Get Rid Of Old Stinky Varnish - Painting - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Painting


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-14-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 21
Rewards Points: 10

get rid of old stinky varnish

Dear all,

I need your help big time.

I have been trying to get rid of a horrible smell that comes from the unpainted wood inside an old closet. The house was built in the 1930s, but I suspect this wood closet must have been made in the 60s.

The painted part does not smell as bad, but the drawers ,which are not painted, smell terrible. It is not pet urine, mold or anything that someone left there. It is the wood itself (pine and pine plywood). I have cleaned the drawers with different products (water and vinegar, Fabreeze, Nature's Miracle, water and Lysol) but it does not come off. When I scrub, the rag or sponge turns yellow. I finally decided to put two coats of primer on it, but it seems like it smells worse.

Could it be that the old varnish is disintegrating and sending off this stink? Should I try to paint it with oil based paint? What should I do?




Isabelbr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
Rubbin walls since'79
Brushjockey's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Mn
Posts: 2,518
Rewards Points: 2,000

You could coat them with shellac- that is well known for stopping odors. there is a great product called Universal Sealer by Zinsser that is a clear shellac.
It dries very quickly so you need to put it on and not play with it.
Should do the trick.


"It's better to come here with questions before you screw up than to come here after and ask how to fix them."- JS
Brushjockey is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Brushjockey For This Useful Post:
Isabelbr (11-14-2011)
Old 11-14-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
Matthewt1970's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,829
Rewards Points: 1,098

I would also recommend the shellac. That is the industry standard for locking in smoke damage & smell.
Latex Primer: Good for Drywall, that's about it.
Behr Paint: The plastic buckets are good, that's about it.
Matthewt1970 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Matthewt1970 For This Useful Post:
Isabelbr (11-14-2011)
Old 11-14-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
Too Short? Cut it Again!
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000

Might want an aspirator working with an alcohol solvent based product in a closet and adequate ventilation. Plan on leaving the closet door open for a time.

Sounds like you are smelling some sort of mildew going on. Closets are perfect territory.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to user1007 For This Useful Post:
Isabelbr (11-14-2011)

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
spar varnish chulett Flooring 0 08-01-2011 10:10 PM
Cedar siding problem - Varnish flaking off - need solution memento Painting 3 07-15-2011 09:58 PM
Marine Varnish?? Geaux4Tigers Painting 7 11-15-2010 09:13 PM
New Varnish crimping on floor? mikehende Flooring 2 06-18-2009 06:12 AM
Painting over varnish?? pickle13207 Painting 4 12-11-2007 08:50 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1