Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Part One of Kitchen Remodel on a Budget! How to clean years of grease from your cabinets.

Hello Friends!  One of my latest projects, was to help update a kitchen 

for a client who is selling her fathers home.  When she came to  me about

budget friendly options, of course I suggested painting her cabinetry, for a 

fraction of the cost of new.  A few other simple touches, like replacing countertops,

appliances and painting walls as well, really are helping bring this

Miami Vice era kitchen up to date.  

Those pickled cabinets and dated hardware, along with the mint green counters and wallpaper 

are just simple and inexpensive fixes  for updating this kitchen.

The cabinetry in this home, had seen alot of deep frying, cooking, sautéing and such and not 

alot of maintenance.  The build up was quite thick.  I thought I would share an

inexpensive and effective way to clean that grime and years of neglect from

cabinets with you.  

This was just Step One of this kitchen project.

First, all the doors and hardware were removed.  The hinges were quite 

crusty as well, so we decided to soak them in degreaser before putting them 

back into place, and the homeowner is replacing all of the handles.

Ok, so here is picture of the cabinetry, especially close to the stove/oven.  The wear around  

the handles had a lot of wear and grime as well.  So off to work I go, trying to 

figure out the best way to cut the grease…

First try:  Murphys Oil Soap.

(Murphys oil soap did not work, it left a film on the cabinets and really 
didn't clean the grime.)  

I was planning on painting these cabinets, so  I  really had to make

 sure the surfaces were all even and no residue was left behind.

I decided to do a few more trials and finally made a paste.  

With these simple kitchen items I made this inexpensive and 

effective paste to clean the grease.

Paste:  Baking Soda and Vegetable oil
Dawn Dishsoap, water and scrub brush  to clean.

Here, I am showing you , how I worked the paste into the wood and let sit 
for a few minutes.)

Next, I took each door into the sink and used the sprayer to rinse completely clean,

then, used a towel to pat dry and then sat the doors in the sun.  

As, you can see, the grime has been removed, but so has some of the finish, but 

that is ok, I am painting these.  If you are just cleaning your cabinetry at home, without

refinishing the surface, I would suggest to use a softer brush, maybe like a toothbrush.

I used the same method on the drawers and then did again on each of the cabinet frames.

Obviously, I didn't use the sprayer on the frames, but I used lots of rags and

wiped clean after I used the paste.  

So,  I let all these doors and cabinets dry for a day, now we are ready to paint!

I look forward to sharing Part 2 with you soon, all about painting

cabinetry, with Chalk Paint! Simple, Easy, Quick and beautiful 

coverage.  I painted this entire kitchen for less than $60.00!

Stay tuned, I cannot wait to share the details with you!

Happy Cleaning!

Have a great day!



  1. What amounts of each product for grease cleaner ?

    1. Greetings! In regards to measurements or amounts for the products, I really did not measure I just added as I went. I used mostly baking soda and added just enough oil to make a paste and then scrubbed on and used dawn dish soap on my brush with water to rinse. No exact measurements here!! Hope that helps.