its done: Use oil-based white paint thinned to be very runny. Apply liberally to the surface, let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Wipe it off with cloths, wiping across the grain in order to leave the pores filled. Change the cloth frequently. Let the paint dry for 24 hrs then apply the top coat of your choice.

                  About 10 years ago I built a bookcase to match the desk and finished it as above. It came out ok. I don't think I'll do it again because it is messy.

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