Asked on Jan 14, 2019

How do I remove musty odor from furniture?

DaphneWilliamNaomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey, Castaic CA


An oak antique dresser was stored in damp basement. I would like to restore but how do I get rid of the musty order first?

3 answers
  • Wipe out the inside with vinegar. Place old newspapers, boxes of baking soda or charcoal in any drawers or compartments. Let sit until odor is gone. Wiping down everything with white vinegar will really help.

  • William
    on Jan 14, 2019

    All else fails...seal the odor in.

    How to Eliminate Old Furniture Odors When Nothing Else Works?

    Your best hope for sealing in those smells is shellac. It makes an excellent barrier coat over all wood species, and it sticks to almost anything, including urine. Zinsser makes a great product for this purpose, called Bullseye® SealCoat™. It’s a clear dewaxed shellac that you can apply to those drawer interiors easily with a brush. It dries quickly and should help to diminish that any smell. And since it doesn’t contain wax, you can apply other finishes like lacquer or varnish over it — they’ll stick just fine. SealCoat is also handy to have around the shop as a general purpose wood finish and sanding sealer. So, I’m sure you’ll find other uses for what’s left of the quart you buy.

  • Daphne
    on Jan 15, 2019

    Leave a couple of fabric softener refills in the cupboard after cleaning with vinegar. It will leave a lovely fresh smell.

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