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Curio quilt chest- can't get the varnish smell out!

Curio quilt chest- can't get the varnish smell out!

Old 11-14-2018, 06:30 AM
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Default Curio quilt chest- can't get the varnish smell out!

Hi everyone,
I bought a beautiful hand-made curio quilt chest in the Spring. I kept the top open for about 3 months to get rid of the varnish smell.
When I closed it and returned to it about a week later the smell returned. I'm afraid it will hurt some antique quilts that I have.
Any tried and true methods? Or any advice?

I can't ask the seller because they retired.img_1439-1-.jpg

Thanks!
Susie
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:57 AM
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I had a musty chest I wanted to put quilts into without them absorbing the smell. I used open bowls of desiccant. The kind used to dry flowers. Since it sounds like your's is the finish still curing. Maybe the desiccant will pull the moisture out of the varnish. It's worth a try. If it were summer, I might suggest putting outside in the sun.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:35 AM
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I had a rattan toy chest that had been stored and had horrible musty smell. I tried almost everything for weeks..sun, charcoal, the spray for odor, scented candles..I finally gave up until son suggested put a coat of varnish all over. The smell disappeared ompletely and I'm storing fabric inside. Don't give up.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:03 PM
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So sorry, I don't have any ideas.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:10 PM
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Put in a bar of Irish Spring soap to improve the smell and maybe a sock filled with cat litter to dry out the varnish.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:48 PM
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Thanks everyone!
I bought some Irish Spring today and have tons of cat litter
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:19 PM
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Clean cat litter, SusieQOH
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:52 PM
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The problem with Irish Spring is that it covers up the odor; it does not get rid of it. Things like charcoal and cat litter (it may depend on the type of cat litter!) actually absorb odors. However, if the varnish is still out-gassing, you will probably need to add a layer to the varnish. I am thinking of a coat of polyurethane. You would have to test on a small spot, as whether the polyurethane will stick or not depends on the type of varnish used. I have an old featherweight case that had a moldy smell no matter what I did. Finally found that leaving a Dr. Scholl's shoe insert containing charcoal was enough to absorb the odors. I don't think that would be enough to protect your quilts, though.
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by leonf View Post
Clean cat litter, SusieQOH
Oh darn, too late, leonf
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
Oh darn, too late, leonf
Now that's a funny pix in my brain (I have 2 cats--could have shared)....But seriously, I posted above that I varnished my rattan toy chest--I should have said I used the poly cear coat. It's been in use for weeks, and nary a sniff of musty odor. I completely covered it inside out, bottom to top. It had been painted to look like a toy store and I just coated everything--successfully. It was suggested by a young man who paints cars!
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