How to Remove Oil-Based Wood Stain

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An oil based wood stain can be removed from any piece of furniture quickly and easily by following a few basic steps. Remove oil based wood stains with help from a 46-year-old master precision craftsman in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Wood Furniture
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Todd Languell, The Flying Furniture Guy from R and D Wood Shop in Scotia, New York. Today, I'm going to show you how to remove oil based wood stain. Okay you can see this is a mahogany with an oil based wood stain. You can use any type of conventional stripper on it and any type of paste stripper. You go ahead and apply the paste stripper with a brush, putting it on liberally. You want to cover the entire surface. It doesn't matter if you go with the grain or cross grain when you're putting on the stripper. You want that to just be on there all the way covered 100 percent. Now if it starts to dry on you a little bit you want to make sure to add a little bit more. The key to using any of the paste strippers is to imagine Saran Wrap on this piece of furniture. And what the outer layer of the stripper is basically doing, it's sealing in and it's creating an airtight bond for that stripper to work on the surface of the wood. So you want to make sure that you keep it moist. You don't want to go picking at it and poking at it. You want to wait at least 15 minutes before you do any other work on this. Okay after 15 minutes or so this is still not working that way it's supposed to yet. So we want to just very lightly add some more stripper to it. We're going to let this work just a couple of more minutes. Typically within 15 to 20 minutes, 25, 30, this is going to flow and fall right off of here. The first thing I like to do is I like to take a scraper. I like a scraper that doesn't have a sharp edge. You're trying to persuade the finish to come off. If you're lucky you can put it right into your basket or your trash bag. Now if there's any residual stain or finish left on the board, what I like to do is I like to take a medium coarse steel wool. Put a little bit right on the steel wool. Rub with the direction of the grain so you don't create any additional scratches. Once you rub that whole surface nice and even you'll see that the rest of that stain and finish will come right off. Okay. You can see all the rest of the stain and finish gets embedded into the steel wool. And then I like to wipe it down. Once you've got it completely stripped you want to make sure that it's completely dry before you lightly sand. Now I'm sanding with a 120 grit sand paper since this is a nice finish or a nice wood veneer, i don't want to go too heavy. Just a light sand, change the color. Any scratches. And the last bit of finish, if there's anything else left, will be taken off during the sanding process. You can see after the stripping process and after the sanding process it's ready to go. Go ahead and tack it off as you would with a normal piece of furniture. Get all the saw dust off of there. You can go ahead and stain it and polyurethane it or lacquer it, whatever you choose. I'm Todd Languell, The Flying Furniture Guy from R and D Wood Shop and this was how to remove oil based wood stains.


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