For the best result when doing wooden projects, removing the existing stain is one of the most crucial processes since it absorbs into the wood grain. Choosing the right best wood stain remover depending on the quantity applied, amount of time, and additional sanding required.
When doing on old furniture, varnish and paint must be taken away to give the board a fresh start.
Sanding is one of the most frequent approaches when cutting away varnish and paint exposing the new coating.
Although sanding is fast, it creates lots of fine dust that is easy to inhale and can take away more wood than you desire.
You have to strip the wood if the sanding is out of the question.
Stripping is often easy today thanks to the convenient remover products and almost no wood removed.
The products we suggested here take up much of the slack and not need sanding as much as the typical alternatives that are overpriced.
The Top-Rated Wood Stain Remover (Recommendation)
- FLORIDA LABORATORIES OXALIC ACID CRYSTALS – OUR FIRST PICK
- DEFY WOOD DECK CLEANER – EASY OPTION
- FDC PURE OXALIC ACID RUSH REMOVER – POWERFUL PICK
- RMR-86 INSTANT MOLD AND MILDEW STAIN REMOVER SPRAY – BEST SELLER
- WOODRICH BRAND WOOD CLEANER AND STRIPPER– SAFE FOR USE
On This Page
On This Page
- Do You Have To Remove Old Stain Before Restaining?
- Can You Mix Stain With Polyurethane?
- Can You Use Latex Paint Over Oil Based Primer?
- Is Polyurethane Toxic After It Dries?
- How To Get The Bubbles Out Of Polyurethane?
- Building With Wet Pressure Treated Lumber
- Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood Indoors?
- Can You Use Non Pressure Treated Wood Outside?
What Do You Need To Know When Using Wood Stain Remover?
1. How Many Types Of Furniture Stain Remover?
There are several choices, each one has its advantages and drawbacks.
You may use a citrus stripper, a chemical, or just sand off the old finish.
You have to follow the safety precautions label on all these procedures to protect both you and the environment in which you operate.
This type has two big advantages.
Firstly, they are safe to apply, clean of methylene chloride, ketones, and so on, unlike most chemical ones.
Secondly, the product’s thickness makes it easy to linger on the board (even on vertical surfaces) and can remove several layers at the same time.
It is formulated for working on paint, varnish, and poly.
It has an appealing lemon smell and can be painted easily.
The downside is that it is goopy and difficult to get the work completely clean.
This product with its thin solvent is suitable for nooks and scrubs, so it dissolves the old polish and leaves the wood ready to be sanded.
However, it is a chemical which calls for all the required protections.
This is also smelly and can irritate skin and eyes, so please follow the container’s warnings.
The thin liquid can even produce a massive mess.
You can not apply it then just leave it there (as with the citrus remover).
Thus, a lot of arm work is required to work it in small areas and to remove the old finish, particularly when you need to clean off many layers.
Solvents are used to dissolve the old finish chemically.
A wood solvent would contain methylene chloride, alcohol, acetone, toluene.
Extreme cleaning strength is one of the key benefits of this type.
These are some of the few remover polish that performs well with old paint.
The drawback is that the materials tend to be the most toxic substances as well.
2. How To Strip Stained Wood?
Removal of a lumber stain is not quite difficult but potentially dangerous.
You will have to pay a great deal of attention to sanding to totally free of all the wood fibers with the solution still attached.
This step creates sciatic dust which can be dangerous when it is inhaled.
We highly advise you to wear a respirator mask so as to ensure that you may not be affected.
You can start to strip the board after you have taken the appropriate steps to avoid respiratory complications.
Check out our instructions on how to remove the stain without sanding if you do not have a mask available.
Note that it takes 2 to 3x longer to react to the chemical reaction while using a stain remover in the cold weather.
Step 1 – Apply product
Any product you choose can be done in a couple of ways.
Some items can be used for pump sprays, some are only available with a brush.
Brushes are stable, accurate, and perfect for any stain removers.
Step 2 – Wait to dry
It is supposed to be 2 minutes to 24 hours.
You are recommended to acknowledge the requirements in each product’s review before using it.
