How to bleach wood naturally?
Do you have a nice wooden piece of furniture that you really like, but find that the color of the wood is too dark? Did you know that it was possible to discolor it?
For having tested several homemade recipes, here are my best tips and tricks for lightening wood naturally.
1. Lighten wood with baking soda
This is the first trick I tested at home to naturally discolor and age wooden furniture. For this trick to work, it is important to strip and sand the wood well to begin with.
- Place the furniture in a « very » sunny place or better directly on the balcony.
- Form a malleable dough with an equal amount of baking soda and water.
- Apply the baking soda paste directly to the wood to be bleached (a thick coat with a brush).
- Leave on the wood for several hours (all day) and remove the paste with a brush.
- Pass a damp cloth to remove all the paste and dry with a new dry cloth.
To speed up the discoloration process or to whiten the wood more effectively, spray vinegar on the surface of the baking soda paste.
2. Bleach the wood with rubbing alcohol
One old trick that works well for thinning wood is using rubbing alcohol. Contrary to the other tricks suggested in my article, the spare alcohol is the least spectacular, but it is especially the least corrosive for the wood.
As with all the other tips and tricks on this page, it’s important to thoroughly strip and sand wood furniture before applying these brighteners.
Here is how to lighten wood with methylated spirit:
- Wear gloves, soak a sponge in rubbing alcohol and rub the wood surface.
- Repeat several times to whiten and to further clean the wood.
- Use a wood wax to polish the furniture and make it shine afterwards.
3. Bleaching wooden furniture with ammonia and hydrogen peroxide
Another grandmother’s recipe that is probably the most effective for bleaching, but also the most powerful on wood, is the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.
It is important to wear gloves, goggles and protective mask before doing this trick!
- Mix an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.
- Apply the solution to the wood to be bleached using a brush.
- Leave on for about 1 hour and rinse with a cloth and water.
- Rinse again with a cloth and vinegar water and dry quickly with a new dry cloth.
Be careful with this trick, because the mixture of the 2 ingredients generally attacks the wood in depth. So better to use it on wood and furniture that doesn’t matter too much to you.
4. Brighten wooden furniture with bleach.
Well, I agree with you, this product is really harmful for the environment so it is to be used with caution and not too regularly!
- Mix 100 ml of bleach in 1 liter of hot water.
- Soak a brush in the solution and scrub the furniture in the direction of the grain of the wood.
- Rinse with a sponge and water the entire surface of the wood and repeat a second time.
- Dry the wood surface with a soft, dry cloth to complete the trick.
If you want to lighten the wood further, just repeat the previous steps 1 or 2 more times.
Of course, it’s important to wear gloves and eye protection when performing this bleach trick. And watch out for splashes and therefore stains of discoloration!