How to Remove Mold from Rough Cut Wood- Easy Guide

Image of rough cut wood, know How to Remove Mold from Rough Cut WoodRough cut wood projects are susceptible to getting affected by many natural factors, such as molds and even discoloration. Water quickly soaks in wood, and if retained for a long time, it initiates the growth of mildew, mold, and other fungi, which weakens the structure through rotting. So you need to know how to remove mold from rough cut wood.

The best way to remove mold from rough cut wood is to use a diluted bleach solution. You only have to mix with some detergent, and warm water, then apply it to the wood’s surface.

The only drawback is that it would be difficult for the solution to penetrate, kill, and remove the mold from beneath the wood’s surface.

What Kills Black Mold on Wood?

The best solution that kills black mold on wood is white vinegar. The product is acidic, and you can use it to clean, deodorize, and disinfect affected areas. 

You can also use it to kill up to 82% of other mold types on both porous and non porous surfaces. The best thing about the white vinegar is that its offensive odor goes away quickly. 

How to Remove Mold from Rough Cut Wood

For rough-cut wood, you need to take immediate action against any growth of mildew or mold. Doing this will help protect your wood surface from rotting and finally weakening.

Here are the few steps you require to follow while removing mold from rough cut wood.

  • Step 1: Wear protective clothing.

Always ensure you wear protective clothing to avoid getting in contact with mold. I also suggest wearing an air mask since it will prevent you from inhaling the spores that can cause allergies and asthma.

Suppose you are using a bleaching agent. Ensure you have protective outerwear to protect yourself and your clothes from possible stains.

  • Step 2: Vacuum the affected area

It’s good to vacuum the affected area before scrubbing. Doing this will help absorb the dust and debris. After vacuuming, go to an open space and empty the dust into a plastic bag which you’ll then seal tightly to prevent further exposure.

You should note that vacuuming the affected areas helps in eliminating all the spores.

  • Step 3: Use soap and water

Once you are done vacuuming, make soap and warm water solution and apply it to the affected region. It would be nice if you also remembered that painted surfaces are less affected by molds. 

Therefore, consider cleaning with a mild solution if you have a painted surface, which will take you less time.

  • Step 4: Try diluted bleach for cleaning.

If you didn’t notice the mold on time, you’d realize that it will have penetrated deep down the wood. In such cases, consider using a stronger solvent. I recommend a diluted bleaching solution even though it’s not easy to remove or kill the mold beneath the wood’s surface.

Making the solution is easy. You only have to mix 20 parts of warm water, one part of the detergent, and ten parts of bleach, then apply it on the affected wood surface.

How Do You Clean Rough Cut Wood?

If you want to clean your rough cut wood, use warm water and a bristle brush to scrub off any residue from the surface. But if you are doing the cleaning outdoors, you can consider using a pressure washer.

After cleaning, allow your rough cut wood to dry before you can sand off the rough edges completely. 

Tips You Need When Working With Rough Lumber

Below are some of the essentials tips when working with rough lumber.

  • Mark the end grain

If you want to fasten your work while joining, ensure you draw a line in the grain direction.

  • Measure thickness

You should also ensure to measure the thickness of your board so you can know what size you are working with.

When doing the measurements, it’s good to use two boards since they’ll help you be more precise. But using up to four boards stacked together can be more precise if you do it right.

  • Cut big boards into small pieces.

Before you start milling, it’s essential to cut the big rough sawn wood into smaller pieces. It would be nice to understand that most big boards have some inbuilt stresses. 

Therefore, while cutting, ensure to give some allowance, say ½ an extra inch on the length and ¼” for the width to give some room for a new balance and shape.

  • Give a rip

Ripping is an essential process when dealing with rough cut lumber. You can do the ripping and crosscutting using a general purpose blade or one table blade. You’ll realize that you only need less workforce and less horsepower when using the rip blade.

Even better, there will be fewer chances of overheating the blade or burning the wood as long as you maintain a reasonable feed rate. What if you have a contractor’s saw? In such a case, using a thin kerf rip blade is the best solution. The knife removes 25% less material; hence it requires less power than the standard ones.

