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Easy Methods for Bleaching Wood Furniture

Bleach­ing wood fur­ni­ture is not a new con­cept but it is def­i­nite­ly trend­ing in home decor right now. Sim­ply put it’s just a process for light­en­ing wood. I cre­ates that beau­ti­ful, blonde type vibe that can eas­i­ly be mixed into rus­tic decor, mod­ern aes­thet­ics and every­thing in between. 

I am espe­cial­ly fond of it bring­ing out the nat­ur­al beau­ty in wood rather than cov­er­ing it with paint. Don’t get me wrong, there is def­i­nite­ly a time and place for paint­ed pieces but this process is per­fect for those heir­loom type pieces that you want to pre­serve or maybe you don’t want to go through all the work of painting. 

Household Bleach Method

My first wood bleached project was this tater bin gift­ed to me by my mom. It was­n’t a piece to be passed down or any­thing spe­cial so I thought it was the per­fect project to try my hand on. After it was com­plet­ed I was hooked. I have since bleached a set of cof­fee tables and a man­tle for the shoppe. 

If you’re new to the idea of wood bleach­ing, let me just say there are a few ways you can go about it to get the effect. I per­son­al­ly like using things I already have on hand, espe­cial­ly if I try­ing out the tech­nique for the first time. Typ­i­cal house­hold bleach is what I per­son­al­ly reach for if I am work­ing on a flat sur­face, like the tater box. I have linked a few dif­fer­ent meth­ods along with the images below for ref­er­ence if you are look­ing for a more in depth tutorial.

SOURCE ‑House­hold Bleach
SOURCE — House­hold bleach

Anoth­er method that I have read up on but not ever per­son­al­ly tried is this 2‑part bleach­ing sys­tem. It accel­er­ates the light­en­ing process a bit and seems to be more effec­tive than oth­er meth­ods in draw­ing out red tones in woods like cedar. The images below are click­able so you can read the tuto­ri­als before ven­tur­ing into your own wood bleach­ing project.

Two Part- A/B Wood Bleach Kit 

SOURCE-Two-Part A/B Wood Bleach
SOURCE — Two-Part A/B Wood Bleach

This side table was bleached using a sim­i­lar wood bleach­ing kit. 

SOURCE- Wood Bleach­ing Kit

And the last and per­haps my favorite method for wood bleach­ing is by using oven clean­er. Yes, oven clean­er. It acts as a strip­ping agent and works best on pieces that have a stain or var­nish. It will not work on a paint­ed sur­face. It’s a fair­ly sim­ple process that works won­der­ful­ly in those pieces with intri­cate designs and hard to reach areas. 

A cou­ple of my per­son­al take­aways from using oven clean­er are, make sure you are using the name brand Easy-Off Fume Free and not the off brands. They do not have the same strip­ping pow­er. Be sure to have a water hose handy to hose down the fur­ni­ture after allow­ing the clean­er to work its mag­ic. Don’t be alarmed if it isn’t light enough after the first coat­ing. Some­times a sec­ond round is nec­es­sary, depend­ing on the project.

Oven Cleaner Bleaching Method

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