Wood Rim Bleaching

Bulletin #: 11c
by Julian Zwolski
Prepared April 1973
Revised: 1994-01-01

If your rim is discolored and has dark spots, these spots can be removed by bleaching the wood. To remove spots use 100% pure ammonia or pure bleach liquid. By using these liquids the wood grain will become raised and will cause spots to raise with the grain. Deep spots are hard to remove altogether.

The following steps should be used in bleaching wood:

  1. Remove all paint, shellac, and varnish.
  2. Sand the rim smooth.
  3. Using a tub, soak the wood rim in either ammonia or bleach liquid for 1/2 hour. Turn the rim while soaking. Don’t let the rim stand in one spot. Bleach entire rim so light spots won’t appear.
  4. Lightly wash rim off and dry.
  5. Sand smooth. If spots still appear then let rim dry and repeat same procedure after two days. Sometimes (depending on spots) the rim will have to be bleached several times.
  6. Refinish rim.
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