Mistake: Walnut Island Top Was Done w/ Waterlox instead of OIL???

2LittleFishiesNovember 7, 2012

On the phone my cabinet maker mentioned the last coat of Waterlox was done on the island but I wanted it oiled. I wonder if I should leave it?

I don't think I'll be cutting on it but like the look of oil. I wonder if the WL scratches easier etc? We will be eating at it and using constantly.

Any thoughts?

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No it doesn't scratch . I have it on all of my teak countertops. The thing about Waterlox is it penetrates into the wood in a way that would probably not allow you to sand deep enough to then oil. I could be wrong. You can call the waterlox people and ask them...they are pretty helpful. c

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Is that the finish on the piece in your other thread? I think it is gorgeous. I was JUST showing the woodworker that edge ........
I don't think I would worry about it. I t may work better in waterlox, anyway.

Yes, they were just here, REMEASURING, because they have not started building my countertop! Should have picked up that wood last week and taken it to someone else!! Sorry, fishies.......

The kitchen is looking fabulous!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Thanks trailrunner- I was thinking the same thing and will check on that.

springroz- The one I pictured is waterlox and was supposed to be. There are two like that. However, the island was supposed to be oiled.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:55AM
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It's much better protection, IMO, than oil... IF you're not going to cut on it. It's not the right thing if you plan to use it as a chopping block/cutting board, but otherwise, it should be a good, tough, waterproof finish for wood under family use.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I'm so confused now. I always figured I'd do oil and if it was to much to maintain do waterlox later.

He just told me the finish on the other two wood pieces is a clear varnish like the cabinets... not Waterlox

ughhh. The WL always looks amber to me also.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Not a mistake, a blessing. Waterlox is excellent. thank your cabinet maker ;)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:35AM
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I do not have a lot of experience with Waterlox but I did finish a beam for my mantel with it and found out that it is oil pressed from the nut of the Tung tree so you should be careful if anyone in your house has tree nut allergies. The look of the finish is very nice and I have read tons of good stuff on it.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:42AM
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It is MUCH better choice for protection for wood than oil. The ONLY reason that you should choose oil is if you are planning on cutting directly on the surface, which I gather, you are not.

Enjoy the fortunate mishap!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 12:20PM
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I wondered about WL looking amber also. Another reason I was OK with the Osmo Polyx Oil my woodworker suggested.

It sounds like all of your wood counters weren't done to your specs. Do you have anything in writing you can point to in order make your case for a price reduction? That's what I'd do. You spent plenty of time agonizing on the finish decision for the wood. You should get what you want or be compensated. My two little pennies. :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Yes, breezy. He will do whatever I want him to do as far as re-sanding, etc.. however now I think it might be better off to go with the WL.

I'd love to talk to nini804 but she doesn't have email here. She has oil and wanted to change to Waterlox ...

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Any other thoughts?? : )

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:30PM
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OH, questions: Can you spot fix with waterlox? For example if it gets a bad scratch can you buff it out and re-Waterlox that area?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Hi 2LittleFishies....I am in the process of finishing my kitchen too. I got cherry hardwood countertops from Hardwood Lumber Co and did the finish myself. I struggled with oil vs Waterlox for opposite reasons--I wanted to use them to cut on and roll dough, but I loved the look and durability of Waterlox. I ultimately chose to use Waterlox, and I don't regret it. My countertops look beautiful, and they are extremely durable--coming from someone who has had them for a couple of months, anyhow.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:57PM
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Yes, you can spot fix with Waterlox. We did it on the trim along our stairway that got scratched with dog nails.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Elizpiz's kitchen has Waterlox oak counters she finished herself I believe.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Thanks- do you have a link? : )

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:06PM
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hi fishies, no first-hand experience yet, but I have been reading up on the various finishes to use and pros/cons. I think a lot of which finish to choose depends on your personal preferences and timing needs.

One issue with waterlox is that it must be given sufficient curing time to become truly hard and durable and so you cannot wash your counters until at least 7 days have passed and they actually will not be fully cured until 30-90 days later. Otherwise it can be soft and sticky and not set up properly.

