Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a wood countertop that I'm refinishing. It currently has a dark brown stain and a heavy finish. I'm going to remove that and want to achieve a more natural feel.

So what is best to finish a butcher block countertop? I don't like a heavy shine. I see oil and wax options out there, which is best? I won't be doing any cutting on it and I'll most likely keep hot items off of it. It's an island so there won't be a lot of water on it.

While I'm asking I may as well get input on a stain. The wood is very light so I think I'll need to stain it somewhat, to bring out the grain and achieve a warmer tone however I don't want to go to say a dark walnut. Should I use a regular wood stain?

I have photos if it would help.

Thanks for any feedback and advice you may have!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
For two different butcher block projects I have used a Danish Oil to finish. One was for a counter and I finished it with the Danish Oil and it looked great and held up wonderfully. The owner puts mineral spirits on it regularly and it all worked out perfect. The other project was a dining table that had a butcher block top. I used the Danish Oil again on that top and it is still beautiful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,320 Posts
You can do that but the counter was originally done with a thick finish so it would take more abuse with less maintenance. For what you are wanting to do you will have to pamper the counter top, not sitting something hot on it and keep it as dry as possible. For a finish for what you are doing I would recommend 100% tung oil. It's not the easiest finish to work with but it is waterproof. Having said that though it won't be waterproof with one coat. It would take several coats and you can stop before it starts building a film like a varnish would.

The way you work tung oil is apply the oil and keep applying oil to the dry spots for 20-30 minutes until it seems like it just won't take anymore and wipe off the excess. Then let it dry. This might take as much as a week. Tung oil dries real slow. The best way to tell if the finish is dry enough for another coat is to briskly rub the finish with a clean dry cloth and see if the tung oil smell rubs off on the rag. When there is no smell it is dry.
 

·
Sawing against the Wind
Joined
·
2,381 Posts
RVC1 I've started using Heritage Natursl Finishes www.heritagenaturalfinishes.com for my wood. It has a very pleasing look and feel...it's natural and the wood looks soft and inviting to touch. Check out their website as to which finish is best for you....actually give Autumn a call there and she can help you with any of your questions....it's a easy finsh to use and also touch-up/repair if needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I've done some research and along with your suggestions I'm understanding things a bit more.

Drying time is a bit of an issue, so a few days is definitely too long. I prefer the look of a natural oil however maybe an oil/varnish mix would be best. Does Danish Oil fall into this category? What would be a good option in this area? And if I went with a straight varnish or lacquer, what is closest to an oil finish?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,320 Posts
Regardless of the finish you use you should use paint stripper to get the old finish off. Part of the finish soaks into the wood and sanding the finish off tends to get what is on the surface. This means you run the risk of having the wood not accept stain in spots because some of the old finish is still there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Regardless of the finish you use you should use paint stripper to get the old finish off. Part of the finish soaks into the wood and sanding the finish off tends to get what is on the surface. This means you run the risk of having the wood not accept stain in spots because some of the old finish is still there.
That's a good point. I was using stripper and then sanding however it was a bit messy to work with so I purchased a belt sander and thought I'd just use that (my hand sander was taking too long). And even after leaving the stripper on for a while it still didn't penetrate all the way to the wood. Maybe I just need a better stripper.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top