I have two old solid wood dressers covered with two different veneers. One, I think, is "zebra stripe."

I stripped a dark stain off of them. Since I wanted a lighter wood color, I experimented with bleaching them with oxalic acid. It worked well. I don't want to stain them, just topcoat.

However, I see some blotchiness, (I'm assuming from the bleaching technique?) I'd like to even out. I'm wondering what would help. Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Hace you search the previous Q&A? There are many references to blotches in finishes. Furthermore, if you can't find your answer in the historical Q&A (see the Related items in the sidebar) you should edit this question and provide some clear photos of the problem you are describing in the text. Make sure you take the tour if you have not already. – jdv Jun 8 at 20:08
  • "Since I wanted a lighter wood color, I experimented with bleaching them with oxalic acid." FYI, oxalic isn't really a wood bleach, despite being marketed literally as "wood bleach" what it is for is bleaching dark stains or greyness from wood. It doesn't actually bleach wood per se. If you want to meaningfully lighten a wood's colour you need to use actual bleach (chlorine bleach) or for a major colour change two-part wood bleach, sometimes marketed as A+B wood bleach. BTW, did you thoroughly remove all traces of oxalic from the wood after it dried? It's important to rinse 2-3 times. – Graphus Jun 9 at 16:40
  • "However, I see some blotchiness," This could be any number of things, especially given that the wood previously had a dark stain, or dark coating of some kind, on it. Stain in particular (regardless of type) is nearly impossible to completely and uniformly remove from wood, and even more so from veneers where removing a noticeable amount of wood from the surface is off the cards as an option. – Graphus Jun 9 at 16:41
  • I've had such poor luck with different bleaching methods I'm hesitant to ever try it again. It seems to bring out the worst of what the wood has to offer. Maybe that's just the stuff I've been working with. At this point my idea of re/finishing is "do the minimum required for the use, try your best, and accept what you get in a zen-like manner". – jdv Jun 10 at 15:52

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