Step 3 – Scrub or clean
The junk accumulated after drying can be removed in many cases more often than not.
Unless otherwise specified, it must be removed using a plastic scraping tool.
Some are known to use methods such as toothbrushes, bristle brushes, and pressure washers.
The difference of the surface between sanding and not sanding after being treated chemically.
(Credit: Maison de Pax)
3. Tips & Tricks For Stripping
There are many factors that can affect your process: the previous finish, the kind of wood, and its age.
We have gathered some helpful tips to assist you in refurnishing:
- When working on floors, try to use thick contractor’s paper instead of plastic for the protection layer. The stripper drips will turn plastic alone into slippery.
- When removing old finishes, just use a plastic scraper. You will not want to ruin your project when it is softened by the stripper.
- Scrape directly into a large trash bin.
- Make sure you wear solvent resistant and high-quality gloves when applying chemical removers since regular gloves may be melted after a significant time. Also pay attention to them, repair them instantly if they appear to buckle or get holes.
- Put the rags in metal or glass containers because the chemicals may melt the plastic.
- Patience is a virtue.
Best Wood Stain Remover Shortlist (Updated List)
Product images Product names Editor's rating Price
FLORIDA LABORATORIES OXALIC ACID CRYSTALS 4.7 Check
DEFY WOOD DECK CLEANER 4.4 Check
FDC PURE OXALIC ACID RUSH REMOVER 4.5 Check
RMR-86 INSTANT MOLD AND MILDEW STAIN REMOVER SPRAY 4.5 Check
WOODRICH BRAND WOOD CLEANER AND STRIPPER 4.4 Check
*Please notice that the reviews and ratings of the following products were recorded on the writing date by the editor. Ratings can be changed over time.
Best Wood Stain Remover – Choose Your Right One
#1. FLORIDA LABORATORIES OXALIC ACID CRYSTALS – OUR FIRST PICK
- Dihydrated oxalic acid 99.6% pure
- Deck, crystals, and metal cleaning
- Remove rust and wood stain
- Mix 0.8 to 1 lb for 1 gallon of water
You can just buy the pure laboratory-grade oxalic acid if you want to skip all your fillers.
The Oxalic Acid Crystals from Florida Laboratories is one of the best, and 99.6% pure per bag is assured by the manufacturer.
You can adjust the strength of the product to suit the job as you mix the solution yourself.
For projects that do not require too much power, mixing it weak is a good way to save some materials.
You can also make it extra strong for challenging works.
One big competitive advantage of this product is pricing.
This is one of the cheapest items on our best wood stain remover list on a cost-per-gallon basis.
Even if it is a little harder to use, it would probably save you some money.
Just one problem here: The pure oxalic acid is very corrosive.
It is not as harmful as sulfuric acid or nitric acid, but if treated improperly it may cause some significant harm.
When you apply this remover, always wear masks, gloves, and respiratory protection pieces of stuff.
Ensure that your children and pets are kept safe away.
- Not expensive
- Lab-grade purity
- Can be mixed customized
- Remove any kind of stain
- Newbies can get confused when applying
- A little bit harmful to humans and pets
#2. DEFY WOOD DECK CLEANER – EASY OPTION
- Clean and open pores of surfaces
- Remove graying from weathered wood
- Remove mill scales of new boards
- Safe for grass and most plants
- Can be used on many other sides
DEFY Wood Deck Cleaner is a safe, oxygenated bleach that is healthy on all surfaces.
It is proven to clean off and remove all kinds of stains and help the sides looking stunning and safe to use.
Moreover, the cleaner also extracts the gray paint from weathered timbers and safe UV rays of the sun.
The product can be used on plants, but covering plants before you start is preferably encouraged.
DEFY Cleaner is not only ideal for a deck but also use for all aspects of the house such as door, fence, sidewalk, etc.
You can use it to clean new surfaces to get rid of small grain after milling.
It thus reveals the versatility of a stain remover.
If you are finding the best fence stain remover, DEFY will not disappoint you.
