Removing stain from banisters, posts and nosing

Q: Hello, my wife and I recently stained our maple banisters, posts and nosing with a reddish stain. We don’t like it and would like to return it to it’s natural state.

How do we do this? Can it only be sanded out or is there a chemical solution?

A: I don’t know of any chemical or sanding, for that matter, that will totally remove the stain from the wood. You could use a stripper to remove any finish applied. The stain will need to be removed by sanding, but it will be impossible to remove all the stain from the wood. There will be some areas less dense that will take in the stain more deeply.

Perhaps it would have been a better idea to stain a small area or element first, or even a scrap, rather than do it all, and then decide it is not for you. I wish I could tell you more. The National Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association says it is really best not to stain maple because of the density of the wood.

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