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Bleaching wood?


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There are a couple of ways of doing it. First, it should be done without any risk of it coming in contact with finish, so any sealer on the top will need to come off. Bleaching the whole top will give you the best uniform look.

There are different kinds of bleach. Common household bleach is unlikely to do anything more than a very subtle lightening. Some of the woodworking stores sell oxalic acid, which is okay for mineral stains and the like, but if you are wanting a very light color, the best thing to do is a sodium hydroxide (lye) and peroxide treatment. You can use the heavy duty drain cleaners from the BORG for the lye (make sure they have the right active ingredient) and then pool clarifier for the peroxide (much stronger than you can get at the drug store).

I don't remember the ratios off hand, but you mix the drain cleaner with distilled water and brush it on. Let it sit for a while. Then, brush on the peroxide. It may take a couple applications, depending in wood color, desired lightness, and chemical strength. Test this all on scrap, wear gloves and a respirator, and observe all other safety precautions, as the chemicals can be pretty nasty.

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