How to Ensure your Wooden Work Surface Lasts a Lifetime
Having a place to call your own is one of life’s great pleasures. Owning a house means you can have everything just the way you want it. Of course this often involves taking on the responsibility of maintaining things about the house and your prize wooden kitchen worktop should be chief amongst them. However hectic your DIY schedule might seem, it’s important not to overlook this essential task. Keeping that beautiful wooden countertop in prize condition means that it not only holds its looks, but gives you a lifetime of service.
If you are reading this before your worktop has been delivered then the very first step to achieving that lifetime of services lies in oiling your worktop properly before installation. It’s at this point that it is easiest to reach both sides and the edges.
Start by oiling the top and bottom surfaces twice before installation and each edge (including cut-outs for sinks and hob) twice that again. The reason that the edges of your worktop need more oil is that they will end up absorbing more oil into the fibres of the wood.
Oiling worktops is a fairly straightforward business but there are some simple rules to adhere to. If you’ve got an old t-shirt you were about to get rid of, use that – it’s perfect. Apply a small amount of oil onto the cloth and oil those exposed edges first. Now put some oil directly onto the worktop and oil, working with the grain not across it, to a thin consistent coating. Depending on the way your top was made, either butchers block or a wide planked full stave worktop, your worktop will absorb differing amounts of oil. Either way, avoid large pools of oil lying on the surface for too long, you might get blotches.
Once the worktop is installed you’ll need to oil it once a day for a week, using the same method above. After installation though, you might want to do this last thing at night. That way, come morning, the top will be ready to use.
Before you rush out to the shops and buy a 10 gallon tin of oil, you might want to take a look at some of the popular oils when it comes to wooden worktops.
- Danish Oil: This is a mix of oils, Tung and Linseed typically. Danish gives super protection and is a cinch to apply. You’ll find quite a few brands, Rustins is fairly popular.
- Tung Oil: Extracted from the nut like seeds from a tree found in China, Africa and South America. Tung oil will give good protection but will take longer to dry. You might also find it harder to apply. Common brands to look for here are Bestwood Tung oil and Liberon Tung oil.
- Linseed Oil: Made with heated and mashed flax seeds. Providing fair protection, you will need to wait a long time between coats as it may take several days to dry. A good linseed oil is also made by Rustins.
- Teak Oil: Made from a mix of vegetable oils. Both quick trying and easy to apply but beware that some report a lingering smell.
Whatever oil you choose, the above oiling schedule is important to stick to. After the first week you can ease off, but do oil again every 6 months or so. Your loving care will pay off in the form of years of service, plus your worktop will keep its looks for many, many, years to come.