Old Old wooden pantry needs cleaning and refinishing

fishblissOctober 9, 2009


In my rather dank cellar there is an old pantry type cupboard -- I assume it was once used to store home canning. The newspaper lining the shelf was from 1967 so it's been there at least that long. (house is 110 years old) It doesn't appear to have been finished at any time -- no paint or varnish. It has a screen front that I plan to replace with punched tin or glass. But the problem is the wood is very musty and smelly. Is is possible to sand it, clean it, seal it somehow and then paint it so that it is no longer smelly and can act as a pantry in my kitchen? I'm imagining bleach or Kilz or some such? Is this even possible? Thanks in advance to all the nice folks who will offer ideas! -- Cynthia

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Shellac is the best odor barrier you can use. You can use clear such as Seal Coat or pigmented such as BIN Primer. Both are by Zinsser who is the singular major importer of shellac in the US. You might also wash down the boards with a rag dampened in denatured alcohol prior to applying the shellac.

The article below explains a good method for cleaning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Saving the finish

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 7:20PM
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Thanks, bobsmyuncle. I'll give it a try.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 3:40PM
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