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Hi guys - this is my first post. I need some help.

I wanted to refinish the walnut stocks on my Browning 1886, which were scratched all to bits and looked awful. Browning uses a tremendously powerful plastic type finish on top of their stains, and this was a tough go - several applications of stripper finally got the poly off the wood, but I was left with a muddy brown stain beneath that no commercially available stripper in Canada would touch (I tried several.)

So, on the advice of a local woodworker, I applied household bleach to the wood. It definitely got all the stain out. I was left with some black marks on various places on the stock that the bleach wouldn't touch, which I took to be tannin stain.

I applied Oxalic acid to these spots.

I then took it easy with the sandpaper - 150, 220, and 600.

So I have a couple of pieces of walnut that would normally be chocolate milk coloured, but are pretty much bone white with little to no grain figuring.

Also, in places where I sanded, some light brown is showing...which I take to be the natural colour of the wood peeking out beneath the bleached surface and can't really be helped - right?

I want to know how to 1.) stain this wood uniformly, and 2.) make it look as good as possible, obviously, though I now have my doubts.

The stain I'd be using is a gel stain, and a deep red colour, matched at a local store. "Winchester Red" is the closest I can come to calling it - it's the very deep red Winchester used to stain their gun stocks back in the day.

Any ideas for me? Thanks for any help.
 

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might want to test it where you cannot see it.
 

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If you are trying to make a muddy brown stain then I would suggest using a water based stain. It isn't as penetrating as a dye or oil stains. If a latex stain isn't available you could thin some brown latex paint and use that for stain. Just be sure to wipe off the excess. Then it could be clear coated with the finish of your choice. I believe with a gel stain you would get more uneven color since you have some places that sanded cleaner.

It is normal to have some of the wood sand whiter than the rest of it, especially where it has more end grain. It should even out when you stain it again. It would be easier if you try to go back with the same color as it was. If you just want the gel stain you could first stain it with the latex stain to even the color out. Then let it dry and lightly sand it to smooth it and then use the gel stain over the top.
 

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I've had good results by using trans-tint dye (maybe a medium brown in your application) and mix with de-waxed shellac as a toner, then when dry you could use the topcoat of your choice
 

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Well, you managed to use two of the three bleaches available to a woodworker. The residual coloring left after you used the chemical paint stripper was a dye stain. Dye stains are removed by the use of a chlorine bleach. Swimming pool chlorine is the best source. Oxalic acid bleach is used to remove dark or black stains caused by minerals reacting with chemicals in the wood.

To even out the coloring you might try applying oxalic acid to all the wood. It's not a good idea to just selectively apply a bleach. You will end up with uneven coloring.

Oh, the other woodworker's bleach is two part A/B bleach used to remove the natural color of wood.
 
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