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Reversing the effects of wood bleach on oak6/24
I have a solid white oak dining table. I prepared a sample for my client where I wiped on a light coat of 2 part wood bleach, and then topcoated with General Finishes High Performance. The bleach effect was subtle and they chose this finish. The idea was just to remove a bit of the natural yellow in oak.
I don't know what went wrong with the actual table. Perhaps this batch of oak reacts differently or the bleach was applied too heavily, but the effect is streaky with a distinctly yellow green color. I'd like to get back to raw wood but the bleach seems to have absorbed pretty deeply.
Does anyone know of a technique for reversing the effects of bleach (I did already neutralize with a vinegar solution), or do I just need to sand like crazy? I tried sanding back with 120 grit and this seemed to only have a minimal effect.
At this point you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube and the solution to get out of it is to come up with some sort of stain/toner combination that hides the effect of the bleach and provides the tones that the approved sample had.
Pictures would help to give those trying to help you an idea of what you are up against.
Did you neutralize the bleach? A wide belt sander would be the best way to get back to wood now. Always experiment on scrap, let it sit around, then decide if that is the way to go.
Usually the bleached wood isn't very deep, I'd give the random orbital a try first...that said even if it isn't too deep it will take some sanding time to make sure you get it all sanded out,
Yeah, big rookie mistake to not do another test. The oak I made the sample on was some that I had laying around the shop. The table top is built out of some white oak from Denmark that the client had. Apparently it reacts quite differently to bleach than the white oak I'm used to, which started off browner.
Wide belt sander isn't an option because there's some apron pieces that can't be removed. I went real aggressive with my festool 6" ros and 80 grit. I think I got through most of it but because oak is so open grained there are definitely some weird green undertones left in the deeper pores.
I remember a finisher telling me a while back that rather than bleach oak, he'll add a small amount of white pigment to his first coat of water based poly, the result being a pale, almost 'no finish' look. I'm going to do a test and see if that will help get rid of some of my green. I have Mixol white pigment here. Would that be a good candidate for tinting High Performance?
Btw Denny J, wish I could post a photo, images just don't seem to be showing the issue very well..
You are better off bleaching the wood a second time to get it even in color. You then can use any color stain.You will get a very even color on all of the wood. We bleach alot of oak flooring and get great results. Make sure you check the moisture before you finish.