How To Lighten Stained Wood


You want to lighten up your dark stained wooden furniture.?!

Then obviously you’ll get a new accent item or something that goes with the light theme in your home.

But, are you considering updating the appearance of your dark wood furniture? It will be worth it if you put some effort into the old stain wood furniture darker into an elegant one.

Now, How to lighten stained wood? The solution is simple: remove the stain from the wooden furniture if you really want this wooden item to look nice inside your room again.

Continue reading to learn how to make dark wood lighter.

Furniture is made from a wide range of woods. Walnut,  Mahogany, and Ebony are dark-colored woods. Other light-colored woods include Oak, Maple, and Cedar.

Oil and water-based stains are commonly used on wooden furniture. It’s possible that bleaching the wood over the dark stain won’t work out.

You may use a scrub sponge and add wood bleach to make dark wood lighter.

How To Lighten Stained Wood

How to Lighten Stained Wood (Darkened Wood): A Stage process Guide

Under this topic, we are going to discuss few stages to remove the stains from dark wood. Here are a total of 7 steps explained to lighten the furniture.

  • Assemble the required equipment
  • Topcoat removal
  • A layer of wood should be sanded
  • Use wood bleach to lighten the wood.
  • fully drying the wood
  • To make the wood smooth, sand it.
  • If possible, use wood paint.
  • Apply a final coat of paint.

Assemble The Required Equipment

You’ll be dealing with wood bleach and stain remover. Since it produces heavy fumes, make sure you operate in a well-ventilated environment or outside. If you’re working outside, stay away from direct sunshine and high winds.

Use a drop cloth to protect your workspace from spills. Prepare your area with painter’s tape if necessary.

Wear gloves, protective goggles, and old clothes, and long sleeves for your security and protect the skin.

You will need 

  1. Chemicals
  2. Supplies
  3. Safety Gear


Paint stripper

Wood bleach

baking soda

Fast-Drying Clear Varnish is an option.



Plastic bucket

Scrub brush, large

Scrub brush, tiny

Painter’s tape

Assorted grit sandpaper

old newspaper or Dropcloth

Assorted grit sandpaper

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Pad made of steel wool

Using a globe or orbital scraper for big furniture.

Paint scraper- As metal likes to damage the wood, use plastic.

3.Safety Gear

          Safety glasses

Masks and Respirators

Rubber gloves

Topcoat removal

Peel away coat before beginning the measures to bleach the wood lighter. It would not operate if you start bleaching and coating the woods in a vibrant color without first cleaning the base coat.

A top coat of polyurethane varnish can be applied to your furniture as a protective layer. Read this article about how to remove latex paint.

Using a paintbrush, add the chemicals or citrus strip

You may use sandpaper or a chemical stripper to remove the paint. It’ll also work with a citrus-based stripper.

Chemical and citrus strippers however are efficient at removing dark furnished wood that has been painted.

Apply a dense, even coating with a paintbrush. This may lighten wood stain after applying.

After that, set it aside for 15-20 mins.  If you notice it beginning to dry, re-apply to hold the surface moist.

Remove the chemical stripper with a scraper.

Scratch the remover from the woods with a plastic scrubber or spackle knife. When the polymer stripper becomes bubbled or bloated, it’s primed.

Remove any remaining bits with a steel pad, then clean the woods with a damp towel.

Take a good look through your task; you’ve done an excellent job. The dark wood stain colors have been eliminated at this stage, and you can choose your desired color.

To improve the elegance of the dark furnished wood, you may consider these extra steps. Sanding a layer of the furniture is part of the process.

Enable the woods to fully dry before proceeding with the rest of the operation.

A Layer Of Wood Should Be Sanded

Allow one day for the wood to cool until sanding. Put on face mask & safety glasses for this move. Start with 100-150 gritty moderate sandpaper. A sanding device may be used, but an orbiting sander can save your time while working with large wood bits.

You’re getting rid of the stains and stripper signs, and also any flaws. Check to see if the sanding is causing any harm to the wood.

Wipe away any extra dust with a towel.

Use Wood Bleach To Lighten The Wood

You’ll require water as well as wood bleach for this phase.

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If you’re dealing with woods like gun, ash, oak, or beech, wood bleach is an excellent option.

Acting with wood bleach necessitates the use of protective equipment.

Since you’ll be using a tonne of water to remove the chlorine, transfer your job outside.

Follow the combining directions on the package in a plastic container. Mixing wood bleach among several chemicals is not a good idea.

Apply the ready wooden bleach to the wooden surface with a scraping brush. It will lighten wood stain after applying, dark wood stain colors should be avoided.

Reapply after 10 minutes. Rep until the required lightness is achieved.

Then, rinse three times with water. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to one liter of water when you’re planning to use a liquid finish coating. Then rinse with it.

Fully Drying The Wood

Wash the woods with a fresh, paper towel. Ensure that all excess moisture is wiped away. After that, allow the wood to dry.

Keeping the piece of wood in a well-ventilated and dry area. Allow it to sit out in the open for the night.

To Make The Wood Smooth, Sand It.

The entire bleaching procedure has the potential to turn the woods grainy. Applying fine-grit sandpaper to soft it out. Fully sand the wood surface.

Continue doing so till the wood is fully smooth.

If Possible, Use Wood Paint

This is an optional move. If you want to experiment with a new hue, now is the time to do so. If you want to experiment with a new hue, now is the time to do so. Wood stain or polish may lighten wood stain after applying, such as this White Color Clean, to achieve the perfect light color. It’s a liquid blending stain that gives the wood a white gloss while allowing the normal grain to shine thru.

It can be used to add aging and complexity to wood that has already been stained (liquid-based or oil stains).

Apply A Final Coat Of Paint

When the wood has been lightened, a top coat may be applied. That coat will shield the woods against harm while still maintaining its appearance.

Remember that transparent varnish will give the wood a bit more depth.

For this, we could use a polyurethane coating or a wooden varnish.

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Using a paintbrush, uniformly put in the finish to the wood. Allow the coat to dry fully after that.

Can Dark Stained Wood Be Lightened?

Yes! It is possible to brighten dark stained wood.

Wood bleach is the most reliable method to brighten up the color scheme of wood once it’s been drained of all coating materials.

Sanded smooth can help soften wood in some situations, but unless the pigmentation is only surface dirt or smudges, and only if it hasn’t entered too deeply.

What Do I Do If My Stain Is Too Dark?

Tie a towel over the index finger, soak that in turpentine else mineral spirit, and gently rub the portion of the grain you would like to lighten.

Then use artists’ brush to cautiously add further stains mostly to the ground if a section of a grain becomes so light. Allow for 24 hours for the stain to dry completely.

lighten wood stain

How Can I Lighten Wood Stain Without Sanding?

To lighten the wood stain, dark wood stain colors should be eliminated. Steel Wool for Stain Removal Steel wool should be rubbed against the woods in the grain direction.

Wring out any extra liquid with a bit of 0000 wool steel that has been soaked in warm water.

Working in long backward and forwards motions in the grain direction, introduce gentle pressure to the wood you’re trying to lighten.

Can I Change The Color Of Stained Wood?

PolyShades® Minwax®  is a quick and simple way to adjust the coloring of your painted or polyurethane-coated wood. To replace the old paint, no strip or hard sanding is needed!


This method can also be used to extract dark patches from woods. Your furnishings will look brand new with a consistent tone. You’ve given your stain wood furniture darker a new lease on life!

Dimming the color of stain wood furniture darker by these easy steps can make dark wood lighter and give new look.

Your metallic furniture, too, can be given a makeover!



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