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Help! Stain Removal

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I'm working on my first finish project in over 20 years and it's become clear that I'm not as good at taping as I used to be and now I need help-

I'm working on a warmoth maple neck, I sprayed a lite layer of vairthane, masked off everythgin but the face of the head and stained black and sprayed 3 more coats of clear to lock them in- So far so good-

But when I peeled the tape I had some major leakage that made it onto the sides and back of the headstock- The old razor trick worked pretty good on the edges, but I had to sand back much of the side and back when I realized the stain had made it through the sealing pass.

After I got the stain back to mainly smudges on the grain, I tried lite clorox and was able to get rid of a little more - But the bottom line is that I have enough smudges left that I am afraid they will show through the translucent cherry red that is going on the sides and back-

Any ideas? I'm guessign I will go back to the sandpaper and will seal with more passes for more stain protection in the future- But just wanted to see if I'm missing any tricks in my old age:)


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I'm surprised that no one has input on this and it has turned out to be a bit of a bear-

I've really sanded back a lot and the ridges are clear, but the valleys are stained as you would imagine- Clorox had a very small impact- Tonight I will try wood wash and hope this does the trick-

But ome on, somebody out there must have removed black stain before and have some ideas?


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  • 2 months later...

Man, I can't believe nobody replied to this. Well, I hope you haven't been waiting this whole time, but here's my $.02.

Clorox is not as strong as you think. One of the best recommendations I've gotten from the forum is this - Kleen Strip 2-part wood bleach. Don't get the Liberon stuff they sell at Woodcraft. It's worthless. The Kleen Strip will make your wood (maple, in my case) almost white after about 3 applications. However, I made a similar mistake to yours and even 6 or 7 applications would not take the stain out. It says right on the package not for removing stain. Mine was alcohol based Transfast and it holds like a mofo. My orbital sander was the only thing that could touch it. Hope you have better luck than me.

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