Bleaching

Hi I have tried searching for bleaching but I seem to be getting conflicting information on the subject, I have made some kitchen cabinets fronm english oak but when I oiled them with raw linseed oil they went quite a brown colour some more than others , I have now sanded this off , and am thinking about bleaching to try and lighten and even out the tones , will this be possible and would i then be able to apply an oil finish ?
many thanks in advance Paul
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While I have never done any bleaching, it occurs to me that the linseed oil may have soaked in differently across the wood because of grain patterns. I suspect that any linseed oil that is buried in the grain could cause splotching and really look bad.
I' try out bleaching some sample wood before working on the cabinets or on a door back that will not show.
Don Dando

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Don Dando wrote:

I have sanded out as best I can and it looks ok , I will go over with some oil based stripper and wire wool to remove what I can from the grain , I have spoken to rustins the uk firm who supply the bleach and as you would imagine the reply was" try a sample and see"

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paul wrote:
> I have sanded out as best I can and it looks ok , I will go over with > some oil based stripper and wire wool to remove what I can from the > grain , I have spoken to rustins the uk firm who supply the bleach and > as you would imagine the reply was" try a sample and see"
I assume by "wire wool" you mean steel wool.
If so, I'd try either bronze wool available at a ship's chandlery or a plastic pot scrubber.
If you use steel wool and don't absolutely remove ALL residue, it will eventually rust.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Not on oak it won't, it'll turn into blue-black iron stain which is _far_ worse than mere rust.
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paul wrote:

Where did you look and what did it tell you?
There are several sorts of wood bleach. Most work differently, on different things, and have little effect on the others. Specifically, oxalic acid is the one that's effective on darkened (aged or weatherbeaten) oak or to remove iron stain from it, hydrogen peroxide is the two part commercial "wood blech" that's used to lighten tropicals or cherry, and hypochlorite bleaches (kitchen cleaners aisle) are the ones for stripping off dyes or ink spills.
None of these are ideal for invisibly removing oil from oak. Much of what you're seeing here is the optical effect of filling wood grain with a translucent oil, not a dye per se.

That's just the timber darkening as you oil it. You shouldn't have used linseed oil because in 6 months time it will be a bilious yellow colour too. Nor should you have used raw linseed, rather than a boiled linseed, as it's hard to cure it.

You're unlikely to fully sand off an oil finish, it's likely to either remain blotchy or to involve removing a lot of timber. Now you're using oil I'd stick with it, despite any darkening. Faffing about trying to change it will just make things worse.
As you've discovered, there's an old adage for finishing, "If you don't experiment on scrap first, then you're experimenting on the real thing".
You've built cabinets in what's basically a darker timber. Either live with it, rebuild them in maple, or learn a lot about finishing first before trying to change them. Fiddling will not help.
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wrote:

Having read all the comments ,they cover most of it. As for removing the oil try solvent such as benzene or acetone, be sure to follow the safety instructions. Also after a good wiping down, go over with a slightly stiff brush and work solvent liberally into the pores on the wood. Wipe down, lat face down on a absorbent cloth or if you have enough; sawdust.
Once it is clean and dry, recommend a good wood sealer. this helps to even out the oil or stain color you use by sealing up the pores and evening out the absorption of the oil / stain.
As with all advice, get advice from others before following advice.
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eAlexandria wrote:

Fortunately Paul is unliekly to be able to get hold of any, and anyone who can get hold of it knows that it's not a good idea to be splashing it around quite so carelessly, especially not in a kitchen!
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As I said follow the safety directions. I have a bunch of it still from old days gone by. And I would not expect anyone to SPLASH it at all.
I should have said a solvent like benzene or acetone. "Odorless" Mineral spirits would work as well, at least until the EPA outlaws even that! Just need a lot of ventilation whatever you use. Obviously you don't use the kitchen while you're doing all this.
Half of the chemicals that were banned from sale to the public are safe enough to use, though getting rid of it afterwards has caused a few problems. Does any one out there know of a safe solvent? I haven't tried any of the citrus stuff that's out there. Feedback??
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thank you all for yoyr comments.
I did try many paels before committing myself , boiled linseed , finishing oil , drew out the grain brown , danish oil was slightly black , white shellac and a gilp , the raw linseed as you say was a slightly yellow but didn't draw out the brown as much, the problem I had was a panel or two looked ok but the kitchen has base and wall units and this is quite a large area with quite a range of colours , I have sanded out as best I can very difficult to see any now but I can feel that the sandpaper is cutting dry wood , I am rying to even things out now and hopefully start again , I have used oxcilic on green oak ( wet plaster ) but have never used the two part , I live in the U.K. so maybe the acetone is more available here , liberon do a precleaner to remove oil and wax I will check this out , Thank you once again for your help Paul
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paul wrote:

Acetone will probably become hard to obtain very soon now (along with hydrogen peroxide and chapati flour).
It's expensive, unless you go to a fibreglass specialist and buy at least a gallon, when it becomes cheap. Handy workshop solvent and much less noxious than most alternatives.
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> Acetone will probably become hard to obtain very soon now (along with > hydrogen peroxide and chapati flour). > > It's expensive, unless you go to a fibreglass specialist and buy at > least a gallon, when it becomes cheap. Handy workshop solvent and much > less noxious than most alternatives. >
Just curious, was buying acetone for $6-8/gallon; however,have had some significant price increases in the last year so it is now about $13-$14/gallon here in SoCal.
How much is it in the UK?
Lew
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Acetone is about 20.00 for 2.5 lts delivered quite a bit more expensive ,but I am not to sure if that is cheap or dear just convienient . I did speak with a technical guy who advised a sprinkle of Fullers Earth over the top to form a sort of pummice to draw out any oil .
Thank you again for your helpfull responses Paul
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