- Best for removing graying areas by harsh weather
- Ideal for docks and decks
- Ideal for outdoor applications
- Safe for plants
- In stubborn areas, a second treatment might be required
- Some graying areas may need scrubbing
#3. FDC PURE OXALIC ACID RUSH REMOVER – POWERFUL PICK
- Guaranteed 99.6% pure oxalic acid
- Work well with other removal products
- Can be used on pools
- Perform perfectly for deep cleaning
- Remove old and stuck problems
For those people who want to get rid of any stain they could have somewhere in their wood, the FDC Pure Oxalic Acid is an outstanding stain remover solvent for the deck.
Not only wood, but it is a household solvent everyone must get.
Washing away stains without the right remover can be very tough.
This product gives you no stress anymore.
The FDC manufacturer guarantees that it is 99.6% pure oxalic acid powder and is ideal for various purposes.
There is, for example, you want to erase an old stain on your deck that you have not been able to remove just yet, this product will do that trick for you.
If you find you are wasting time trying to clean the old stain and sanding is not at all helpful, you can give this product a try. It is worth paying for.
Nevertheless, you must be careful when using it as it basically is an acid compound.
- Good for rust removal, metal cleaning, bleaching agent
- Use for the household, garden, industrial applications
- Safe for resealable storage container with a child-resistant cap
- Harmful to sensitive children, pets, and plants
- Acid-based chemical
#4. RMR-86 INSTANT MOLD AND MILDEW STAIN REMOVER SPRAY – BEST SELLER
- Specified for removing stubborn mold and mildew stains
- Remove unwanted odors
- Fast acting spray
- No scrubbing needed
- Safe to use on multi kinds of surfaces
Most typical stain remover when being applied tend to leave behind an unpleasant smell.
With the RMR Instant Remover Spray, you do not have to worry about the unwanted odors anymore.
You can spray it over the stain and easily remove any paint stain imperfections that are heavily rooted.
The root of most of your problems is staining from the mold.
That alone will slowly destroy your furniture, and it will begin to grow until there is nothing left.
However, removing the mold spots is very simple by using the RMR Remover Spray.
In comparison with other brands, this product operates very fast.
You could clear the spots, let them dry out then get an uncluttered surface to work within a few hours.
In addition, this spray substance does not risk scratching by using manual removal techniques.
If the chlorine has been washed out, it dries and does not interact anymore.
You can totally prevent scratches without leaving faint mold stains.
On the downside, this stuff is chemically dangerous.
You must wear a hazmat suit literally to use it since it has industrial strength, you can take the risk accordingly.
It actually eats through your work if you forget to clean it down, or it puddles somewhere.
You will not be able to store it for the long term, so we suggest that you purchase and use one small bottle at a time.
- No scrubbing needed
- Fast drying
- Remove mold odors and stains
- Recommended for people who do not know how to manually remove mold spots
- Not an inhibitor of the long term mold
- Need a lot of protection beforehand
- May reveal toxic fumes
#5. WOODRICH BRAND WOOD CLEANER AND STRIPPER – SAFE FOR USE
- Ideal for both new and weathered wood decks
- Remove dead gray weathered cells
- Remove mill seal from new wood
- Buffered to protect the natural beauty of the timber
- Safe for use around pets and plants
The Woodrich Brand Wood Cleaner And Stripper can be applied to many surfaces, including wooden decks, fences, etc.
It can thus environmentally friendly can be used around pets and plants or even children.
For restoration projects, the cleaner is effective because it not only cleans but also conditions the wood for natural coloring.
It is the best wood stain and finish remover for both old and fresh lumber.
From the littlest mill seals to harder stains such as mildews, molds, and greying wood from UV rays exposure, all can be easily cleaned by this product.
Woodrich Stripper is also easy to use and does not take much time.
It does not even have to be scrubbed carefully.
The cleaner can be blended quickly and can cover up to 3000 square feet when mixed appropriately.
Another bonus is that it works easily on rough stains.
This ensures that it can be used to cure oil stains and strip the clearest sealants so that your board looks fresh and new.
