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Remove Grade Stamp

bilyo's picture

Remove Grade Stamp (post #111867)


Does anyone know what will remove grade stamps from lumber and plywood; other than sanding through it?  I have tried the following: denatured alcohol, paint thinner, turpentine, naptha, laquer thinner, acetone, wood bleach, and household bleach.  Of these, denatured alcohol seems to work the best but not completely.  It will sometimes remove part of the stamp and lighten the rest.  I may try a follow up with the house bleach to see if it will then remove the remainder.  Any other suggestions?

Thanks, Bill

SteveSchoene's picture

(post #111867, reply #1 of 25)

Prime + paint

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

knottyguy's picture

(post #111867, reply #2 of 25)

Yes, that is a pain, good question.  I've tried it all too, I thinks ooops worked ok but I usually take a cabinet scraper to it. It's a little quicker but not totally effective. There has to be a better way to mark them. I hope someone has a good answer here and also comes up with a good alternative. I'm waiting for an answer on this too. Thanks

SteveSchoene's picture

(post #111867, reply #4 of 25)

My answer above was only a little facecious.  Materials with grade stamps are just not meant to be finished with a clear finish for more reasons than just having a grade stamp. 

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

bilyo's picture

(post #111867, reply #5 of 25)

To all those that said that dimension lumber isn't ment for furniture or to be clear coated; I only partially agree.  Treated lumber is excellent for a lot of exterior uses; some of which you might like to look as good a possible.  In this case, I rebuilt my deck and have some pieces with the grade stamp showing.  I want to put on a light stain and waterproof sealer and would prefer that the grade stamp wasn't there.  Any experience with this would be appreciated.



Dave45's picture

(post #111867, reply #6 of 25)

Can you put the grade stamp facing "in" so it isn't visible?

bilyo's picture

(post #111867, reply #9 of 25)

For the deck, had I been more mindful of it during construction, I probably could have done something different.  But, its done now and I would like to remove a couple of stamps that are showing.  Sanding it off, of course, will make the wood take stain differently than the rest.  So, I want to avoid that if I can.  I also have some door panels of rough sawn exterior plywood.  Some grade stamps on the inside (back side of the plywood) of these show when the doors are open.  Again, if I had been thinking farther ahead,  I probably could have avoided the problem.  But also would probably have had to buy another sheet of plywood to do so.

Thanks for any suggestions,


KeithNewton's picture

(post #111867, reply #10 of 25)

A nice sharp block plane should do a nice job, and maybe quicker than sanding.

bilyo's picture

(post #111867, reply #11 of 25)

I was hoping to find a solvent or something that would disolve for fade it out like bleach.  Some the stamps are in places that make sanding or planing very difficult.



oldusty's picture

(post #111867, reply #12 of 25)

how about paint stripper ?

bilyo's picture

(post #111867, reply #13 of 25)

Great idea!  I tried everything else I had on the shelf in the way of solvents.  Two cans of paint stripper are sitting right there.  Why didn't I try that too?  Oh well.  I'll let you know.


saschafer's picture

(post #111867, reply #14 of 25)

If the paint stripper doesn't do the trick, you might try deck stripper, which is lye based. It's nasty stuff to work with (but actually better from an environmental point of view), and it takes off pretty much everything (including skin). Don't use a good natural-bristle paintbrush to apply it with (don't ask me how I know that).


bilyo's picture

(post #111867, reply #15 of 25)

The paint stripper was about 95% successful.  It left just a ghost of the stamp image.  Saschafer suggested deck stripper.  I haven't had an opportunity to get some yet but will do so the next time I make a Lowes run (these days I let my list grow a little longer before I go).  In any case, I think the paint stripper does well enough.  I'll let you know later if the deck stripper works any better or further fades the image after using the paint stripper.  Thanks to everyone.


oldusty's picture

(post #111867, reply #8 of 25)


        Let me ask you this , is this an ink type thing stamped onto the material or a sticker applied , I think it's ink . Just for clarification is the mark indicating the brand and type or the actual grade as in " select and better " or " FAS " or both ?

        I have seen ink stamped with the mill name or logo like " NW.Hardwoods" but never the actual grade . Typically the marks are at or near the end of the board ,heck the first 6" are risky because of checking depending on the specie often times it just gets cut off , I have belt sanded a few off solid stock . Have only seen an ink stamp on Baltic Birch and it's likes as far as plywoods go .


jvk's picture

If I'm not mistaken, p.t. (post #111867, reply #17 of 25)

If I'm not mistaken, p.t. should be allowed to sit and dryout for 6 mos or so before staining.  If you sand them out now, 6 mos from now it'll stain out the same as the rest


Dave45's picture

(post #111867, reply #3 of 25)

Lumber and plywood with grade stamps usually isn't intended for use in furniture or cabinetry.  The lumber I use has no markings on the surfaces and only rarely on the end of a board.  The cabinet grade ply has markings on the edges, only.

On the rare occasion when I use grade stamped lumber, I run it thru the planer since the stamp ink bleeds into the wood.

sykesville's picture

(post #111867, reply #7 of 25)


Bob De Roche's picture

Remove Grade Stamp on Plywood (post #111867, reply #16 of 25)

Try Goop - the hand cleaner.

roc's picture

Believe it or not (post #111867, reply #18 of 25)

Getting rid of this ink is the main reason I bought my first cabinet scraper. Scrapers don't work well on soft wood. It took way longer that I expected and left a visible divot. At this stage, since you have tried everything else, I can only suggest using a small nuclear device. Placed far enough away it should bleach everything uniformly without damaging your project (too much). Could take some tricky calculations and some trial runs. Post photos in any case and let us know how that works.


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

joinerswork's picture

roc, Along the lines of (post #111867, reply #19 of 25)


Along the lines of "you might be a redneck if":

Things might be a little in the forum, if...we're posting replies to a question first asked THREE YEARS ago.  Just sayin'


roc's picture

Yu. . . uuu . . (post #111867, reply #20 of 25)

uuup (: )


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

oldusty's picture

  Hi Ray ,             It (post #111867, reply #22 of 25)

  Hi Ray ,

            It was so nice we do it twice .

             you can never get lost if you don't care where you are

       But just for clarification , some of the best grade hardwoods I get do have a  brand stamp or logo near the ends and these

            this is coming from several particular mills and suppliers and prolly is not a standard thing everywhere .

                        regards        dusty , not very

HowardAcheson's picture

Sounds like you are buying (post #111867, reply #21 of 25)

Sounds like you are buying construction grade lumber or lumber products.  Cabinet grade woods wil not have ink stamps on the lumber.  If anything, the stamps will be on the end grain.

sid works's picture

nitric acid (post #111867, reply #23 of 25)

roc's picture

Nitric acid (post #111867, reply #24 of 25)

Dangerous ? Fumes etc. Passivate it after ?


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

sid works's picture

it is what does the job (post #111867, reply #25 of 25)

usually chemical or acids should be treated with precautions. can't remember having to neutralize it. also works good on maple for making it look aged

it has neen a few years since I had to use it.  I do have any info if I have to deal with it. if It neds to be neutralized.

My neighbour here in the industrial complex always seems to have a couple of kegs of it(similiar looking to beer kegs,)

I think that it was used in dying h/maple in  violins and guitars  at one time