Made from a completely natural product, wooden worktops are a great way to give your kitchen a stylish and natural look. You can install wooden worktops to create a traditional or a modern look depending on the overall theme you have chosen and, with the right care your wooden worktops will last a lifetime.
In order to keep your wooden worktop in great condition, you should oil the wood before installation to help avoid bowing or warping. Oiling is a great way to create a water resistant finish on your worktop and will make the wood more hard wearing and long-lasting. Oiling, unlike varnishing or lacquering, adds an unsurpassed depth and character to the wood. A simple and easy process, it will protect your wood when it’s new and rejuvenate your wood if it reaches the point where it’s looking a bit tired.
When it comes to choosing oil, there’s a good range on the market. Our preference is Danish Oil, which is a blend of tung and polymerized linseed oil, with a few added extras to help it dry to a hard satin finish.
Before installing your wooden worktop, you should oil every surface. It’s really important that the undersides and edges of your worktop aren’t be ignored because oiling them is what will prevent your wooden worktop from bowing or warping. On the parts of the worktop which will not be seen, two generous coats of oil are all that’s required. On the visible surface, you should aim to apply between three and five light coats of oil to build up water resistance. That said, even once your wood has been treated, you should mop up any water spills and splashes as quickly as possible as water is one of the things most likely to stain your wood.
The best way to apply oil to your worktop is to pour it directly on to the wood in the direction of the grain and work it outwards with a clean, dry, soft cotton cloth. What you’re aiming for is a thin, even covering across the whole area of the worktop. Each time you apply a coat, leave it for ten minutes or so and rework it with the cloth to get a nice, even coating. If you find that the worktop looks a bit patchy at the start, don’t worry as this will even out as you build up more coats of oil. The final finish should have an even sheen to it.
You should aim to re-oil your worktop regularly, at intervals of anything between 3 and 6 months depending on how often your worktop is used. A good test of whether or not your worktop needs re-oiling, is the “bead test”. Effectively if your wooden worktop is sufficiently oiled, any liquid spills should create “beads” on the surface. If this isn’t happening, then it’s probably time to re-oil.
If your worktop becomes extremely tired looking, it may be time to think of sanding it down and re-applying multiple coats of oil as if the worktop was new. You should also bear in mind that heat and sharp objects are not great friends of wood either, so do make sure you have and make use of a good heat diffusing pot stand and chopping board to avoid unnecessary burning or cutting of the worktop.