Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Q: My old desk has a kind of musty smell. Can this be improved by treating the wood?
A: Musty smells can come from mildew or accumulations of dust and dirt. Clean the desk, including the interior areas, and kill any mildew with laundry bleach. If you want, you can seal the exposed wood areas, such as the unfinished drawer sides and cabinet interiors, with a coat of shellac, and that will nicely block any smells.


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