sanding out stain

How to remove wood stain from wood

Staining your wood is a common and effective way to bring it to life. However, sometimes the application can go wrong, maintenance may have been forgotten about or perhaps you just want to change up how your wood looks.

Removing wood stains may seem like a long task, but with the right products, it can be very simple.

You may have decided that you no longer want a natural-looking wood finish and wish to apply an opaque paint. Or perhaps you would prefer the stain to be a different color. Regardless of the reason, we’re here today to explain how to remove the wood stain including which products from Owatrol you can use.

Sand out the stain

sanding out stainTo sand wood previously stained you must start by using medium-grit sandpaper followed by a progression of increasingly finer sandpaper grits. This should remove most of the color left by an old stain. If you’re applying a new stain, it should mask any residual color. If you are looking to save some time, then a much easier option is to use an orbital or belt sander. Once you’ve finished machine sanding, we recommend you sand by hand with the grain of the wood using the same grit sandpaper you were using in the machine. This will erase any machine marks.

Remove wood stain with bleach

To bleach out a dye stain from raw wood, apply a chlorine bleach solution. This should remove most dye-based stains but will not lighten the wood itself. If you are undertaking a refinishing project then Chlorine bleach will also remove old dye but lightly scuff-sand it first. Bleach will not go through a finish.

Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection around bleaches, brush or wipe the bleach onto the bare wood. The color may immediately lighten, but you should leave the bleach on overnight to maximize the results.

Removing wood stain with a wood stripper

Prepdeck wood stripper & cleaner with a deck background

Prepdeck is a powerful and versatile wood stripper. It is specially designed for the removal of old solid and semi-transparent stains, grade stamps and other finishes from wood. You can even use it diluted to make a powerful cleaner for removing dirt and other surface contaminants from weathered woods.

As Prepdeck is a high-grade product, it is capable of thoroughly stripping even well-established stains. It’s important to thoroughly remove all finishes as this allows the wood to be prepared for new treatments.

Prepdeck is suitable for use on a wide variety of softwoods, hardwoods and even thermo wood. It can be used on almost any exterior surface such as decking, fences, sheds, garden furniture and more.

Few products on the market offer either the quality of results or the flexibility that you get from Prepdeck. Even less make the task of removing old finishes or preparing new wood as quick and as simple.

How do I use Prepdeck?

Prepdeck being used to remove previous stain

We recommend working in areas that can be completed in 15-30 minutes.

Firstly, apply the Prepdeck to the area to be stripped and allow it to work. After around 10 minutes, test a small area with a nylon scrubbing brush to see if the finish is lifting.
If the finish is lifting, scrub the area with a stiff nylon brush or deck brush in the direction of the grain. Then, if available, use a Power Washer at 1000-1500 psi (70-103 bars) depending on the type of wood.

Lastly, rinse with copious amounts of freshwater, using the highest pressure from a water source available or use a Power Washer at 500-1000 psi (35-70 bars) working in direction of the grain. (Rinse adjacent areas at the same time).
NB: The use of hot water makes the job easier.

After you have finished stripping, you must neutralize the wood with Net-Trol. This is a very important step as it stops the active ingredient in the Prepdeck from continuing to work.

Applying a new finish

After the wood has been left to dry for 48 hours, you can then apply a new finish of your choice such as an opaque paint.

Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol US has the solution you are looking for.

6 thoughts on “How to remove wood stain from wood

    1. Hi Doug,

      Prepdeck will not affect glass, but make sure to cover any aluminium before using the Prepdeck.

      Hope this helps!
      The Owatrol Team

    1. Hi Brian,

      Prepdeck is suitable for garden furniture if you want to remove old finishes from the wood and restore the wood to its natural finish. Make sure to test on a small area to establish working time and neutralize with Net-trol immediately after removing the Prepdeck, as Prepdeck can darken the wood.

      Prepdeck can also be used diluted as a cleaner. If you just want to clean the wood before a maintenance application of one of our wood oils, Net-trol is enough.

      Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Eileen,

      For an inside stair case, we would not recommend our product Prepdeck. The reason is that it needs to be cleaned off with large amounts of water. We consider Prepdeck and Net-trol outdoor products.

      Hope this helps!

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