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Zinsser for Antique Furniture

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Trudy Chuoke

Many of my customers have furniture from their parents or relatives that mean so much to them. It might have been Mom’s dressing table, or Dad’s bedside table and just looking at them brings back many memories. I have a few things that I have kept from my late husband, and I just like having them in the house...a sweet remembrance of the time we had together. But sometimes the furniture pieces that you get from your family have been in storage. I have this friend who collected from her mom’s estate. The furniture and clothing had been stored in a barn. A very stinky barn. And the furniture had adsorbed all the odor.

She told me about all the different things she tried before coming to me. She tried airing it out, she put charcoal in the drawers, she cleaned it with a degreaser, but the furniture smelled so bad she couldn’t keep it in the house. So she asked me for help.

Zinsser makes great primers. Primers for sheetrock that is crumbling, primers for peeling paint and a primer for odor. Older furniture is made so well, all wood no composite or laminates and that old wood can be a sponge absorbing odors. Odor Killing Primer can be painted on a surface, and it will seal in the offensive smell. My friend sealed all the drawers and the inside of the drawer. Then she wanted to put a new finish on the outside of the furniture, and I suggested Varathane. Her pieces now made their way into the house.

Another way to use Zinsser is on kitchen cabinets. If you had smoke damage from a kitchen fire and nothing gets rid of the odor in the cabinets. You don’t have to have your whole kitchen torn down. Try Zinsser first. I used it on my kitchen cabinets because the previous owner was a smoker. That smoke permeated into the cabinets and when I would leave for a trip and come back- the whole house had this lingering smell like someone had been smoking inside my house. When I finally figured out what was causing the odor…..I used Zinsser. All I had to do was seal the inside of all the cabinets, and there was no lingering odor when I returned from the trip. And this primer goes on milky so you can see where you have applied the primer and then dries clear.

Thrifting is extremely popular right now. You see it all over Pinterest. People collect furniture that is on the curb and paint it and resell it. And if you like to do that, now you know how to take care of any odor.


Now to some great email…..


Question: After listening to your Saturday afternoon show on WOAI, I have decided to remove the silicone caulk in my shower. So how can I remove the caulk and what caulk would you suggest that I replace for the silicone?

Answer: Contractor’s De-Solv-It is great for removing silicone caulk. First, use a single edged razor blade to cut the caulk right down the middle and along each side. Then spray the caulk with De-Solv-It. Spray every 15 minutes for an hour. Then re-caulk with Sashco Sealant Clean Seal. It has a 7-year guarantee to resist mildew. Allow 48 hours to cure.


Question: I have slippery steps on a small outdoor deck. I know that you paint them with a texture paint, but I love the color of the deck and I don’t want to change that – so is there something else that is not an abrasive tread.

Answer: Absolutely yes! There is a tread that is soft to the touch but will provide traction and a safe step. They are called Handi Treads. I like them because they are translucent and don’t stand out on the deck. You can use Handi Treads on wet surfaces also like in the tub and shower.


Question: I have a few cracks in my driveway and want to fix them before they get worse. What do you think will hold up? The driveway is dirty, what do you recommend?

Answer: Use fast drying cement like Rockite. Sprinkle a little water to get it damp. The cement will stick to the sides and bond to the cracks. If you have any stains on the driveway, use 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner.




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