Table tales…. The stinky one

I’ve bought a new table to upcycle and it’s exactly the table I wanted to find, there’s one little (huge) promblem… It stinks. It’s not just an old smell, it’s a greasy old, maybe, fishy smell and so far I’m struggling to get the smell out 😕. The table and legs not only smell but feel like there’s a whole layer of something sticky. I’m not sure if it’s  built up beeswax, linseed oil, polish or just plain old lard.

I hadn’t been planning on replacing my kitchen table but I also wasn’t very keen on the cheap one that came with my corner nook seat. I was just out for lunch in a local restaurant and a table caught my eye (see I can’t even eat out without a furniture intervention). The table had been restored with a lovely sanded top, was narrow so looked lovely and petite but with two sliding out ends at each side to extend the table. It had character and I could just picture it as my Christmas table. I asked the manager where the table had come from, she’d had it since the 90’s but said that she’d seen a few of them in charity shops.

I found a similar table with 4 chairs nearby on eBay and paid for it online. A friend of mine with a van collected it and the first thing she said was ‘it stinks’. She was right and now my kitchen stinks. Tonight is bonfire night and the table might end up in a fire!

I was planning on painting the legs and chairs with chalk paint and stripping the top down to a more natural finish… I don’t want to paint over the smelly parts because I’ll forever know that it stinks underneath! So far I have tried

  • washing up liquid and a dish brush- this got out some of the grease and muck but the table still smells
  • sugar soap and a cloth – this didn’t seem to do much, the table still smells
  • diluted bleach and a metal pan scrubber- I was getting impatient at this point… I wouldn’t usually have tried such a harsh cleaning method on old furniture but the table is still smelly and greasy!!

I have also also had my hand sander on the top but whatever is on the table just kept clogging up the sand paper so I didn’t even get very far with this. Today I’m going to try hand sanding… So far I’m not making progress and it’s a lot of work. Christmas dinner had better be worth it…


3 thoughts on “Table tales…. The stinky one

  1. I had the same issue with a dresser, the only thing I found that worked was using CitriStrip to remove all of the varnish and greasy residue and to put cat litter in the drawers to absorb the smell 🙂 look forward to seeing how this turns out!


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