Jump to content

Bleaching wood

Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

Recommended Posts

Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

Bleaching wood

by Rick Hill


I have two cubes of birdeye maple. I used household bleach to whiten the tops, but they did not lighten so I used oxalic acid. This turned the tops light gray. Do you have any suggestions?


Your dilemma started when you used the wrong bleach for your lightening. Many people make the mistake of thinking "bleach" in woodworking terms is the same bleach we see in household use.

Bob Flexner, in the book "Understanding Wood Finishing" (from Rodale Press), does an excellent job of explaining the different types of bleach and their individual uses. Flexner states "There are three types of bleach used in woodworking...Two-Part bleach (sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide) removes the natural color from the wood. Chlorine bleach removes the dye from wood....And Oxalic Acid removes rust and water stains from wood."

Your problem is now the gray in the bleached maple. Your best bet is to now use the right system--the two part bleach. It may remove the gray. Then go on as before. If the gray does not come out you can try to stain the wood to add color, but take into consideration that the gray will be the undertone and will affect the color

Using Oxalic Acid

Different methods

How to with different methods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...