Painting inside cabinets to prevent mold

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Old 01-11-16, 12:24 AM
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Painting inside cabinets to prevent mold

I live in a humid area, and white mold likes to grow inside and outside my old kitchen cabinets. Cleaning the outsides of the cabinets isn't bad, but it's not much fun to clean the mold that's inside the cabinets. So I'm looking for a way to stop the mold from growing in the future. I've looked into moldproof primers, mold killing primer (though the one I saw said only on non-porous surfaces?), mold/mildew resistant paint, but I'm not sure what I should do. Any advice? I've attached a picture of my cabinets, they're a little messier than usual since I was putting new drawer slides on, and threw the drawer stuff in the cabinets. I should also mention this house was built in the 1920's or 1930's, and I'm not sure what is currently on the cabinets.
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Old 01-11-16, 03:35 AM
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The odds are those cabinets would have been originally finished with shellac although it's likely they have been top coated with varnish or poly along the way.

Paint won't necessarily stop mold/mildew although extra mildecide can be added to most coatings and that might help a little. The main thing is to stop the moisture that is feeding the mold! A fresh coating [poly or paint] will seal the wood better making it repel moisture and not absorb it but if the moisture is still there - the mold will come back.

Have you considered running a dehumidifier?
 
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Old 01-11-16, 04:08 AM
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When I think of a home that's that old, I think Balloon wall constrution, no, very little, or poorly done insulation in the walls.
Cold outside wall, warm moist air inside the home, no air flow inside the cabinets = conditions for growing mold.
 
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Old 01-11-16, 03:02 PM
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Thank you for the replies. I have thought about a dehumidifier and I may give that a try. My concern is that since this house is fairly close to the ocean, I'm not sure how long it would take for the humidity to go back up after being dehumidified. I guess I'm worried that the dehumidifier would be on almost all the time, so I have been curious to look into how much energy a dehumidifier uses. I also thought about having a whole house dehumidifier tied into the exisiting ductwork, but I don't think that'd be very cheap. I'm still not sure what I want to do, I have a lot of other projects to finish so this is kind of a low priority, especially in the winter time.
 
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Old 01-11-16, 03:07 PM
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It isn't uncommon for folks to have to run a dehumidifier continuously. Since I don't have a need for one I can't comment on how much they cost. There are many reasons to get/keep the humidity under control besides combating mold/mildew.
 
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Old 01-11-16, 03:53 PM
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Is this a winter only problem or all 12 months?
Joe is correct, all closed closets or cabinets in this case lack air flow and access to the heat in the room, thus a cold surface for the moist air.

In terms of moisture, it will help you if you pick up an inexpensive humidity gauge and watch the numbers. If you cook with gas, the combustion process generated gallons of moisture. Running an exhaust fan with gas (if that is what you have) is a must. If electric, there is still the moisture from cooking.

Pick up a gauge and see where the humidity is and if it changes through the day with activity.

Bud
 
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Old 01-12-16, 12:54 AM
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Thanks again for the replies.

I agree that keeping the humidity down is definitely a good thing. I think I will look into a portable dehumidifier.

To be honest, I'm not sure when or how often this problem occurs, I haven't really been keeping track. I just know that a little bit of mold has returned to some areas I remember cleaning in the past, and I don't want it to continue. The humidity in my bedroom right now is 44%, in the main living/kitchen area it's 52% right now. I think if i remember right, it was around 65%-70% in the Summer time, but I don't remember if the AC was running or not.

I have electric appliances as well. I don't run the exhaust fan when I cook, which isn't often, but still a good idea. I think what might be contributing a little bit is the sump pumps in the basement, there is no door to the basement. I would really like to put a door in somehow, but this is beyond my skills, as there really is no doorway somewhere to easily install a door. Also, the house has steam radiators. From what I understand, I think the valves on the steam radiators might let out a tiny tiny bit of steam depending on how the dial on the valve is positioned? Or maybe it will let some out if it is malfunctioning? I might be wrong on that.
 
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