Since starting to refinish furniture, I've had my share of re-doing dirty, smelly and old dressers. It can be sometimes very hard to take at first, but trust me, it can be so worth the pain of cleaning the piece up in the end as long as the piece itself is in good shape. For example the adorable waterfall dresser I refinished for Lila's room in the below post came to me in pretty bad shape. The drawers were filthy and very musty. Here is what I did to remove the stink and clean it up.
1. For about 2 weeks I had bowls of ground coffee beans in each of the drawers to suck out some of the smell. It worked as long as you're okay with it smelling like coffee! :) The coffee smell does go away.
2. Then I wiped the entire piece down with a warm water and Murphy's oil soap mixture.
3. I removed all the drawers and set the dresser and drawers out in the sun everyday for about a week. That is one of the fortunate things about living in a very warm sunny climate as I could do this in the middle of December. The sun naturally cleans and kills a lot of that mustiness.
4. I refinished the dresser.
5. I added adorable drawer liners. For Lila's waterfall dresser, I used this super cute tree bark gift wrap paper from Paper Source.
To do this I used outdoor Mod Podge from Michaels (or probably any craft store) and generously brushed it on the bottom of the drawer. I carefully started on one side and laid my paper down in the drawer using a wallpaper scraper to ensure all the bubbles were out of it and the glue was distributed evenly. I let this dry for 24 hours. Then I finished by brushing on a paper Mod Podge over the top to protect it for years of future wear.
I love this tree bark paper so much I think it will be my signature drawer liner! Thank goodness a Paper Source store is opening in my city in just a couple of days! EEEeeeeeee! So excited.
Have a great weekend!