Has anyone ever successfully lightened wood?

(10 Posts)
OutComeTheWolves Mon 29-Jun-20 20:50:33

We've just moved into a house with a lot of wood skirting boards, dado rails etc. I didn't think I had a preference for any particular type of wood so dh just set about staining it quite dark.

Now I've thought about it I've realised I really like the lighter, blonde woods and actually this is what I'd prefer. Is there any way I can undo it all or am I stuck with it until I can replace it all?

Just for the sake of disclosure it took dh ages and any 'rectifying' will definitely have to be my job not his.

OP’s posts: |
OutComeTheWolves Tue 30-Jun-20 14:40:06

Just giving this a hopeful bump!

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Finfintytint Tue 30-Jun-20 14:45:11

I’ve lightened wood with oxalic acid for a small patch that was stained though I doubt it would be suitable for large areas. It’s really toxic though.

itsundermypillow Tue 30-Jun-20 18:19:53

Can you paint it instead? Use a colour close to the pale wood that you like. Will be much easier to do than bleaching it all.

PigletJohn Tue 30-Jun-20 19:36:21

I think you mean you used a tinted stain.

So it is not the wood you need to lighten, so oxalic acid is not the right product.

You would have to scrape, sand or strip of the tinted stain.

This will be somewhat laborious, expecially if you have ornate moulding.

how old is your house, and how old is the skirting?

I prefer a wood dye to colour the timber, followed by a clear non-glossy varnish. This allows the colour and grain of the wood to show through.

Englishgirl9 Wed 01-Jul-20 01:25:29

I've used oxalic acid to lighten my stair bannister from a mahogany finish to a lighter oak colour. Took A LOT of work though with the acid wash a few times and lots of sanding. Would say about 15 hours spent on just the handrail.

Monty27 Wed 01-Jul-20 02:41:16

Yes you'd have to bring it back to natural and undo the stain DH put on by sanding etc.


My0My Wed 01-Jul-20 11:11:32

Paint it. Dark stain is horrible and lightening it risks it being patchy. Choose a paint that complements your decorating scheme. If it’s pine itv will look cheap anyway.

OutComeTheWolves Thu 02-Jul-20 12:05:13

Ah there's a reason I don't usually do decorating. There's a lot of wood in the house and I think if it took 15 hours to do one bannister then realistically we're not going to be able to lighten the lot. I just really love the whole Scandinavian blonde woods and white walls look and what we have now is very far removed from that!

I'm now thinking about painting them a really dark (almost black) grey to contrast the white walls; but I think I'm going to sit on this for a while though because I'm not generally a fan of grey interiors so I'm not sure why I'm starting to think that would be a good idea. And the reason I don't like the dark wood is because I think it makes the room look dark, so I don't think a black/grey skirting board and dado rail will change this.

I think my best bet is to focus on another room until I have a clearer idea of what I want to do downstairs.

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My0My Fri 03-Jul-20 00:38:34

We have white painted spindles but an oak handrail. You could do this. We have oak stair treads too and you could possibly do this but we replaced the staircase. I think ours does have a Scandi look. The risers are painted in a neutral colour - the same as the walls. It does give a light and airy look. I like it. Don’t be afraid of paint. I do think you will be disappointed with dark wood that you are trying to lighten.

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