It was Monday morning and I was feeling ambitious. After my cheeks turned red from the cold and my fingers were going numb while waiting for the school bus with my son, I decided against starting my Fall clean-up in the yard. I needed a project to do inside my warm and toasty house.
I walked through the front door and just stood there for a moment to thaw myself out. I looked all around me at this wall-to-wall wooden entryway and my lip curled in disgust, as it always does when I really look at this room. The cedar wood-paneled walls and ceiling were dull and grimy. Here was my project for the day!
The back story: When we bought this house 5 months ago, I told my hubs that one of the first things I wanted to do was paint this room. His jaw dropped. I guess he really likes the woody, rustic cabin-feel of this entryway. I, on the other hand, have never really been a fan of wood-paneled walls or the rustic cabin-style. To me, this entryway just looks ugly and seriously out-dated. I like crisp, clean painted walls and white crown molding. But, I decided to leave this be, since it is the only area of the house that is totally wood. It does give the house character and so much of the house will be changed by the time I get done with it, I figure it might be nice to have something that is still original.
[And by original, I mean I’ve agreed to keep the walls and ceiling as is. The doors, knobs and light fixture must go!]
But all this wood has aged, dulled and been caked with dust and grime over the years. I have dusted this area regularly since we’ve been here, but it hasn’t seemed to do much good. These walls were in desperate need of some TLC. And today, I had the time, and the mojo, to give it some.
First I sucked up the few cobwebs that were dangling in the high corners with the vacuum attachment. I gave the baseboards a good sweep over with it, too. Then I wiped every wall (nook, cranny and all) down with my simple go-to-cleaner-for-everything; vinegar and water. I always have a spray bottle filled with equal parts vinegar and water. It’s my favorite all-purpose cleaner because it’s effective and safe, but most importantly, it’s cheap and easy to whip up.
This left these cedar walls even more dull-looking. But at least they were clean. All that elbow-grease proved to be lack-luster… Literally. I wanted to bring out the natural beauty that my hubs could see in these old walls. I had tried using the standard Pledge on them before, but the result was nothing to write home about. So, this time I broke out a jar of Coconut Oil and rolled up my sleeves…
Have you ever used Coconut Oil on wood? The results are miraculous! From now on I will call this my Magic Polish. I knew Coconut Oil was good for your health, and great for your skin. (Nothing soothes my eczema quite like a good slathering of coconut oil!) But, just look at this! I was finally getting the results I desired in this space. While it did bring out the many imperfections, it also brought out the natural beauty of the wood grain. And that was beginning to appeal to me.
I have never used Coconut Oil in this way before, so it took me a while to really get into the groove of how it works on wood. It reminds me of using Turtle Wax on the car. I used paper towels to rub it on. But, I would strongly recommend using microfiber cloths. (I had used all of mine up during the pre-polish wall cleaning.) The paper towels absorbed a lot of the oil, so I probably used more oil than I would have with a cloth.
While this space is small, it is the most used entryway for our home. This is the first thing everybody sees upon entering our home. I want it to be pretty and welcoming. So I am happy to have a clean, polished slate to work with. Now I can add decor and functionality — I’m conjuring up ideas for a mud room in this empty closet space here……. 😉
[Future Mud Room right there.]