How To Sand Off Hardwood Stains

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The great thing about hardwood furniture is that it can be so easily restained and customized. Homeowners enjoy restaining and refinishing hardwood cabinets and furniture because it is a very rewarding DIY project. The difficulty of any hardwood refinishing project has mostly to do with how hard it is to remove your current stain from the wood. This article explains a few options you have when it comes to removing hardwood stains.

There are really two main ways to go about removing stain from a piece of wood. You can sand the stain off using just sandpaper. Alternatively, you can use special chemical strippers that help break down the stain and separate it from the wood. That being said, when you use these chemical strippers, you still end up sanding the surface. So, it is usually smartest to try to remove your stain with just sandpaper. If you try to just sand away the stain, and it is not getting the job done, then you can turn to chemical strippers. Most people are happy to avoid using chemical stripper is because they are harsh, smelly, and not exactly eco-friendly.

Using Power Sanders

Whether you use chemical strippers or not, you will need to rely heavily on power sanders. Vibrating power sanders are usually sufficient enough. However, if you have a thick stain that you want to get off more quickly, you can use a rotating disc sander. The most important thing to realize when it comes to removing stain is that you should start off with a medium or coarse grit sandpaper.

However, once you get most of the stain off of the wood, you will then need to step up to a fine grit sandpaper that will further smooth out the wood and prepare it for the actual new stain application.

Using Chemical Strippers

If you do need to use chemical strippers, the process is a little messy, but not necessarily difficult. You basically rub the stripper on to the wood and let it soak in for a bit, which gives it time to break down the stain. Then, you rub off the stain with a rag. Finally, you will sand away any leftover stain, and the job should be done. Whenever removing a stain, you want to make sure you take off all of it, leaving just the exposed raw wood.

As you can see, both methods are effective and relatively simple but it is definitely cleaner and more convenient if you can avoid using chemical strippers altogether. This method can work on flooring or even old cabinetry in your kitchen that needs some TLC.

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