It’s happening. We’re milk painting builder grade oak kitchen cabinets, my friends. It was only a matter of time! Here’s a glimpse of what we’re working with over at the cottage. Don’t worry, that ancient stove is long gone. In fact, the cabinet to the left is gone too as we made way for a dishwasher. We removed the cabinet fronts and got to work prepping them for milk paint. The doors have a beautiful, simple shape that will benefit immensely with a good cleaning, new paint and hardware. Cooking grease, grime and residue all needed to be thoroughly removed. I prefer to do this with a natural cleanser as to not introduce any harsh chemicals to the surface of the wood which milk paint may resist. I used a scouring pad to lift any grime while also lightly roughing up the current finish. Then sprayed and wiped the surfaces. Vinegar is a fantastic natural cleanser. But who can stand the smell of vinegar for very long? Long enough to scrub 14 cabinets, 3 drawers and a lazy susan anyway. There is a very easy fix for that…oranges! About a year ago my friends introduced me to the simple concept of making citrus vinegar cleanser and I’ve never looked back. I use it all over the house. The oils in citrus peels also have natural cleaning abilities. Simply fill a glass jar with your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and cover completely with white vinegar. Seal the jar and allow the peels to soak for a minimum of a month. You can shake it up from time to time. The longer the peels soak, the stronger the citrus scent will be. Figure out the ratio that you like best. I let this most recent batch soak for about 3 months and it smells heavenly however the yield in cleaning solution was lower as the peels really soaked up the vinegar. When you’re ready, simply funnel or strain the cleanser into a spray bottle and start cleaning. The remaining vinegar soaked peels can be composted. Smile because you just saved a ton of money! Here’s a sneak peek of where the cabinet fronts are with one coat of MMSMP Mora and bonding agent… To be continued.