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How To Change Wood Color From Dark To Light – 8 Easy Ways

8 steps How To Change Wood Color From Dark To Light

Dark wood stains can affect the entire appearance of your furniture or room. Because of the wood stain, you may not get the perfect match for the interior decoration of your home. Luckily, there are ways to lighten the color until you are happy with it.

The most effective way to lighten the color of your stain is by bleaching the wood with chemicals. This article will let you know How To Change Wood Color From Dark To Light with simple steps. Following these steps, you can easily lighten your furniture.

8 Simple Steps To Know How To Change Wood Color From Dark To Light

Before starting the job, you need to collect some necessary ingredients so that you can complete the task without any problem. To accomplish the job, you need some most important elements and without all these, you could not complete this work.

You need some chemicals, supplies, and safety gear to complete the task and these are:


● Paint stripper
● Wood bleach
● Fast-Drying Clear Varnish (if necessary)
Baking soda


● Paintbrushes
● Paint scraper (use plastic)
● Plastic bucket
● Large scrub brush

● Small scrub brush
● Sandpaper, assorted grit
● A disc or orbital sander (For large furniture)
● Steel wool pad
● Painter’s tape
● Drop cloths or old newspaper

Safety gear

● Safety glasses
● Respirators and masks
● Rubber gloves

How to make dark stain wood lighter

By applying 8 simple and effective steps, you can lighten the color of your furniture and bring a new look.

Step 1: Find a working area

You have to be careful when you are doing the job as you are working with wood stain remover and wood bleach. It has strong fumes, so make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.

Avoid direct sunlight and strong winds, if you are working outdoors in your home.

To prevent spills with a drop cloth, prepare your work area. You need to use painter’s tape to prepare the area.

Step 2: Using safety gear

Safety is the most important factor when you do a task. For safety purposes and skin
protection, wear gloves, safety goggles, and old clothing with long sleeves. These elements will keep you and your skin safe from any harmful ingredients.

Step 3: Removing The Topcoat

Before starting the job of making dark stained wood lighter, first, you need to remove the
topcoat. Without removing the topcoat, the bleaching and painting will not work. Your furniture may have a top protective coat of varnish or polyurethane. Check this to know the removal process.

Apply the chemical or citrus stripper with a paintbrush

Both chemical and citrus strippers are effective at removing stained dark wood. Let’s see how it works!

● Use sandpaper or a chemical stripper
● A citrus-based stripper also works
● Take a paintbrush
● Apply a thick, even layer using the paintbrush
● Let it sit for 15-20 minutes
● If you see it starting to dry, reapply the process to keep the surface wet

Scrape off the chemical stripper

Gently scrape off the stain remover from the wood, using a plastic scraper or putty knife. When the chemical stripper looks bubbled or swollen, then you will understand that it is ready. Use a steel wool pad to remove any leftover bits and then wipe the wood with a damp cloth.

Now have a look at your work and at this point, you see that the wood stain is removed and you may have the color that you want. If you like to increase the lightness of the dark wood, you can follow the extra steps. Make sure the wood is dried completely before doing further processing.

Step 4: Sanding A Layer Of The Wood

Before sanding the wood, let the wood surface for 24 hours to dry. You have to wear facemask and safety goggles when doing the step. Start the step with medium-grit sandpaper with 100-150 grit. If you want, you can use a sanding block or an orbit sander. Usually, an orbit sander saves your time on large wood pieces.

  • First, remove the traces of the stain and stripper and any imperfections
  • Make sure the sanding is not damaging the wood
  • Use a rag to wipe off excess dust
  • Use finer, 180-grit sandpaper until the wood looks smooth
  • Wipe off the excess dust with a rag

If you are satisfied with the color of the wood, you can skip the next steps. Remember that clear varnish will add a hint of color while protecting the wood.

Step 5: Use wood bleach to lighten the wood

To complete this step, you need water and wood bleach. Oak, ash, gum, or beech work great with wood bleach.

● Wear safety gear before working with wood bleach
● Move your work outdoors as you will use lots of water
● Take a plastic bucket and follow the mixing instructions
● Do not mix wood bleach with other chemicals
● Take a scrub brush and apply the prepared wood bleach with the brush to the wood
● Wait 10 minutes and reapply
● Repeat until you achieve the desired lightness
● Then, triple rinse with water repeatedly

Step 6: Drying the wood completely

With a clean, dry cloth, wipe the wood. You need to make sure that you wipe all the excess
moisture and let the wood dry after that. Keep the piece of furniture in an open and dry place. Leave it overnight in the open air.

Step 7: Make it smooth

The bleaching process can make the wood grainy. You need to smooth the wood and to smooth that out, use fine-grit sandpaper. Sand the wood surface completely. Keep doing the process until the wood is smooth.

Step 8: Applying wood color

This step is optional. If you like to have different colors in your furniture then you can add color. This is the perfect time to add color. To get an ideal light color, apply wood color or tint, like this White Color Wash.

Final verdict

Lightening wood is difficult if you do not know the right process. The article on how to make dark stain wood lighter gave detailed information that will help you to get your desired color. You can create the perfect color and lighten the furniture by following the steps.