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"Blonding" beech

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Forum topic by moshel posted 475 days ago 788 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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moshel

864 posts in 2185 days


475 days ago

Hi everybody,

The dinner table i am making now is made of beech. while fairly light in colour, i would love to make it as light as possible.
Has anyone had any experiences with Oxalic acid on beech? Two part? or maybe whitewashing?

I tried to get some white pigment from bunnings like Andyboy did, but apparently too many people tried this trick and they have strict orders not to give/sell it anymore.

Any ideas on techniques to make the table “whiter” (not including switching to maple) would be most welcome.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...


21 replies so far

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patron

12844 posts in 1842 days


#1 posted 475 days ago

i’ve always used white latex paint
slobber it on
and wipe it off with the grain
(try some scrap first
to get the right ‘wash’
with the finish you will use)

i found that at first i was thinning it
with water way to much

go from allot of paint
and add a little water
see how it goes

(mix in a small container first
so you don’t waste all the paint)

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2415 days


#2 posted 475 days ago

No experience but I did find this which suggests several different ways, including using Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda or lye), Hydrogen Peroxide as well as oxalic acid. None of these are easily available (Peroxide is but not in the concentrations specified in this article) anymore.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn165.pdf

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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moshel

864 posts in 2185 days


#3 posted 475 days ago

Thanks David. so i guess you sand after the latex paint? I still want the grain to show.
Steve, I know this PDF. however, things are not that simple. I tried to apply these techniques to Rimu and got horrible results – it seems not all timbers react the same.

If anyone has a photo of “blond” furniture it would be interesting for me to see.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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patron

12844 posts in 1842 days


#4 posted 475 days ago

very lightly

rub out with a rag
while wet still
till it shows evenly

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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DocSavage45

4365 posts in 1344 days


#5 posted 475 days ago

Charles Neil suggested that I use the bleach used in swimming pools if a lower grade fifty-fity w water didn’t do it. good luck!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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489tad

1958 posts in 1513 days


#6 posted 474 days ago

Search Haywood Wakefield furniture. I made a coffee table and tried to get the blonde finish, it looks ok but not blonde. Some one told me you can buy the finish from Atlanta but I never followed up. Good luck.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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annaseth

4 posts in 546 days


#7 posted 469 days ago

What I can suggest is the use of oxygen bleach or sodium percarbonate. The usual concentration of commercial products like this is 50-75% and their are a lot of brands to choose from. You can choose from Oxiclean, Clorox Oxygen Action , All Oxi-active, Oxygen8, Color Safe Powdered Bleach etc. This is what I use to bleach my wood instead of just oxalic acid. It’s easier and no need to mix up. -Anne

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moshel

864 posts in 2185 days


#8 posted 469 days ago

thanks for everyone for their suggestions. going to make some test tablets. current options are:
bleach
oxalic acid
oxygen bleach
white oxide pigment mixed with shellac
white oxide pigment mixed with water based poly.
white oxide pigment mixed with tung oil (this is more to satisfy my curiosity)
if i’ll find my hydrogen peroxide i’ll fry it with draino and see what happen (in a well ventilated area!)

will post results here

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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a1Jim

109331 posts in 2079 days


#9 posted 469 days ago

Oxalic acid works well on rust and dark spots left on wood

2 part bleach works best of the these two ,one part is a high percentage peroxiode only available through beauty supply stores to Lic hair dressers of in this 2 part bleach

The strongest is swimming pool bleach “Shock it “

All bleaches are dangerous,so eye protection including long sleeves,rubber gloves plus using it in outdoors or a very well ventilated area and a respirator.
Never mix bleaches they can create poison gases.
Before you finish or switch types of bleach you need to neutralize your wood with a 50/50 solution of water and baking soda ,some times more than once and let dry.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2246 days


#10 posted 469 days ago

I picked up some strong peroxide from a friend that has a hair salon. Worked fairly well at removing the color. Use a water based clear finish, since it doesn’t give much tone to the wood, like an oil base finish will.

-- Tim

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moshel

864 posts in 2185 days


#11 posted 469 days ago

Thanks a1jim
just for safety sake for other people who wants to try this: you have to know what you are neutralizing.
if its acidic, use baking soda. if its alkaline, use vinegar.
part 2 of the two part bleach is sodium hydroxide, AKA as caustic soda, lye or drain opener… very strong alkaline so use vinegar and not soda.

I will try first the pigment as i have a very good mental picture of the effect i am trying to get and it might work well and is not caustic which is a big plus.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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moshel

864 posts in 2185 days


#12 posted 459 days ago

So far tested the white pigment with shellac, oxalic acid and white acrylic paint diluted heavily.
the white pigment with shellac worked nicely on DF but not on beech (must be the very smooth surface).
Oxalic acid did very little but it did made it a bit nicer. the white acrylic paint worked the best. still trying to find the perfect ratio. it also looks nicer on DF….
will post pictures when i get the perfect thing.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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moshel

864 posts in 2185 days


#13 posted 453 days ago

after many tests i decide to go with diluted acrylic. it was 1:10, i brushed it on and wiped it off after a few seconds. very painless application.

here it is with a piece of the original beech for comparison:

some close ups:

now lets hope i will not ruin it with the waterbased poly….

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2415 days


#14 posted 453 days ago

Of course this is not ‘bleaching’ anymore – this is what is commonly known as ‘whitewashing’

Since you’ve used water based acrylic using a water based poly over top should be fine.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11605 posts in 2189 days


#15 posted 453 days ago

All of that extra work to make the Beech look like Maple.
Are you saving anything in the long run , or did you just want to use the Beech because you already had it ?

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

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