Cleaning Stain off an Oak Door

      A customer changed her mind about the stain before the topcoat was applied. What to do? July 11, 2009

I'm asking this question for a builder I know, who stained a red oak exterior door but client changed her mind and wants the oak natural. No seal coats were applied, just stain.
Is there any way to get that stain out?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
Sometimes a rag soaked in Naptha works. It depends on what stain was used.

From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
If it's a pigmented stain, you can wash off as much stain as possible using lacquer thinner, a Scotch Brite pad, and clean rags soaked in the solvent. The color that's left, and there will be some, will have to be sanded out to get back to raw wood.

From contributor G:
It depends on what colorants were used in the stain. Dark pigments will gather in the open grain and stay there. After the washing with MS (assuming solvent based stain) and scrubbing the grain with a brass bristle brush, a possibility might be to use a grain filler.
If a contrasting color grain filler is used, he can get some nice ceruse-type effects.

From contributor R:
Greetings Bill, You will need to get a hold of a large brass bristled BBQ brush and a few buckets of paint thinner and a lot of rags and perhaps a six pack of your favorite beverage. First off I would set the door on a couple of sawhorses and lay out some paint thinner soaked rags on the face side of the door. Let it sit for a few minutes and keep the rags rather wet so the thinners soak down into the deep pores that the red oak has.

Remove about a two square foot area of rags and dip the BBQ brush into the bucket of Paint thinners, brush in the direction of the grain using a bit of downward pressure. Stop every now and then and wipe the area to see that the stain has disappeared from the pores. Follow these directions for the whole door and you will be able to remove the stain, both from the surface of the door as well as the pores.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article