question about refinishing cherry desk

eilimeJuly 23, 2010

Hi all,

I bought a hideous desk at a garage sale with hopes that lurking under layers of paint and stain I'd find cherry... and I did! I've stripped the layers of paint and varnish off and I'm down to bare wood. Except it seems like there's still way-too-dark stain stuck in the pores of the wood. I'd rather not color the wood, and in fact I was planning to use boiled linseed oil and then wipe on poly to finish the desk.

So the question is:

1) How can I (or can I) remove the stain from the pores?

2) If I can't remove the stain from the pores, will the linseed oil darken the wood enough to disguise the leftover stain?

3) Does anyone have another suggestion?



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pics would help. you are absolutely certain it's cherry, not a look-alike?
There used to be a chemical application for ebonizing cherry that was indelible. It could be planed off it you took enough wood.
It used something like bi-chromate of potassium or some such.
There are two kinds of wood bleaches: oxalic acid (for mineral based staining) and the two-part liquid (peroxide-based ) used for organic stains. You may have to try both, but I'd start with the oxalic acid because it's less harmful to the wood, IMO.
Can't say if linseed oil would darken it "enough" becuz I haven't seen it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can maybe just keep on wiping down with stripper, though I guess Casey is suggesting that if it is ebonized, no more colour will come off. So if you try wiping with a white cloth/paper towel soaked in the stripper you're using (or lay the soaked cloth on top for a while, then wipe), you'll see if you can get more out. I use a stripper called EZWay that doesn't require water clean-up, and it does a great job of that last bit of colour. On the woods I've worked on anyway.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 1:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Without photos, I'm just guessing, but it could be pigment from a stain that is still lodged in the pores. If so, you might have some success applying a coat of shellac, letting it cure, then stripping it off. The shellac may bind to the pigment and the original stain binder and pull it out. It may or may not work, but would be worth a trial.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cherry pores are very small.

Is is considered a 'closed grain' wood.

Are you sure it is not some other wood?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:06PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Walnut Veneer Issues
Hi, I'd so greatly appreciate your help in identifying...
How to tell treated vs. untreated wood?
Can anyone tell me if there's a way to distinguish...
Can this door be repaired?
We're renovating a 1920 house and this bedroom door...
Where can I get this molding?
I need to replace a couple of baseboards and want to...
What happens to your tools when you die?
I turned 70 this year and suddenly realized that I...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™