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How to Get Lumber Stamps Off

Kenneth Crawford

When building a deck or porch, the last thing you want is to have the ink stamp on the lumber showing. Most higher grades of lumber do not have the ink stamp. Contractor grade dimensional lumber, on the other hand, usually has green or red ink stamps. Dark paints usually do a good job of covering the ink stamps.

However, if you are staining the lumber or painting it a light color, it is necessary to get lumber stamps off so it will not show through. The two best ways of removing these stamps is to scrub them off or sand them off the wood.

  1. Mix a borax laundry soap in a bucket of water according to the directions on the box. Apply the soapy water to the ink stamp with the brush and scrub.

  2. Allow the soapy mixture to sit on the ink stamp for thirty minutes. Dip the brush in the bucket and scrub the ink stamp away. Rinse the mixture away with clean water.

  3. Sand the ink stamp with a coarse-grit sandpaper and sanding block if the cleanser does not remove it. Sand just until the stamp is almost gone.

  4. Go over the area with a fine grit sandpaper and sanding block until the ink stamp is completely gone.

  5. Tip

    Sanding might make the stamp area lighter if you are staining the wood. Sand the entire length lightly with a fine grit sandpaper prior to staining.