Return to the Home Decorating Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Posted by Kees_Lover (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 26, 11 at 21:15

Or, maybe, that's something that adds to the value of antique or old furniture?

This sheet music cabinet had been in my childhood room for years; my mom has refinished it from its original state (so that probably hurt its "worth" anyway), and it is in the guest room at her house right now.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sorry my images are so big; I'll try to fix that.

I'd like to use this cabinet in my house, but the OLD yucky smell makes it less desirable for storing any fabrics or papers, etc.

Advice on getting rid of that smell?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Have you tried sitting an open container of baking soda in there? Hopefully someone else has some more ideas but that's what I would try first.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

My somewhat mildewy smelling antique desk was fixed with an open can of coffee! Easy fix.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

You might try spraying some cheap vodka inside the cabinet then wiping down thoroughly. Let dry, and repeat. You can follow up by enclosing an open can of coffee or a small amount of Mrs Meyers household cleaner for several days.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

The baking soda and coffee grounds mentioned are good to try. They didn't work, though, on an old dresser I bought off Craigslist a few years ago. I even eventually tried leaving the drawers open, then setting the drawers outside for a few hours a day. Someone here had also mentioned some heavy-duty gel type air fresheners from Home Depot or Lowe's. I tried those too. My dresser never did get stink free! Hopefully some of these ideas will work with your piece, though. I have a sheet music cabinet and love it. My aunt has one almost exactly like yours that belonged to my grandmother and I remember playing with it (I guess putting stuff it in -- can't remember -- LOL) when she would babysit me occasionally.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Put a finish on all exposed wood. Get some spray varnish or shellac....or buy some shellac and thin it down and get all the raw wood on the inside finished. That will remove...or rather seal in....all old wood smells.
Linda C


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Thanks so much for all of the input. We have tried the baking soda - yellow container in the picture - without much success. Hadn't heard about the other methods or thought about sealing it to block the odor. Plan to try these things. Will let you know how that turns out. :-)


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

We bought an antique dresser that had been stored in a barn for a while. I didn't like the smell. I searched on line and cleaned the whole insides with mineral spirits. Pulled drawers out and let everything sit outside on a sunny day. That helped somewhat - but some smell still lingered. Hubby re-stained or sealed (can't remember) the whole interior and the smell was gone. Clothes stored in the dresser have no odor whatsoever.

tina


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

There's something to be said for putting the piece outside on a sunny day to air. Remove all removable drawers, etc. and put it outside. Also, you may want to try charcoal that you can buy at a pet store. I have heard of using coffee beans as well. HTH


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

A stick of Wriggle spearmint gum left open on the wrapper set inside the closed cabinet for a day or two will take away the smell according to an antique dealer I know.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Wadded up newspaper works sometimes. Stuff it in and leave it for a couple of days. Also, putting the piece outside on a low-humidity day might help, too. I heard or read that Murphy's oil soap can help as well, but I would try the fresh air and the newspaper first. I have wiped down the interior of an old dough trough with white vinegar (barely damp cloth) and that helped as well.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

The only long-term solution is Linda's - seal the unfinished interior wood parts with something.

The pothers are like using Febreze when you really need to take a shower and change your clothes.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

I leave dryer sheets under tissue paper in the drawers and on shelves of my 3 inherited, stinky, but lovely antique pieces. Nothing but a clean, outdoor scent - works great.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Activated charcoal absorbs musty odors.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

I agree with Linda for a long term fix. I think you could also use polyurethane. When there's an odor in wood flooring due to pet accidents that won't come out, you end up having to refinish the floors to eliminate the odor.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Hi,
I would like to suggest you for ground dry coffee. It may be really effective in order to get rid of old wood smell.

Regards
Side tables for living room


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

I would try 'Murphy Oil Soap" multi cleaner wood soap.. it now comes with orange oil in it?


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

shellac will seal the wood without any lingering odor, polyurethane will leave a strong odor for quite awhile.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

I stumbled across this blog post yesterday - seems to have a lot of tips (and there are more in the comments). I have used the crumbled-up newspaper method and it seemed to work, but it took a few weeks.

http://livingwithlindsay.com/2011/06/cleaning-smelly-thrift-store-furniture.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning smelly furniture


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

I tried everything on the antique dresser that I bought on CL for my daughter's room. Charcoal, exposure on sunny days, newspaper, candles, dryer sheets, OdorRid products, bowls of baking soda, TSP, even scrubbing with a bleach/water mixture (it also had some water damage and mildew). It helped somewhat but didn't really get rid of the old wood smell.

Painting the back and outside of the dresser and lining the drawers with contact paper helped somewhat. Using scented drawer liners also work well but now my DD's clothes smell like perfume and I'm sensitive to that so not the best solution.

I'm definitely going to try sealing the inside with spray poly. If that works then I'll get rid of the scented drawer liners.


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Linda C,
What type of spray shellac do I use, or more accurately, what type of place would have spray shellac - big box stores or paint specialists? I've stained and used polyurethane on new wood, but I've never dealt with old wood. I might be attempting this in the garage this weekend. Weather forecast says it will be over 90 degrees Fahrenheit or... it will rain. Do I need to worry about either high heat or humidity with spray shellac?


 o
RE: How to get rid of 'old' wood smell?

Spray shellac can be purchased at either the big box or paint stores, you can also buy it in a can and brush it on. I would apply in the garage, out of direct sunlight, shellac does dry rather quickly.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Home Decorating Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here