If the wood is now splotchy, with some unstained areas and some lighter or darker than others, you have a problem.
New Stain One solution is to apply new stain of the same color right over the old. This may work but also may create some new problems. If you decide to try it, test the idea first on a hidden area. Look at what happens to the darkly stained areas. Are they now too dark? Can you achieve an even tone over both the stained and unstained areas? Sometimes you can, depending on the wood and the original stain.
Bleaching The more common solution to this problem is to bleach the stain out of the wood. We discussed bleaching in the previous chapter, where it was suggested for use in repairing finishes. The bleaching of a whole piece of furniture, or at least large parts of it. is essentially the same operation, but on a much larger scale.
We have worked out a method that we think is less difficult than most. Keep the furniture right there in the work area where it was stripped. Fill a typical window spray bottle with common household bleach. Spray this bleach on the entire piece. Spray again and allow to dry. Keep repeating the process until the stains have disappeared. What should happen is that after each spraying, the stains become a little lighter in color.
Once the bleaching is finished, rinse all surfaces with clear water to get rid of all chemicals. We don't like all this liquid bleach and water on furniture, because it almost always produces raised grain. But this method appears to be the only solution to the splotchy stain problem if restaining doesn't work.
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