This cabinet was custom-made to accept the drawers, which came from my grandfather’s grocery store. The drawers were refinished, but they still maintain an odor inside from mice nests from the past. We need suggestions as to how and what to use to seal the inside of these drawers to eliminate this odor. The wood is a soft wood, possibly poplar. – Bob Stoll
Chris Marshall: Bob, your best hope for sealing in those rodent smells is shellac. It makes an excellent barrier coat over all wood species, and it sticks to almost anything, including urine (which, let’s face it, is probably some or even most of the residual odor you are smelling). Zinsser makes a great product for this purpose, called Bullseye® SealCoat™. It’s a clear dewaxed shellac that you can apply to those drawer interiors easily with a brush. It dries quickly and should help to diminish that mice smell. And since it doesn’t contain wax, you can apply other finishes like lacquer or varnish over it — they’ll stick just fine. SealCoat is also handy to have around the shop as a general purpose wood finish and sanding sealer. So, I’m sure you’ll find other uses for what’s left of the quart you buy.