Odorless Mineral Spirits- I think we all scavenge Craigslist for incredible finds and sometimes we find the most gorgeous piece- minus all the crud covering it. Or- it is just a piece that needs to be cleaned prior to painting. And I always recommend cleaning down cabinetry in the kitchen, bath, or laundry room prior to painting. No matter the painting occasion, this is what I do at The Purple Painted Lady:
Using old towels or t-shirts cut up- I apply a little odorless mineral spirits on it and then wipe down the piece.
After using Mineral Spirits to clean- finish with a clean water rinse to remove any residual. Make sure your piece is dry before painting.
The rag should be slightly damp, but not dripping! I like to use “real” Mineral Spirits..meaning not the “green” Mineral Spirits that have that milky white appearance. I personally feel it does not work as well as the original Mineral Spirits.
Take your rag and place it on the opening of the Mineral Spirits. Flip the container a couple of times in different areas of the rag. (Think like how you would put nail polish remover onto a cotton swab or ball)
With a tiny bit of Mineral Spirits on your rag, rub the piece in the direction of the grain of the wood. The mineral spirits on the rag will remove grease or dirt.
Again, I always do this prior to painting a cabinet job. In the bath- I wipe off residual toothpaste and in kitchens- the cabinets near the dog’s food dish or garbage can are the dirtiest. Such as life though- and we all live in our homes versus using them as a show room.
After wiping down your piece with Mineral Spirits, finish with a clean water rinse to remove any residual. Make sure your piece is dry before painting. (If you are doing a few pieces- by the time you finish cleaning the last piece- the first will be ready.)
Or, if you are a patient person, clean the piece then give it a day before painting. (I never do this- but then again- sadly patience in not my strongest virtue. I wish it was!)
The washing with Mineral Spirits will remove any residual oil or grease from the wood if there is any.
Some people recommend using TSP to clean your furniture- and that is fine too. I personally- have had many customers have issues with this method since they do not thoroughly rinse the furniture or cabinets with water or denatured alcohol after using TSP. I get emails asking, “what did I do wrong? The paint is peeling.” 9 times out of 10- it is because of this!
So I prefer to just use odorless Mineral Spirits.
With that said- DO NOT USE THE “Environmentally Green” brand of Mineral Spirits!
Mineral Spirits are a staple in my painting closet and I always have it on hand. Also- if you make a glaze out of your wax using Mineral Spirits- I recommend staying away from the “Green” Mineral Spirits – which has a milky white look to it.