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Any advice on removing stamped on ink lettering from bare wood so it can be stained and varnished? I've tried Murphy's oil soap, oops, goof off and sanding with coarse (60 grit) sand paper but it's still there. Thoughts?
Those lumber marks go deep into the grain. I don't think simple sanding will remove it. You might try household bleach applied to the stain. If that does not work try oxylic acid ( commonly found in deck brightening solutions). One is basic, the other acidic. One of them should lessen the extent of the stain. There are also solutions sold for ink removal at Home Depot in the paint department.
You could try some lacquer thinner along with some #000 or #0000 steel wool. No promises. Depends upon the type of ink.
Could also try some xylol.
(No smoking or flames around either of those)
Thanks to both of you for the tips. My goal was to refinish once carpeted stairs. The wood is so damaged (I suspect an inferior product was used to begin with) refinishing isn't possible, and it just isn't cost effective for us to replace. So, we're moving to plan "B" (which I thought should be plan A in the first place). Sometimes I just have to push that old horse's head right into the water! Thanks again. :)
:)I was desperate to find something to remove those terrible ink stamps from the wood on our new deck, before we seal it. I tried many things such as alcohol, nail polish remover,which made the stain a little lighter but not enough to satisfy me so I decided to try 20 MULE TEAM BORAX which is found in the laundry detergent isle @ your supermarket. It is a natural laundry booster, a multi-purpose household cleaner. I am pleased with the way it works. There is still a trace of the ink mark but it isn't so noticeable. I mixed it according to directions on the box and then added quite a bit more to the water and scrubbed it with a brush and let it soak for awhile. I havn't seen any adverse affects to the wood. I tried it in an area that wouldn't be noticed just in case it would stain.