  • Safety 

Since you’ll mainly be using cutting tools on your lumber, safety must be a priority. For blades, ensure your machine has some guards that will prevent you or anybody else from getting in contact with the sharp blades.

Generally, ensure you adhere to all the safety precautions necessary while working. The first one should be adequately dressing on workshop safety clothing including shoes, and mask.

  • Cut the ends

Most board ends usually have cracks on them. Therefore, before doing any cross cutting, ensure you cut them off so you can know the actual length of the board you’ll be working with.

Some cracks will be large enough to see, while others are relatively small. Thus, partially cutting the ends will be an effective remedy to prevent the board from splitting or cracking further. 

How Do You Smooth Out Rough Cut Lumber?

Here are the steps necessary for smoothing out rough cut lumber.

  • Step 1

First, you’ll use 40 and 60 grit sandpaper to sand the surface. For this step, the best machine to use will be an oscillating sander or a belt sander. Ensure you thoroughly sand the surface until there is no imperfection.

Additionally, you need to ensure that no gouges, dents, and deep scratches remain on the surface.

  • Step 2

After the first step, now sand using medium grit sandpaper, preferably between 80 and 120 grit. You won’t require a belt sander to do this, but you can use an oscillating sander. If you don’t have access to one, consider using a sanding block.

In this step, ensure you thoroughly sand to remove any sanding scratches left behind by the coarse sandpaper used in step one. Again, your main aim should be to get a smooth to touch surface.

  • Step 3

The best way to finish sand is to use a sanding block or loose sandpaper between 150 to 180 grit for the best results. 

How to Finish Rough Cut Lumber

Rough cut lumber is prone to have saw marks, barks, insect holes, and other imperfections. Therefore, it needs a good finish to prevent it from cracking and fading. Doing this will also enhance its natural beauty.

Before we look at how to finish rough cut lumber, let’s first go through some points to consider while ding the finishing.

  • No topcoats

First, it would be wise to note that rough lumber does not do well with traditional topcoats such as lacquer or varnish. The reason is that such coats always fail to penetrate the surface due to the texture of the rough lumber.

Since the coats will not penetrate the surface, they form a thick film on the surface, making your rough lumber look like ordinary milled lumber.

  • Use airless sprayer

You cannot use a brush or piece of cloth to apply oil on rough lumber due to the fragments, fibers, and rough grain on the surface. Using a sprayer is more convenient since it atomizes tung oil to fine particles that can easily penetrate under the fibers, cracks, and crevices.

Below are the steps you’ll require to finish rough cut lumber.

  • Step 1: Choose the right tip

You’ll realize that tung oil is relatively thick. Therefore, you’ll want to use the right paint tip for the best results. The most preferred one is the .011 airless paint tip.

  • Step 2: Test the pattern.

In this step, you need to test the pattern on a piece of scrap wood at about 45 degrees angle. Then, with the gun at about 8” from the surface, spray the piece of wood, making a pattern at least 8” wide. 

Don’t worry if the oil slightly runs. You only have to concentrate on ensuring the oil is not dripping. Also, ensure you make the appropriate gun settings as required.

  • Step 3: Coat the wood

With the gun at the correct distance from the surface, gently spray the coat on the lumber’s surface, moving the gun from side to side. 

Repeat using the same method but this time overlapping the previous pattern by at least an inch. Continue spraying with the same pattern until you see that all the surface is well coated.

Suppose your lumber is not that heavy. Then, you can turn it over to spray on the bottom side.

  • Step 4: Air time

Here, you’ll have to give the coated surface at least an hour before using a soft cloth to wipe off any excess. But, it would help to remember that the lumber’s surface is quite rough. Thus, this step might be unnecessary. 

If you give the wood enough time to dry, there will be no need to wipe the surface since it will have socked entirely.

  • Step 5: Repeat and dry

Finally, you’ll spray more coats as desired. You can do either one or two more, depending on how you want it.

Note: You don’t require sanding

You’ll realize that no sanding is necessary before, during, or after finishing. If you sand at any of these times, you will be interfering with wood’s natural beauty. 

How Do You Get Dust Out of Rough Wood?

If you leave your rough wood with dust, it will not compliment the charming look of your home. You will also have to do some other maintenance practices apart from dusting.

