Water Stain Removal for Knotty Pine Paneling

Knotty pine is known for its bold grain and vibrant knots. Pine paneling has light undertones that reveal stains badly. A little water stain can ruin an whole walls of paneling if left untreated. There are lots of procedures for removing water stains from your paneling. The method employed for fixing the stained area depends upon the kind of stain that you have in your knotty pine paneling.

Iron Method

For white or muddy spots in your paneling that haven’t penetrated all the way through the timber, a hot iron can be used to improve the overall look of the spot. Fold a clean, soft, cotton cloth and place it over the spot. Plug in and turn onto a household iron to its greatest setting. Position the hot iron over the water stain and press firmly. Permit the heat to permeate through the cloth into the finish for at least 60 minutes. Remove the iron and cloth. Visually inspect the spot and reapply the iron needed.


Another method of applying heat to snowy or hazed water stains from pine paneling is to use a warm atmosphere source. Two okay tools to supply heat to the area are a hairdryer plus a woodworker’s heating gun. For a hairdryer, place it to the highest setting. For a heating gun, set it to low. Start the gun and point it in the area from a few inches away. Apply heat to the area for a minumum of one minute. Permit the area to cool, then visually inspect the stain. Reapply the heat as needed.


For deeper stains with discoloring, a light abrasive such as toothpaste can be used to polish the stain from the finish. Apply a small amount of toothpaste into the affected area and rub it in with a sterile cloth. Polish the place with the cloth to buff out the water stain. Use a clean cloth to wipe the the toothpaste in the surface. Reapply the toothpaste as needed to finish the stain removal process.

Strip and Bleach

For severe stains which have ruined the paneling’s finish and penetrated into the timber, stripping and refinishing are often demanded. Tape off the area and employ a gel stain with a soft brush. Permit the stripper to work for the time recommended on the package label. Use a nylon scraper to scrape the stripper and old finish by the taped-off location. Rinse the area with sterile mineral spirits. Allow it to dry. Sand the area lightly, using a rotary tool with a sanding tip accessory or sandpaper. Apply an all round stain and clear finish in a walnut color which matches the surrounding area, using a soft brush.

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