Bleaching Wood-Turned Vessels
by Nick Cook

Note: The following directions work well for the bleaching process of vessels turned from wood with a moderate to high moisture content.

  1. Materials
    Heavy duty rubber gloves
    Plastic container (old bowl or butter bucket)
    Cheap 1" or 2" paint brush (sponge or nylon)
    Old measuring cup
    Safety glasses
    Old aluminum baking pan 11" x 14" or larger
    Two-parts wood bleach (i.e., Klean strip or Dalys)
  2. Mixing
    Clean surface to be bleached (mixture of 50/50 mix of solution A and solution B)
    Mix enough for two coats (mixture weakens after 3-4 hours)
  3. Application
    Wear gloves and safety glasses when applying the mixture
    Cover the entire surface to be bleached with the mixture while vessel is in aluminum pan
    Set the vessel in sun or under heat lamp (high wattage)
    After surface is dried, apply second coat of mixture
    Repeat process until the desired texture or color is attained
  4. Reapplication
    If surface appears blotchy or uneven, apply a uniform coat of solution B only
    After an additional 2 to 3 hours, if wood is still too dark, apply a second coat of a new mixture of solutions A and B
  5. Sanding
    Allow the vessel to dry for 12 to 24 hours out of direct sunlight
    Sand lightly with 400 grit sand paper
  6. Finish
Use only lacquer type finishes on bleached vessels