How to Remove Gray Stain From Wood


When exterior wood begins to age, it can often take on a grayish appearance. This is especially true for wood that is constantly exposed to the elements.

If your exterior wood has begun to oxidize leaving it gray in color, it might be time to restore it via a manual restoration process. Keep reading to learn more about how to remove gray stain from wood. 

Learning How to Remove the Gray From Exterior Wood

There are quite a few ways to learn how to remove gray stain from wood. We’ll walk you through the steps to each process and help you restore your wood back to its original beauty. 

Scrubbing Method to Remove the Gray from Wood

While this method requires the most elbow grease, it’s the least invasive method for the integrity of your wood. First, start by scrubbing your wood with quality product specifically formulated for the cleaning of exterior wood.  After allowing the product to set in for an hour,

Using a stiff scrub brush to really get into the problem areas of your wood, paying particular attention to sections that have water damage, mold, and mildew. Rinse off the cleaning solution using water.

The last step is giving your wood a good rinse off with a power washer.

Once all the gray sludge has been eliminated, wait for your wood to dry before glossing over it with a new “natural” sealant for a long lasting finish.

Chemical Stripping to Remove the Gray from Wood

If you don’t want to tire out your arm with a rigorous scrubbing, or the surface area of your wood is too much for one person, try the chemical stripping method to get rid of gray. 

You can find chemical strippers for wood online or at your local hardware store. Always spot test before using any new products, otherwise you could have a real mess on your hands. Once you’ve spot-tested, rub the chemical stripper into the wood and watch as the gray stain starts to lift off.

After rinsing off the chemical stripper and letting the wood dry, if there’s any gray stain left over gently sand these spots down. Wipe the dust off with a damp cloth and you’re ready to re-stain your wood!

After staining, keep your wood covered so that it has a chance to dry completely before exposing it to the elements.

Manual Stripping to Remove the Gray from Wood

If your wood has some serious graying and it was originally protected with more of a plastic finish, consider manual stripping. With this method, you sand off the old finish and the gray by hand or with an electric sander.

Start with a coarse grit, and once complete, go over the wood again with a more medium grit. This will help to smooth out the surface and prepare it for staining and re-sealing.

After sanding, wipe the dust off with a damp cloth and wait for it to dry before applying your new finish. Keep the project dry before exposing it to the elements so that it can have the longest life possible.

Final Thoughts on How to Remove Gray from Wood Floor

Graying can be an undesired addition to your otherwise beautiful exterior wood, but don’t fret. Use one of the simple methods above to get rid of gray and restore your wood back to its beautiful appearance.