I recently finished several doors in our house, using two coats of stain - one each of a different stain - and polyurethane to finish. For one door, I forgot to put on the 2nd coat of stain by accident before finishing.

You are watching: How to remove polyurethane from wood without removing the stain

Is it possible to remove the poly, without removing the stain so I can "simply" add the missed 2nd coat and then re-finish?

This is a pocket door that doesn"t appear to have a straightforward way to remove it without busting it out of the wall. Bonus points if the method can be done while the door remains in place.

I have no reservations about chemicals, realize some affect may befall the stain, and understand this isn"t going to be a pleasant experience no matter the method.


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Mix equal parts of lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol and stir well. Apply the mix with a paint brush and in small sections because you can"t leave it on long and it has to be removed fast. After about 10 to 15 seconds remove immediately with #0000 steel wool. Wash off with a wood cleaner, rinse and pat dry.


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