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I applied stain to a piece of furniture and it came out too dark. I think that the stain is the correct color. It may just be too much. What is the best way to remove some of the stain?
You did not mention what type of wood the furniture is made from. Soft wood like pine, spruce or even popular would have soaked the stain up like a camel at the oasis. Hardwood will make it somewhat easier, but not a cake walk.
Two options: Sand or Bleach.
Sanding can be laborious and leave you with an even surface. Bleach requires caution.
You can try sanding as a first step. Lightly sand the the piece with 220 grit, followed by '0000' steel wool. Wipe down thoroughly with mineral spirits.
If that does not get you the desired results, you will need to use bleach. There are furniture finish bleaches on the market, but they may be hard to find at your local hardware/home improvement store. Woodcraft Stores carry a product called LIBERON Wood Bleacher that you can order online.
Bleaches (see caution below) are highly reactive chemicals that break down the color(s) in the wood/finish. When the bleach process is done, the grain will be raised on the wood, so sanding and the normal prep you'd do for applying a finish will be required.
NOTE: BLEACH CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS IF NOT HANDLED PROPERLY. FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURE'S INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH ANOTHER CHEMICAL AND ALWAYS WORK WITH A FRESH BATCH. WHEN WORKING WITH BLEACH OR ANY OTHER CHEMICALS, ALWAYS WEAR PROPER SAFETY PROTECTION SUCH AS RUBBER GLOVES, EYE PROTECTION, RESPIRATOR, PROTECT SKIN FROM CONTACT. REFER TO MANUFACTURE'S INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPECIFICATIONS ON PROPER SAFETY PROTECTION. REMEMBER, BLEACH WILL MOST LIKELY REMOVE THE WOOD'S NATURAL COLOR, SO YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO USE SOME TYPE OF STAIN TO GIVE THE WOOD COLOR AFTER THE BLEACHING PROCESS.
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