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Lightening dark oak paneling

Ask Kelly Edwards a question here.  I have dark oak wood paneling in the living room/dining room.  I don't want to remove the paneling, but I'd like to lighten it without acturally painting it.  Is there a method to lighten it & still see the wood grain?  Like some kind of glaze?  If so, how would I prepare the paneling & what would I use to glaze it with?  Thanks so much.  Janet Parrott

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Janet, you really got me on this one.  Usually people either want to remove their existing paneling or just paint over it.  I had to do some research to make sure my info was correct.  From what I gather, this is a BIG job, so get your gloves out girl, because you have a lot to do for this DIY project.  And remember it’s always smart to do a test portion first.  I’d hate to see you ruin the paneling and have to take it off.  Here are your two options:  You can use a light grit sandpaper and sand down your existing paneling just enough to get the top coat off and then go over it with a light or pickled stain.  While the stain is still wet you can wipe off the excess and let it dry before determining if you like the color or not. Or you can strip the wood of its existing finish, bleach the wood with a household bleach or oxalic acid, restain and refinish. I found a product online that is a stripping gel that may be helpful.  Check it out at www.citristrip.com

Let me help you sort through the world of home repair. Kelly Edwards is a design expert for <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="http://living.aol.com/gmc-trade-secrets/" class="comlink">GMC Trade Secrets</a> .

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Kelly Edwards