If you don’t want to destroy the wood’s surface, don’t clean using harsh cleaning products such as waxes or oils. The best solution to this is to use as little water as possible.

Below are some of the steps for dusting out rough wood surfaces

  • Step 1

You can start by removing any dirt or dust from the surface using a dry microfiber. Then if you prefer, use a soft brush attachment to vacuum the wood surface.

  • Step 2

You’ll have to make a mixture of 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap and a gallon of warm water in this step. Then, gently wipe off the surface for any tough stain or dirt with the water on a sponge or clean cloth. Also, remember to keep rinsing the cloth or sponge in the water while whipping.

  • Step 3

Here, you won’t need soapy water. Instead, use clean water to rinse the cloth or sponge before wiping out the wood for any soap residue.

  • Step 4

Finally, you’ll now thoroughly dry off the wood’s surface with a dry cloth.

How Do You Clean Old Weathered Wood?

If you have old weathered wood, you must consider cleaning it before reusing it. You have to clean because the wood has been taking a beating from different elements while it was not in use.

First, give the wood some time to dry even if it has not rained for the previous couple of days.

Drying will help to kill molds that might have grown on the wood while you had abandoned it. Depending on the condition of your weathered wood, you may want to start by hosing it down to get rid of bugs, mud, old sap, and other residues before cleaning.

After this, give it some time to fully dry before you can lightly sand it down to achieve a smooth texture. If you do this, you rest assured of preventing slivers or splinters when cleaning. 

Your old weathered wood is now ready for cleaning and sanitizing.

When cleaning, you’ll want to use a brush and soapy water to scrub down the wood. Alternatively, you may consider using a combination of bleach, detergent, and water. 

While cleaning, ensure you have protective clothing to protect yourself from fumes and mold spores. If you realize the wood is not well cleaned, don’t hesitate to repeat the process.

Another method of cleaning is by starting with dry scrubbing the surface then cleaning. Doing this will help in breaking down the mildew or mold. Suppose your wood has paint that you don’t want to remove. Consider using a tad bit more bleach and scrub lightly.

When you are done, rinse the wood and allow it to dry. Afterward, you can do any other necessary step like adding sealer or shaping it to your desired shape.

Here’s how to clean reclaimed wood:

How to Prep Weathered Wood

Preparing weathered wood might sound challenging, but you’ll find it straightforward and exciting if you follow these steps.

  • Step 1

Using a pump sprayer, apply the BEHR PREMIUM all in one wood cleaner after wetting the wood’s surface.

  • Step 2

Give the wet surface at least 15 minutes to dry before scrubbing it with a stiff bristle brush.

  • Step 3

With some residue formation after scrubbing, you may want to rinse the surface with running water.

  • Step 4 

After rinsing, allow the surface to completely dry before coating it with a BEHR stain or finish product.

What Finish Should I Use On Rough Cut Lumber?

You can use either boiled linseed oil or polymerized tung oil for finishing your rough lumber. Even so, the two products have some differences. For the boiled linseed, it’s cheap but will take a bit longer to dry. Besides, it does not provide water resistance.

On the other hand, tung oil is quite expensive but provides grain patterns and water resistance.

How Do You Smooth Rough Wood Without Sanding?

There are up to ten different ways that you can use to smooth rough wood without sanding. Some of these ways include:

  • Sand a piece of leather or cloth.
  • Walnut shells
  • Burnishing
  • Building a primitive sanding tool
  • A wood file
  • Scraping
  • Wood shavings
  • Corn cobs
  • Pumice (a porous volcanic rock)
  • Rottenstone (similar to Pumice)

Final Thoughts

We have seen how mold can be so destructive if left for a long time on wood. It’s even worse on rough cut wood due to its texture. So, the only solution is killing and completely removing the mold from the wood. Doing this is straightforward. You only need to know… 

How to Remove Mold from Rough Cut Wood

There different ways in which you can remove mold from rough wood. However, the best way of doing this is by using a diluted bleach solution.

I want to thank you for taking your time on this article. I might have explained most of the things related to this topic, but if you still need to know more or have any observations, the comment section below is open for you.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.