Help me with wood stain and varnish fumes.
December 5, 2007 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for getting rid of the smell of wood stain/varnish?

We just bought a nice buffet/hutch for our dining room, and we had it stained to match our existing dining room table. The problem is, it reeks. It's winter here so wide open windows really isn't an option, and so far I've tried: bowls full of bicarb soda, bowls full of white vinegar, and one of those air filter/hepa/ionizer thingies. It's moderately better, but still enough to knock you over. Any ideas?
posted by Zinger to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Tried leaving a chopped up onion on a plate overnight? That works for paint smells... might be worth a go.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:03 PM on December 5, 2007

I've refinished a lot of furniture in the past 20 years, and I've never found a way to get rid of the odor quickly. Heat and air circulation, and sometimes low humidity, will make finishes cure faster. Can you isolate your hutch in a warm room for a week or two?
posted by wryly at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2007

Put it in a room with a fan on it, preferably as wryly said a warm dry room. You want to accelerate the volatilization of the volatile fractions from the finish and heat, low humidity and circulation all will help here.
posted by caddis at 8:07 PM on December 5, 2007

baking/bicarb soda is actually a poor odor absorber.
posted by pmbuko at 8:20 PM on December 5, 2007

My father always counselled me to light candles in the room where the smell is. The volatiles will be consumed by the candle flames. I lit lots of little tea lights when my last apartment was painted and it worked pretty well.
posted by LN at 5:35 AM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

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