Removing stain on interior pine wall

Questions From Our VisitorsCategory: StainsRemoving stain on interior pine wall
Kelly Hennessey asked 1 month ago

Hi William;
My husband and I have just spent considerable time, energy and money renovating a fairly new cottage that has tongue in groove pine walls and ceilings which we love. We thought we wanted to “match” the pine (as the renovation was simply doubling the size of the main room) … but after paying for a stain match and staining one wall and half the vaulted ceiling, we stopped. While the tone was right, we didn’t realize how the character of each pine board would no longer shine through. My husband felt he was “suffocating” the wood as he stained; I realized each piece of wood has its own story to tell. We have decided to wait to figure out our next steps. Do we just give the remaining untreated pine time to age? Can we remove or dilute the stain we have applied (now 3 days old)? Is there any effective way to “start again”? All the the stain removal articles seem based on deck/outdoor stain removal.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, hopefully sooner than later!

1 Answers
William Stewart Staff answered 1 week ago

Hi, Kelly.

I’m not sure what stain you used, but you have three options with many stains today. Transparent, semi-transparent, or solid; these terms describe the level of pigmentation in the stain. The solid stains are almost paint-like in their coverage, offering great UV protection but hiding much of the underlying wood. Semi-transparent stains have less pigmentation and thus less UV protection, but the wood grain and color are more apparent. The transparent stain has the least pigmentation and offers the least UV protection of the three, but you can see the wood color and grain through the stain.

I’d look at what sort of stain you bought, as I’m guessing it’s semi-transparent at best. Did you thin the stain on application, as that can lighten the color and allow a bit more character through?

Otherwise, finding transparent stains that suit pine are few and far between, but you could try these two:

Unfortunately, you’ll be waiting a long time for the new pine to age to match the old. If you decide to start again, your options are to strip or sand to remove the stain already on there. I’d try stripper in an inconspicuous spot if you can find one. Sorry that I can’t be the bearer of better news!