Black stains on Maple wood work

pasigalJuly 9, 2007


I'm removing old shellac from the maple trim in our 1915 apartment. (Paint came off pretty well with a heat gun, thanks to the shellac). Denatured alcohol has worked great so far, but now I've hit an impasse with several black-stained areas (windowsills mostly). It almost looks like the wood was burned, but it's probably just 90 years of city soot/rain/pollution/neglect. I think wood bleach might be the answer, but does anyone have other suggestions?

My plan is to either re-apply amber shellac or a very very light colored stain/poly, but first I want to get the wood as uniform as possible. I will need to do a quick steel wool/scotchbrite sweep with Rock Miracle or Zip Strip to get the paint remnants off, which might help with uniformity. What do you think?



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You might try Oxalic acid first. It is less agressive and less costly. I have used it successfully to remove black marks from my deck. It is available at paint and hardware stores.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maple often has black mineral streaks within it. This is just a natural part of the tree growing. Im not sure if this is what you have or not, but it is a possibility.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These may be rust stains from the nail heads. All of my window sills (1900, pine) have them. Rust stains are really impossible to remove perfectly. If it has to be perfect, you could drill them out with a 3/8" bit, and make matching plugs and glue them in. Not dowels, but face-grain plugs made with a "plug cutter" in a drill. When the grain is selected and matched carefully, and they are sanded flush and finished, plugs are a craftsmanlike way of dealing with a bad situation.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The black stains aren't from nails or streaks in the maple. The whole sill in one room is darkened, as are the lower window jambs. Will test out oxalic acid. I do have extra trim left over from a neighbor's renovation, and I might just cut new sills, as a last resort.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:21AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Table saw for hobby work.
I searched this question on here and I did find a few...
Finish for mantle
We had someone make a mantle from pine and while it's...
Jennifer White Green
Need help with staining alder cabinets
Can someone share with me the right way to stain the...
sanding sealer on cherry?
Hi all! I'm having a painter do some new doors along...
Fori is not pleased
newbie veneer terminology question
My house has hollow slab doors veneered with luaun...
Fori is not pleased
Sponsored Products
Black Tea Chateau 13-Inch Wall Coach with Tea Stain, Octagon Frame
$93.10 | Bellacor
Victorian Three-Light Pendant -Rubbed Oil Bronze
$188.10 | Bellacor
Plush Mita Geometric Rug
Tractor Counter Stool
Design Within Reach
Hacienda Ikat Outdoor Pillow - MULTI COLORS
$175.00 | Horchow
Serena & Lily Octavia Bed With Nailheads
Serena & Lily
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™