Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/mesquite



I have some outdoor wood benches made of natural mesquite, not processed, still look like the tree,   that turned black, part of it...  What is the best way to take off this black accumulation?  

Thanks,   Gabe

ANSWER: Hi Gabriel,

If you apply a bleach solution (maybe a cup to a gallon of water or so) to these pieces and let it set on the wood for a bit, the black should come off. That is assuming it's some sort of algae or surface contaminant. Scrub with a brush and the black should go away.

Depending on the severity - you may have to do some light sanding after the wood is dry, to completely eliminate the black stain. There is also another product called oxalic acid, commonly known as wood bleach. You can buy it at a good paint store, and it works wonders for eliminating stains.

Here's a link to read more:

Good luck, I hope this helps. Write back if you need more info.

Jamie in Vegas

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello  Thank you very much for a such a detailed professional answer.  I'll get started soon.  

I got these from a neighbor.  How do you keep this black surface from appearing again?  I live in AZ - hot in the summer, cold ( I am up 4500 feet) in the winter.

Thanks  Gabe


It's hard to say what caused the black spots - but usually it is moisture or a chemical reaction between the wood and metal. If you avoid moisture (use coasters!) and don't have metal sitting right next to the wood, you should be OK.


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Jamie Yocono


Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.


Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Furniture Society

Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

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