Mary asked: How do I remove water stains from the walls? We have a finished basement, and there was a water issue after excessive flooding in the area. We fixed the leak, but some walls still show water stains. Short of replacing the wood panels or painting, is there something I can do?
Water stains are tricky to remove from wood, with the success of any one method dependent upon several factors. These include the type of wood, its condition, and its finish (or lack thereof). Many types of wood paneling, however, will respond to the following method for removing dark stains.
You Will Need:
- Oxalic Acid (available at hardwood stores)
- Warm water
- Glass bowl
- Synthetic brush
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Mix oxalic acid with warm water until the acid crystals dissolve. Check the label for the appropriate ratio for your project.
- Use the brush to apply the acid solution over the stain.
- Leave it there until the color of the stain fades.
- Wipe with a clean rag to remove the acid residue.
- Sand lightly to smooth the surface.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Read package directions, heed all warnings, and if possible, spot test before you begin.
- If you have unfinished wood paneling, you can also try removing the stains with a commercial wood bleach containing oxalic acid. Follow the label directions for use, then allow the wood to dry before sanding lightly with fine grit paper to smooth the surface.
- Some types of wood paneling or finishes are unlikely to show improvement. In these cases, they will either need to be painted or replaced.
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I recently had a flood in my recording studio. I have a lot of rough cedar trim throughout the studio. All the lower cedar now has water stains. Is there a product that will remove the stains? I’m in hopes there is a way instead of tearing everything out and replacing it. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
I have an old caravan. Some of the wall laminate ply sheeting is flaking and looking a bit faded. Can I sand back the surface and apply a stain gloss to bring it back to life, without the expense of replacing every sheet?
Yes and no. You can’t sand laminate the same way that you would sand wood because it isn’t one solid piece. Laminate is particle board with a layer of wood vaneer on top. So, you can sand it, but you should use a screen sander. Doing that will remove the gloss layer, which is most likely what you see flaking, and prevent you from sanding into the vaneer. After that, yes, you can stain it.
Source: Hunker – How to Sand Laminate Flooring
Source: NALFA – What is Laminate Flooring?
Source: Hometalk – Staining Laminate – Yes, it can be done!