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Bleaching a Front Door. Advice needed

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darrenkarp

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Hi,

We have bought a new front door from Magnet (Carolina) and it's a
reddy kind of hardwood (not certain what the wood actually is) but
the wife wants it stained an oak colour. As we all know you can't
stain a reddy door an oak colour so I was wondering whether there is
something one can put on the door to bleach it first before
staining. Does anyone know?

Regards
Darren
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Darren

Firstly, welcome to the forum.

I've move your post over to the finishing section in the hope that you'll get some replies from the experts.

Cheers
Neil
 

Chris Knight

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A two part bleach is the best for removing colour from wood itself - as opposed to removing colours from unwanted stains or purposely dyed wood. They are sold by all finishing specialists such as Mylands, Morrells etc. Part 1 and 2 or A and B (nomenclature depends on maker) are caustic soda and hydrogen peroxide so wear gloves and eye protection.

Instructions are given on the containers and are clear and simple - the stuff is quite safe to use with basic precautions. If one application does not fully bleach the wood, a second application will probably do so (two applications are more effective than stronger solutions in almost all woodstainig/bleaching operations) .

Oxalic acid and chlorine bleaches are most unlikely to work satisfactorily for your application - whatever the labels or the retailers say. This stuff has a shortish shelf life so buy from a place with a good turnover.
 

darrenkarp

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Hi Chris,

Many thanks for the reply. I'm a real novice when it comes to this sort of thing so really don't know where to start looking for these products, do B&Q sell them?

I trust your advice but have I explained myself enough with regards to the door that I have? as I said in my first post the door was bought from Magnet and has a reddy colour and what I don't want to do is ruin it. This 2 part bleaching kit you were referring to, what final colour should I expect?

Many thanks again!
 

Chris Knight

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Darren,

These folk will stock it (they usually have much more available than the stuff shown on their websites so give them a call or visit or send for a paper catalogue if you need more info. from them).

B&Q are most unlikely to have it even in their largest warehouse type stores and even if they did I wouldn't buy it there for reasons of shelf life.

Depending where you live there may be more local places for you - the key is to find a professional wood finishes supplier. Give us an idea of where you are and someone may point to a company local to you.

The colour you can expect depends of course on a number of factors but as a very rough indication I have bleached a reddish mahogany to paper white with two applications of this system - one application gave me a pale biscuity colour in the same wood.

ANY, repeat ANY staining, bleaching or finishing system should really be tried out on a scrap of the same wood as the intended target just because there are so many variables and it is impossible to be totally prescriptive. Having said that I wouldn't expect any problems in your situation. Since you have no scraps - I would use the edge of the door to test, it won't be too visible if it goes wrong.

http://www.richardbarry.co.uk/resources ... efault.asp
http://www.wsjenkins.co.uk/
http://www.morrells-woodfinishes.com/
http://www.myland.co.uk/
 

darrenkarp

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Many thanks again for the speedy reply. I'm based in Finchley, North London. Can I assume (or hope!) that this bleaching process simply removes the pigment from the wood and that it can then be stained, etc. without any major rubbing down? If you know of any local dealers to me it'll be appreciated plus what exactly should I order?

Darren
 

houtslager

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Darren where in Finchley are you, as I used to live/work in the area.
The door can be bleached using a 2 part mix.the first thing youll need is a
large outdoor area, as there are fumes that come off in this process.Large sheet of plastic is also advisable to place undser the working area.
So, to doing the deed.
1.wash the whole door down with luke warm water.
2.once dry, and using good thick rubber gloves, wash the whole door down with part 1 of the bleach
2.Wipe excess off, making sure no runs occur - causing "white out"
3.Have a cup of tea/coffee
4.Wash down with part 2 of the bleach - thoroughly.
5.Again watch out for runs, keep it even and then wipe excess moisture/solution off.
Allow to dry COMPLETLY !
The colour will be severly redued if not totally gone [if fresh solution is used]
Wash down with water / vineger solution allow to dry out again. Now it is ready for your colouring stain.
All in all , it should take you about three days including drying out thoroughly.
Have fun.
HS in Amsterdam
 

darrenkarp

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Many thanks for the reply. I was wondering, are there any companies you know of in or around London that could do this bleaching for me?

Thanks a million
Darren
 

darrenkarp

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I've been to the Richard Barry website and they say that using a 2 part bleaching process can be difficult. They have a product called Lakeone Wood Whitener. Has anyone used this before and would it suit my purpose?

Many thanks
Darren
 

Chris Knight

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Darren,

I have no experience with the stuff you mention.

If you are nervous about the two part bleach, then a couple of ideas suggest themselves to me.

1. Trade in the door for another of the colour you want - why not get an oak door? I guess this being so obvious there is a reason you can't do it so here's another thought.

2. With patience and a bit of trial and error, you can stain a reddish colour to look like a darkish oak - you need to add green to "neutralise" the red colour (basic colour theory stuff) and you will get a brown colour.

You could experiment on the edge of the door with a few batches of a green dye at different concentrations

If you want a lighter colour than this gives you, then it is really back to bleaching.

Don't forget that whatever finish you apply to the door is also going to modify its colour.
 
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