mold underneath eurothane sealant

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Forum topic by JohnOfNELA posted 08-06-2013 07:55 AM 985 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1961 days

08-06-2013 07:55 AM

My father and I just finished a lovely table base made from an oak stump, sealed it with polyeurothane, and several days later discovered streaks of mold growing underneath the sealant. We sure did think it was dry! Does anyone have a suggestion as to what we can do for this? Do we need to strip the sealant off and, if so, how? Have we ruined this beautiful piece of wood? :(

6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5133 posts in 4166 days

#1 posted 08-06-2013 02:18 PM

Urethane finishes are gonna make it hard for wood to breathe.
Did you check the moisture of the wood?


View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 2054 days

#2 posted 08-06-2013 04:55 PM

First of all, take heart. I don’t think that you’ve ruined the wood. It sounds as though the moisture content of the wood might be too high. Check it with a moisture meter before you try to finish it again. Unfortunately, you will likely have to strip the wood to deal with the mold. Use a good quality methylene chloride based stripper to remove the sealant, following the instructions on the label. Next, sand thoroughly so that the bleach can enter the wood. Now, apply a generous coat of laundry bleach to the wood, and allow it to dry overnight. More than one application may be necessary. When the mold stain is gone, rinse the wood thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely. Next, sand the wood to the desired grit and refinish as desired. If the laundry bleach doesn’t work, you may have to resort to using oxalic acid, but try the laundry bleach first.

View JohnOfNELA's profile


7 posts in 1961 days

#3 posted 08-09-2013 12:27 PM

Thanks a lot for the info, guys! We picked up a moisture meter yesterday… I must say, I am surprised at how much moisture is still in there. Our learning curve is feeling like a NASCAR race right about now – lots of left turns! Dad began the stripping process yesterday and I couldn’t convince him to wait until the sun was up this morning before sanding. I am worried the neighbors hate us. We hope to post a project or two soon! Thanks again!

View dhazelton's profile


2798 posts in 2502 days

#4 posted 08-09-2013 01:04 PM

You said it was made from a stump. If the discoloration was not objectionable I would have just stripped the end grain allowing moisture to wick out. Next time maybe.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2492 days

#5 posted 08-09-2013 01:43 PM

Use a color safe bleach.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View JohnOfNELA's profile


7 posts in 1961 days

#6 posted 08-19-2013 11:05 PM

dhazelton: Thanks for the tip! As it happens, we thought of that as we stripped several of our pieces and were able to avoid doing so to the entire thing. We live in a very humid area; does anyone have any suggestions for speeding up the drying process? A shed in the hot sun with partial ventilation, perhaps…? I promise we will post pics soon.

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