Working with extremely weathered wood (mold/fungus stains)

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Forum topic by skeemer posted 03-21-2012 08:23 PM 1639 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View skeemer's profile


95 posts in 2537 days

03-21-2012 08:23 PM

I have some 4×4s that were used as a border to a swingset area in our yard from the previous owner. Since we are seeding the area, I removed the 4×4s yesterday and realized that they might make a good table for my construction office.

Here is a photo

As you can see, the wood has been outdoors for at least a few years, and since the family that lived here before us had a teenager, possibly up to 15+ years. The wood does not appear to be pressure treated, but I have not cut into it yet to be sure, only have seen the underlying wood where it split out from removing the rebar anchors.

Anyways, questions:

1. Should I clean the wood with anything prior to using/finishing, to kill any fungus or mold that might be growing on it?

2. I thought perhaps powerwashing the wood would remove any organic particles from the surface while leaving the stains in the wood there, thoughts?

3. I was thinking I’d mill the top surface off of these (3/4” – 1” thick) and use that as my table top. I was thinking a wax finish would look great on the rough surface of the wood, and I wouldn’t sand or plane anything down prior to finishing. Thoughts?


4 replies so far

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3903 days

#1 posted 03-21-2012 09:35 PM

I’d powerwash it to get rid of any diet or sand particles and then run it through the planer taking a very light cut.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View JohnEinNJ's profile


94 posts in 2520 days

#2 posted 03-21-2012 10:40 PM

If you mill off a bit on all four sides, would you need to clean it at all? Be sure to run a metal detector over them before milling!

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3903 days

#3 posted 03-21-2012 11:08 PM

Hey John,

The only reason I’d clean it first would be to help the planer blades from dulling on the diret and sand.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View canadianchips's profile


2609 posts in 3170 days

#4 posted 03-22-2012 02:18 AM

If you are looking for a rustic-reclaimed look I would not even put them through the planer. I use a grinder with a #40 grit disc. It leaves the look of old saw blade marks. As far as being concerned about mould and fungus. “Chlorine wash” will work on mould and mildew.
”Just my thoughts on what I would do if they were mine”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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