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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am new to the forums, I stumbled upon this looking for a solution for the Birch live-edge slabs we purchased off Kijji. They are unfinished so we are looking at sanding, and sealing them for preservation for our wedding next Fall. But as we have started sanding, we are noticing a lot of "black mold" spots throughout the surfaces. There are various suggestions we've seen on the internet, and we've currently tried a vinegar to water spray bottle solution and scrubbing with little success. So this why I am here: perhaps someone with some knowledge of this can give us some suggestions on how to get rid of the black mold spots? The wood itself seems very dry, but definitely has a musty smell to it -- but that could also be based on where they were stored from the previous owner.

Any advice, suggestions is helpful.

Thank you,

Tom
 

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From your description unless you are storing the wood in a sauna the wood is too green to use. The quickest way to make use of it is to find someone with a dry kiln and have the wood dried. Another option would be to create a small greenhouse outdoors with some clear plastic and put a dehumidifier in it. Just storing the wood in a dry place it would take about a year for every inch thickness the wood is.
 

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That looks like spalting to me. Probably the reason the tree was cut down in the first place.

Mineral oil is not good choice for finishing any way, as it tends to promote bacterial growth.

The only thing you could do now is to minimize the look by applying a 2 to 1 bleach/water solution in two or 3 sessions, and then staining/finishing to your liking.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
 

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I'm having the same problem. Did you succeed with any solution? Some people say bleach won't work unless you soak it because bleaching the surface won't penetrate deep enough to the root of the mold. I don't have enough time to kiln dry.
My questions are, if I do soak them or heavily bleach the tops, will this effect the color of the wood? Also, will the bleach smell linger? I only rubbed one side with poly rub-on satin finish. will bleach penetrate through or do i need to sand off that finish before cleaning the wood? Lastly, if I do happen to get rid of the mold spots, if i finish them with just a couple coats of poly, will mold regrow from within and eventual appear? The only reason i'm using minimal finish is because the bride and groom don't want a glossy sheen finish. Shelac then poly gives it a waxy look. Just satin poly gives it a rougher more natural look. Thoughts?
I really appreciate anyone taking the time to help us out.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Matt,

Results on my end, I ended up sanding half the slabs as winter has arrived and sanding in the garage in the Winter is definitely not fun. We know now that we should've treated the wood when we got them so that's on us. We've shown experts and everyone says we should've kiln dried them, and as we did not we are kind of letting natured take its course -- it's more rustic this way with the cracks hopefully it holds up till our September wedding. But what we did was we did a mixture of bleach and water, and painted it on with a painter brush on the darker areas and it kind of diminished the problem areas -- as long as you dilute it the bleach smell goes away (in our case). And then in order to compensate for some of the other discoloured areas we purchased some "Antique White" stain from IKEA and put that on, it wasn't the ideal choice at he beginning but it just unifies all the pieces of wood. Just a thought.

Thanks,

Tom
 
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