Veronica asked: How do I remove mildew from doors? We have some flush style doors. The problem is that they had been stored in a shed and have a mildew smell. We washed them down with a bleach solution. When they dried, we painted them with a Kilz Primer. When we go downstairs, where we have them now stored, I can still smell the mildew. Is there something we can use to get rid of the odor or do we have to get rid of the doors? We wanted to use them for shelves in our basement. Thanks for any advice.
Even a coat of Kilz won’t remove the mildew from doors. At best, you can hide the smell, but unless you’ve covered every surface of the wood with a sealer the smell is likely to remain. Here’s how to catch the parts you may have missed.
You Will Need:
- Tools to remove door hardware
- Drop cloth
- Fan for ventilation
Steps to Remove the Smell:
- Begin by removing all door knobs, hinges, and other fittings from the door.
- If you’re working inside, set up a drop cloth and ensure there is adequate ventilation. Otherwise, take the doors outside.
- Use the paintbrush to apply the lacquer. Make sure you get all surfaces, including the top, bottom, and side edges, the inside of the hole where the doorknob goes, and the inset areas where the hinges and lock plates go.
- Wait two hours, then repeat if desired.
- Allow the doors to dry completely before reinstalling the hardware.
Additional Tips and Advice
- For your protection, use adequate ventilation or, ideally, take the doors outside before painting.
- Remember the unfinished sections of the door will soak up the lacquer, so multiple coats may be needed.
- Sealing the wood doors with lacquer may prevent the smell, but it will not eradicate the source of the odor.