White powdery-looking discoloration on old walnut

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Forum topic by Alan S posted 11-11-2011 10:40 PM 1091 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alan S

181 posts in 3313 days

11-11-2011 10:40 PM

Maybe 20 years ago my granddad built some decorative light boxes out of walnut. I’m not sure what kind of finish he used, but it is a non-film finish. So some kind of oil I guess. I have one of these treasures and some of the wood has this white streaking discoloration on it that can’t be cleaned off. Does anyone have any idea what that might be? I can post a picture tonight if need-be. Thanks!


2 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3957 days

#1 posted 11-16-2011 01:32 AM

Just kiddin’ of course.
Maybe a light sanding and a re-coat with BLO?


View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3266 days

#2 posted 11-16-2011 02:21 AM

definitely sounds like some kind of fungus. Depending on the type of finish….you could wipe it down with a very dilute mix of bleach and water (very dilute – 1 part bleach to 25 parts water). Try the mixture on a test piece that is not visable before using it on the visable parts. It will take a day or so for the bleach to start killing the fungus and it’s spores.

Sanding and refinishing as mentioned above will work also – wear a good mask (some of those spores are toxic) and be prepared to clean or change your sandpaper frequently. This method may be necessary if the bacterial has stained the wood any deeper than just surface marring.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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