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How to Bleach Wood

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Natural wood, although pretty, can be easily stained. Often watermarks, greasy food and wear and tear can leave an expensive piece of furniture or household item looking tacky and old. A quick and cheap fix, bleach can bring out any stains. All the supplies can be found around the home.

You will need:

  • Liquid laundry bleach
  • Sandpaper
  • Vinegar

Step One

Begin by stripping the old finish back from the wood or the stained area. If the stain is extremely noticeable and dark it would be best to bleach the whole surface area. This is to stop any light spotting.

Step Two

Apply the bleach full strength and leave it wet for at least 20 minutes. After this time neutralise the bleach with a solution of half vinegar and half water. If the stain remains after four hours, follow step two again.

Step Three

Allow drying overnight. Then sand the area again and apply a new finish.


If you want to lighten dark wood, use a two-part commercial bleach. Always wear protective gloves and work in a ventilated area because the products can be very caustic.

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