But there was a reason it was free. It smelled strongly of cigarette smoke. The last free bit of furniture I got smelled like creme brule, so I didn't have to do much to remove the smell. I asked on Instagram and Facebook for smell-removing tips, and did some Googling. Here's what worked for me:
Step 1: Spray it down with vinegar and let it soak in to the raw wood (especially the inside of the drawers, which had the strongest smell). Let it dry.
Step 2: Generously sprinkle baking soda in each drawer, close them, and leave it overnight to absorb the smells.
Both these steps only had minimal impact on the smell, so next time, I might just start with step 3.
Step 3: Using the baking soda already in the drawer, and a dish scrubber dipped in hot water, scrub all surfaces, especially any raw wood. I didn't bother rinsing after this step. Let it all dry, at least partially.
Step 4: Mix vinegar and hot water (I did about a 50/50 mix), and wash everything You don't need to be too concerned about getting all the baking soda off at this stage. Let it dry completely. Overnight is ideal.
Step 5: Vacuum all surfaces to remove the baking soda.
Once I completed all these steps, my desk smelled no worse than any other old piece of furniture would. I found a stamp inside saying it was built in February 1967. I have since sanded all the surfaces, and I plan to paint it today. I'm not sure what colour it will end up, but I think I'm going to start with gray homemade chalk paint, to be followed by homemade furniture wax.
|Right after I brought it home. This is the main reason I love having a minivan.|
Linked to: Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday