How to Remove the Ink Logo from Fresh Lumber


Trisha asked: How can I remove the ink logo off of fresh lumber?

Lumber companies stamp their wood products to provide information about the sawmill, grade species, etc. While this information is helpful for the lumber yards and consumers, it is not attractive in the middle of your project. Fortunately, the logo can usually be removed, depending on how deep it goes. Here are several methods that can be used to rid your wood of the unwanted print.

Sanding Method

You Will Need:

  • Palm sander
  • Sand paper

Steps to Remove the Logo:

  1. If the stamp is only on the surface, it will be easiest to sand it off with a palm sander.
  2. Simply sand the wood, following the grain of the wood, until the logo is completely removed.
  3. Wipe the area with a  damp cloth to remove any dust before painting or finishing.

Bleaching Method

You Will Need:

  • Household bleach
  • Oxylic acid
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Scrub brush

Steps to Remove the Logo:

  1. Bleaching the logo is helpful if the ink goes too deep into the wood to sand it away.
  2. Normal household bleach (ex: Clorox) can be diluted with one part water and one part bleach.
  3. Use a soft cloth to apply the bleach to the logo area.
  4. Allow it to soak for several minutes.
  5. Scrub with a brush if necessary to work it into the grain. Always scrub with the grain to avoid damaging the wood.
  6. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  7. Allow to dry completely.
  8. Oxylic acid is commonly found in deck brightening solutions and can also be used to remove the ink stain.
  9. Dilute it the same as bleach and apply using the method above.
  10. Rinse thoroughly and allow the wood to dry completely.

Ink/Paint Removers Method

You Will Need:

  • Lacquer thinner
  • Xylol
  • Steel wool (#000 or #0000)
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Logo:

  1. Choose a paint thinner or ink removal product. There are many available at home improvement stores in the paint department.
  2. Apply it to the area following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. After allowing it to soak, scrub the area with the steel wool.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly (if necessary).
  5. Allow the area to dry completely.

Borax Method

You Will Need:

  • 20 Mule Team Borax
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush

Steps to Remove the Logo:

  1. Borax is a laundry additive that is commonly found in the laundry aisle.
  2. Mix a strong borax/water solution in the bucket.
  3. Apply the mixture to the inked area and allow it to set for several minutes.
  4. Scrub the area with a scrub brush to work the solution into the grain of the wood. Always scrub in the direction of the grain.
  5. Allow the area to soak further until the stain is gone or lessened significantly.
  6. Rinse with clean water.
  7. Allow to dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • When washing wood pieces, ensure they are well supported as they dry. If they are not on a flat surface, there is a risk of the wood warping.
  • Most paint/ink removal products are flammable and should only be used in a well-ventilated area away from any flames or smoking.


  1. Darren says:

    Try sand paper!!

  2. Randy says:

    Removing ink from lumber:
    Tried Sanding – left a large white area.
    Tried oxalic acid – cleaned the wood, did not touch the ink.
    Tried Mr Clean Magic Eraser – worked like a charm.

  3. Abele says:

    There are stamps on lumber: some black, red, blueish, and other colors. The black is and always was the easiest to remove. Any good cleaner (the stamp on this CCA lumber produced by Anthony Timberlands is the toughest to get out – it should not be, if anything give the buyer direction with the product) if you sand on lumber and you get too deep, you change the outlook of the lumber. So come on lumber producers, give us all a break. I need help to remove the stamp on lumber!

  4. Hans says:

    I used the Magic Eraser too! Worked amazingly easy. Much faster than the sandpaper.
    Thanks Randy for the tip!!

  5. Lois says:

    SOS pads.

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