‘Mill Glaze’ is something a lot of people seem to forget about, most likely because they can’t ‘see’ it, however it is more than likely sitting there right underneath your nose silently waiting to hinder your staining attempts.
‘Mill Glaze’ is a fine oily residue left over on your freshly milled timbers from the blades of milling machines. The picture above shows pieces of smooth Cedar with half the pieces having had the ‘Mill Glaze’ removed. It’s simple and easy to remove and this is a must when it comes to applying a penetrating stain or other such coating. Using a belt sander and sanding with 80 grit will definitely remove what residue may be there. Be sure to sand with the grain so no sanding marks are left streaking across your wood. This would apply for very smooth wood with no ‘Mill Glaze’ also.
There are products on the market that remove ‘Mill Glaze’ chemically too. But be weary of anything that may leave a residue or film on your wood that will hinder your staining efforts and put you right back to square one! Oxalic Acid works very well so our ABR X-180 is right up your alley. Certain products can and will raise the grain so sanding will be required after using this product. But clean of dirt, grime and that nasty ‘Mill Glaze’ your wood will be! Read here for more info on the magic of ABR X-180 and Oxalic Acid.