- Strong cleaner
- Can be mixed for customization
- Environmentally friendly
- Safe to use
- Kind of expensive
Buyer’s Guideline For Choosing The Best Wood Stain Remover
Why You Should Use A Wood Stain Remover?
You might wonder why you need to use a remover.
The simple answer is its convenience.
You can go in different ways, but remover is the fastest way to go.
Scrappers are quite slow and work too hard, therefore they are obviously inferior. You have to take hours of work even with the use of a heat gun.
You could use a rotary grinder or sander, which is also quick and simple.
Yet you will be facing the flying dust and paint chips everywhere in the air.
This creates a respiratory risk which raises the discomfort of clean-up.
Before and after removing mildew and mold on a board (Credit: Live Oak Hardware)
What makes a good product? Here are some factors you should consider when picking the right product for your work.
This is the first important factor to take into account when purchasing a quality remover.
Some are easy to apply, while others require more time or more complicated steps.
If you want to save some time, use the pre-mixed removers.
Some people like powder ones, on the other hand, because they work very well on rough issues.
You can adjust their consistency to fulfill your needs.
To sum up, we all worry about the effectiveness of every stuff we purchase.
Thus, you must acquire a substance that functions and achieves the correct results.
In order to make your finish look sharp, the best remover can have up to 99% cleaning quality.
The required safety precautions depend on the materials that are used in that bleach.
For some products, you have to wear gloves because they can be hazardous, while other types do not require wearing gloves.
If you buy a cleaner that says that it requires protection gears, make sure to operate it outdoor or at least a good ventilation room.
You should be patient and handle them with caution because it is all chemicals.
Commonly Asked Questions About Wood Stain Remover
1. What Is The Best Interior Stain Remover?
Almost all the products we listed above can be used for both indoor and outdoor furniture.
For interior uses, the Woodrich Brand Wood Cleaner And Stripper may be a good choice because it is easy to apply and not reveal toxic fumes, which is best for frequently touched surfaces inside.
Nonetheless, this product is somehow expensive, but these extra costs are worth paying for your family members’ health.
On the contrary, we chose the FDC Pure Oxalic Acid Rush Remover as the best exterior remover.
The cleaning power of this product is clearly proven. However, please pay attention to the toxic warning.
2. Can I Use A Paint Stripper To Remove A Wood Stain?
That depends on the kind of timber used.
Some stains are just coloring liquids that soaking into and causing the grain.
These types of spots can be removed by scrubbing the surface with a relevant thinner such as mineral spirits or water. If possible, sand it.
3. Will The Remover Products Work On A Teal Stain Gel That Has Been Used On Unfinished Wood?
Yes, the remover products can work well. If not, the paint stripper will still be used.
I would use a stiff-bristled scrub brush to make it smoother and clean the soft stain off with a rag.
4. How Can I Remove Solid Water Based Stain?
It is very hard to eradicate the water based stain on wood but try using the HD-80 stripper from the Woodrich brand.
But it may require several applications and long dwell times.
It can also take sanding after removal, as chemicals may sometimes fur up the lumber.
5. What Is The Top Rated Deck Stain Remover?
The RMR-86 Instant Mold And Mildew Stain Remover Spray have been rated excellent on decking.
A downside of this product is that it may discolor your deck.
Thus, be careful or prepare a varnish or paint to coat afterward.
Anyway, we always advise you to try it in a small area first to see the result before fully applying.
You may be in a hurry to get started immediately after you buy your wood stain remover.
But I would suggest that you take some time to fully uninstall the old finish.
Whichever product you pick, you would definitely get decent results if follow the instructions.
So far so good, the FLORIDA LABORATORIES OXALIC ACID CRYSTALS is our top pick in all testing and reviews.
Although it has a little bit toxic, overall, the cleaning power can not be denied.
For a safer and easier option, give DEFY WOOD DECK CLEANER a try.
However, you may need to scrub the surface before applying.
Every product has its own pros and cons, choose what is the most suitable for your work.
It is not a very easy job to pick the best wood stain remover. Hopefully, our reviews make this task a little simpler for you.
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