Avoiding bleed through when staining is just a matter of following some fairly common sense steps and taking some important precautions.
The problem with bleed through can be particularly problematic when you are dealing with older furniture that needs to be stained.
One might think that all woods are just about equal when it comes to staining and the like.
That is entirely untrue, however — cedar and mahogany woods are particularly prone to bleed through.
This is not to say that you should not attempt to stain your wooden furniture if they are made of cedar or mahogany, nor that you should avoid purchasing cedar and mahogany furniture.
The long and short of it is that the best way to prevent bleed through is going to be to use a good primer paint before you stain the wooden furniture.
Some people would suggest that it is sufficient to use only one coat of primer paint but like with anything else, often times two is much better than one.
Your own experience on this might well vary and you could find that one coat of primer paint is sufficient for you.
The issue with woods that cause the bleed through in the first place is the tannins that are are found in the wood itself.
Tannins are a type of biomolecule that are water soluble and will quite often bleed right up to the surface of wood, which is where the problem of bleeding comes in.
Because it is water soluble, wood that is not treated properly and that is exposed to excessive water is more prone to stain bleeding.
Furthermore, because of this water solubility, it is important not to use a water based paint as this would only contribute to the bleed through issue.
Some people have found that using a pressure washer to wash the wood is particularly beneficial in preventing staining bleed through.
After doing such a wash it is important that the wood thoroughly dries — perhaps at least forty-eight hours to ensure that the furniture is dry enough to consider staining.
The kind of primer that you choose for the project makes a huge difference and there are many primers out there that are specifically made for blocking stains and priming the wood.
Bleed through stains can be removed with moderate success using either oxalic acid or an oxalic based solution.
Oxalic acid is often sold in some paint stores in small bags to be used as a sort of wood bleach.
Half a cup of powder to a gallon of warm water mixed together and then liberally applied to the stain will help get you started removing it.
Follow this by scrubbing the problem areas with a brush that is stiff and then rinsing well — and of course letting the wooden furniture dry.
It’s important to follow the directions of any sort of acid based cleaner as they can be quite caustic, so you should of course wear all of the necessary protections — for your eyes, gloves, and clothing that perhaps you don’t care so much about and that will protect you well.
Oxalic acid is not something that you want to ever allow to get anywhere near your skin.
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