Another depends on the amount of shine that you want -- original waterlox is sort of a glossy look, but you can ask for satin finish if you prefer less glossy-- the satin is just an added layer put on top of the original so it is not too late if you ask for it later. The satin layer often adds a little bit of cloudiness to the finish whereas the clear/glossy shows the wood grain better.

Another issue is the color that waterlox gives to wood-- many people say it adds an amber hue to the wood, which some people like as it is very rich and warm, but it is a matter of preference. However, a lot of protective finishes will add some kind of slight change in color to the wood.

Also, waterlox has high VOC content and smells terrible when drying (a low VOC version is available though people said it also smells very bad). but once dry, waterlox is supposed to be food-safe.

i am planning on using a european hardwax oil finish. the reason being i wanted a matte finish, and i didn't want to wait too long for the curing time. also, since i have young kids, i wanted a no-VOC finish that I could apply later whenever i needed to do maintenance.

good luck! I cannot wait to see your kitchen complete!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 1:03AM
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michoumonster- thanks! It was done in his workshop so I don't have to worry much about the smell or curing time. We won't be using it for a few more weeks at least.

My biggest concern now (assuming we leave the Waterlox on the top) is that I don't think he did the 2-3 coats of WL Original as recommended by Waterlox. The satin is supposed to be done as the final coat(s) only and I think he did all the coats in the satin. I'm going to call Waterlox again today and ask about this.

Here is the pdf from Waterlox for counters:

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:49AM
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OK, just found out he did the original and then the satin over the top so I feel good about this now. I think in the long run this will be much easier to take care of. Especially now that I have the island base here and can see how large it is,-- I think I'd go crazy constantly oiling such a big space and then having the kids eating there and stuff spilling all the time, etc...

By the way, Waterlox did say that if all coats were done with Satin, the only issue might be (especially for walnut) that the wood may look cloudy. It's a visual issue not one that has to do with how it wears, etc... However, that isn't the case.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Sounds like you're fine with the Waterlox but I thought I'd weigh in quickly. I have an oiled butcher block (just got the walnut one in) and have preferred that finish both for looks and ease of care (it's less stressful to me when I know that if something does happen I can just sand it and re-oil). But I have a Waterlox desktop and countertop in my office at work (so we're talking 9 hours of use 5 days a week) and it is wearing AMAZINGLY well. I'm really impressed.

I will say that I'm shocked at how much oil my little 34x38-inch island is sucking up for the initial oiling. I think with a counter as big as yours (I seem to remember it being a lot bigger than that) you'd go through a LOT of oil.

So, I like both finishes quite a bit, but I think for a larger counter that you don't plan to cut directly on, the Waterlox is probably less hassle.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:20AM
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wi-sailorgirl- Thanks for that info. I love your butcher block. I agree with what you said. I was going to try the oil but now that he has done all the coats of Waterlox it made me think I might want to just go with that. He called again today and offered to strip it down if I wanted him to. Not an issue... However, I'd hate to then get the oiled top and and regret it weeks from now.

My island is 109" x 51" (roughly 9' x 4') so I think I'll appreciate the less hassle part. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:28AM
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2littlefishies- you can definitely spot re-finish waterlox. Just let it dry after.

I spilled some bleach on my Waterloxed wood countertop and it made that area of my countertop sticky. I just followed the
scratch removal" instructions from the company I bought it from.

I know yours aren't from the same place as mine but I imagine the instructions are the same. I've linked to them below

Here is a link that might be useful: craft art wood countertop scratch removal instructiosn

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Not to confuse you when you seem OK with what has happened (still ask for a discount, btw), but which oil had you decided to use? As you know, I have Osmo Polyx Oil on my sizable island, and I've only had to reapply it three times in one year in my heavily used and heavily wiped kitchen. It's very easy to do and only takes a few minutes. No drying time to speak of. Maybe you were talking about mineral oil, which would need to be reapplied more frequently?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:17PM
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breezy- we were just going to use mineral oil and/or a mineral oil/beeswax combo like the Clapham's.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:52PM
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