How to Remove the Odor From a Cedar Wood Dresser

Cedar is a wood usually hunted because of the odor, and its natural insecticide action makes it a popular for clothing storage chests. Regrettably, that aroma may prove overwhelming on everyday clothes pulled from a closed dresser drawer. You can stop the smell of cedar from clinging to your clothing by masking the odor or by applying a sealant to the dresser’s inside.

Understanding Cedar

Cedar is a tough, tawny-colored wood that’s infused with aromatic oils which function as a natural preservative having insecticidal qualities. The only way to block the characteristic scent of cedar is to seal it in an interior layer. The option of protective sealants is complicated since the wood’s secretions repel many traditional finishes — preventing them adhering properly or completely curing after program.

Waxing and Polishing

For centuries, wood binder and furniture manufacturers have used wax finishes to seal wood furniture. A modern furniture paste might incorporate a mixture of carnuba wax, beeswax and solvent, which may penetrate in the cedar and form a protective film. The program requires manual labor, as the paste has to be rubbed and buffed to the wood by hand. For best results, apply three thin coats of wax to the exterior and interior surfaces of all of the drawers and all of the interior construction of the dresser. The tough polished wax surface might emit a low-level odor of its own for a few days, but it must block the cedar scent from infiltrating your garments for several decades.

Clear Sealants

Shellac is a natural, clear finish which could be brushed onto all of the interior and exterior components of the dresser. As a powerful sealant, it is so effective at blocking scents that pigmented shellac has long been favored as a paint tip when restoring homes damaged by fire and smoke. For best results, apply two to three thin coats of clear or amber shellac, lightly sanding between each coat. As an alternate clear-coat, brush on a coat of clear de-waxed shellac as a base coat to guarantee optimum adhesion, and apply two coats of polyurethane. Polyurethane forms a tougher sealant coat which provides better abrasion- and water- resistance compared to shellac.

Interior Painting

Lock up the cedar odor by applying a coat of acrylic paint over all of the inside surfaces of the dresser. Start by brushing all of the drawer’s interior surfaces with white pigmented shellac, moving on to the inside rails, sides and back. When the primer has dried, coat it with an sloping interior paint in the colour of your own choice. Allow the paint to dry and cure for at least 24 hours. Apply wax to the rails to ensure the smoothest possible operation.


Instead of sealing the cedar smell away, you can efficiently remove the cedar scent by replacing it with a more powerful odor. For a conventional strategy, put a wax of potpourri or a sachet in every drawer. As an alternate, store a strongly scented soap in every dresser drawer. Or create a healing fragrance by soaking a cotton ball with a powerfully scented essential oil or aromatherapy oil. None of these therapies are permanent, so plan on refreshing the fragrance often.

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