4 Steps To Get Rid Of That Musty Smell

5 Materials
6 Hours

This dresser stinks.

It may be curvy, old, and beautiful, but it has that musty smell. The tell tale sign it’s been sitting a bit too long in someone’s basement. Let me teach you how to clean and restore both the inside and the outside of an old piece so it will last for years to come (and so you aren’t afraid to put your clothes in those drawers).

Time to get to work!

1. Vacuum

First things first to get rid of that musty smell, grab your shop vac and get rid of the dust, cobwebs, spiders, and sawdust. 

2. Spray & Wipe Clean

Next clean with White Lightning and wipe off with a paper towel. REPEAT until the towel wipes clean. 

3 & 4. Sunshine and Conditioning

After spraying and wiping, set the piece in the sun to dry. The sun helps deodorize it too.

Next up - wood conditioner and deodorizer. Big Mama’s Butta soft wax re-hydrates the wood and has a nice smell that keeps drawers smelling like roses (or oranges, or just clean wood – depending on the scent you chose). Apply a generous amount with an old rag, and rub into the wood. No more musty smell!

Bring back the luster!

I decided to sand and apply a layer of water based wood stain – Antique Oak - to the drawers. I sealed the wood with Hemp Oil. This soaks into the dry old wood and makes it come to life! 

Cleaned and Restored

The case of the dresser was painted in Dixie Belle’s Antebellum Blue – a stunning color, that I cannot get enough of and looks great with wood. New simple brass knobs finish off this piece just perfectly.

Watch the whole process as I'm doing it.

Now the inside and the outside is like a whole new dresser!

Check out my other popular YouTube DIY tutorials here. I promise to inspire you to create the home you love.

Connect with me:

Facebook @RootsandWingsFurniture

IG: @rwfurniture

where I'll offer tips and advice on home projects plus show off my new soy candle line!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

3 Gorgeous And Unique Ideas To Display Your Plants
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
Get The Party Started With These Perfect DIY Decor Ideas
18 Easy DIY Projects That You Can Do This Weekend!
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
The Cutest Ways to Decorate Your Front Porch for Easter!
15 Memorial Day Crafts
15 Clever Ways To Repurpose Old Light Bulbs
Does Your Staircase Need an Update?
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
Get The Outdoor Space You've Always Dreamed Of With These DIY Ideas
18 Wintery Wreath Ideas That You'll Want To Make For Your Home
12 Container Garden Ideas to Kick Off Spring
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
The 25 Most-Viewed Mason Jar Projects on Hometalk
Jenni Ingram

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Robyn Garner
    on Nov 2, 2019

    Did you feed the wood with hemp oil and THEN stain or the other way around? Great reno! 😎

    • Robyn Garner
      on Dec 20, 2019

      Nope, she did both: "I decided to sand and apply a layer of water based wood stain – Antique Oak - to the drawers. I sealed the wood with Hemp Oil."

  • Lily Schlender
    on Nov 7, 2019

    what a beautiful finished look. i noticed spots on the underside of a drawer in one of the photos. could this be a mold issue? maybe seal the drawers with something to keep it contained? just wondering.

  • Jane
    on Nov 10, 2019

    The link to your resources for White Lightening is for a hoof cleaner. My guess is that you really used Dixie Belle White Lightening cleaner. Is that correct?

    • Angi
      on Nov 24, 2019

      More than likely since she also used Big Mama's Butter from Dixie Belle.

Join the conversation

2 of 14 comments
Your comment...