prepping cabinets for milk paint

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. kitchen cabinets before 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. IMG_5799 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.prepping cabinets for milk paint .. 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! citrus cleanser-5807 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. DIY Citrus Cleanser 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. citrus cleanser-5790 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! citrus cleanser-5794 Here’s a sneak peek of where the cabinet fronts are with one coat of MMSMP Mora and bonding agent…  To be continued. citrus cleanser-5801

DIY laundry detergent

We’ve taken DIY to a new level over here. It was only a matter of time really. DIY rooms, paint jobs and furniture were our gateway. Then there was lighting. And we dabbled in sewing – not necessarily a strong suit, for those keeping track.

Then it happened in the kitchen. I began making things from scratch such as soups, juice and bread. Which got us thinking about all of the processed food and drinks we used to eat and how that directly correlates to our health and just generally feeling good. We’ve cut out as much processed food as possible.

That mindset begged us to ask what was in our detergents and certain cleaning supplies that we come in close contact with.  As a result, our DIY laundry detergent was born…

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe

After much research we settled on 3 simple ingredients…

  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 bar fels naptha soap

DIY Laundry Detergent-3992

The fels naptha must be grated.  Don’t let that deter you if you are interested in making your own laundry detergent.  It really only takes about 3 minutes to grate a bar of soap.  If you’ve grated cheese before, you can do this!

DIY Laundry Detergent-3986

After that, all that is left is measuring 1 cup of the other 2 ingredients.

DIY Laundry Detergent-3988

Combine it all in a jar or canister.  You’ll just need a tablespoon of the detergent for each load of laundry; 2 tablespoons for extra dirty loads.    This detergent smells so truly fresh and clean too – not a manufactured scent.  It also doesn’t suds up making it a good candidate for high-efficiency washers that call for low suds detergents.

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe

Did I mention that this detergent is dirt cheap to make?  Get it?  Dirt cheap!  I couldn’t resist.  But it really is inexpensive.  Do you make any of your own cleaning supplies?


the great outdoors

It’s been busy here at Circa Dee headquarters AKA our house.

The back yard has become one with a much anticipated fence. We opted for post and rail to keep with the rustic setting that the mature trees in our yard offer. What a beautiful union between the two.

Can’t forget the wire to keep the little guy in.

Now Wilson can happily mingle with nature. Or just lounge.

See how well he stays on the patio?

After consideration, we hired a fence company to do the installation. They completed it in just a day and a half. Well worth the sanity Ryan and I both kept. Let’s face it, installing a fence would’ve been all him…

The back of the house didn’t get all of the love though. The roof got a serious cleaning. It needed it! See the before picture? When we bought the house in the spring, it was covered in moss.  It grows on the roof due to the shade and moisture caused by the large birch trees.  As much as we’re into moss right now, we don’t want it growing on the shingles.  It gives a “green roof” a whole different meaning.

And look at it now! The roof looks brand new after Ryan put some serious elbow grease into it.

I know it’s hard to see past the birch tree canopy. Look closer. Like new I tell ya! What a guy!

I feel the need to give full disclosure here. There are no during pictures of this DIY home cleaning project because while Ryan was scaling the side of the house, I was out sipping sangria with my girlfriends. I offered no help in this project whatsoever. Although, judging by the results it looks like he didn’t need my help but I am feeling a bit guilty now that I know the volume of ladders that were involved. I’m so happy with the outcome!

Here is a breakdown of how the roof went from drab to fab!

  • Mix Jomax with bleach and water according to the instructions on the bottle.  Be sure to use a plant friendly outdoor bleach so the vegetation below will not be harmed.
  • Apply solution to the roof with a sprayer and let solution sit for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Use a gas powered pressure washer to wash solution off.

Now that these outdoor projects are complete, we can move onto planting the perennial gardens!

How was your weekend?


Linking to:

Between Naps on the Porch