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.

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.

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

Resources for this project:

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Jenni Ingram
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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 6 questions
  • Lily Schlender Lily Schlender on Nov 07, 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 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?

  • Kharla Kharla on Oct 30, 2020

    your product links are pretty confusing. Do you really mean Dixie Belle White Lightning cleaner (which is $5 and makes A LOT of cleaner) Or the linked $76 stuff which isn’t exactly a cleaner at all. The Big Mama’s Butta link is equally confusing!! 😉


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