Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden countertops?

Posted by lceh (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 27, 07 at 15:18

I really want wooden countertops in my cottage-style kitchen, but I am NOT interested in the current vogue for oiled/waxed wood counters -- too risky, with red wine, tomatoes, and water splashing everywhere! I would like to finish the wood with either a marine varnish, a polyurethane, or bowling alley finish. (Yes, I know they're not "edible", but I don't plan to eat the varnish or chop food directly on the counter). Does anyone have varnished or otherwise permanently sealed wooden countertops? How have they held up, especially around the sink and stove? Can you buy a good finish product that has a satin finish rather than a high-gloss?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

i had some great wood in my last house and so we had wormy maple countertops, sealed with satin poly from lowes several coats lived there two years and never a problem, had 3 glasss cutting boards for prep and hit things and was fine, just had to use caution and care a bit more than usual but was ok. and the unique wood counters just about sold the house and if u want it go for it


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

I have some in the bathroom of a 40+ year old house. There is discoloration where the soap apparently used to sit, but it looks amazingly good.


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

I had a small expanse of varnished wood in my old kitchen; the finish was checking and peeling. It was over the dishwasher, next to the sink so it was subject to a lot of water over the years. I don't know what it was finished with; I bought the house two years ago and it was in place at that time.


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

You can get satin and other levels of low-gloss varnishes in the good marine stuff (like spar varnish). I guess it's technically polyurethane these days and not "varnish", but it IS good stuff. Be careful with how the dishwasher vents because steam might be to much for it, and it might not be up to code near a range or cooktop (but I don't KNOW that).

I have seen but never owned wooden countertops and I agree with you that varnish is more appealing than oiled from a sanitary and maintenance perspective. Using a polyurethane is essentially plastic-coating your wood. What could go wrong? You might have to refinish it every few years, but it's not too hard--you won't have to strip it first unless someone goes crazy with a knife.

There used to be available (and probably still is) a "bar-top" varnish that was designed for heavy-use areas like, well, bars. Test a few different cans of stuff and see which holds up best. And maybe see which smells least bad (or least long) because you will be refinishing once in a while...


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

I too thought we could only use oil on our wood countertops, but after a few months I got really tired of doing it, it was a messy gross procedure, and it never really looked good. We don't cut on the countertops either, but I still didn't want a polyurethane or something toxic. I did want something that didn't require so much maintenance. So we sanded the tops down to get rid of the oil, applied mineral spirits, and decided to Waterlox them. OMG, what a difference. I love the way they look and feel now. They've held up great, even around the sink.

Waterlox is a tung-oil finish, but it doesn't need to be renewed monthly or built-up over time like mineral oil, so it's really not like "oiling the countertops." We used the Waterlox Original, which has a semi-gloss finish, but they do sell a satin finish as well (see the Products page at the link below). You probably don't want the marine or "bar-top" finish for your kitchen - brings to mind those awful super shiny tables in the restaurants in Florida I remember from my youth - you know with ropes and shells embedded in them. :-) Anyway, you can recoat without sanding, and it is super-easy to apply. It dries to a hard finish, and water beads up on it.

Here are some photos. This was after just one coat. They recommend 3-4 coats. Tung oil is non-toxic, but it is made from nuts, so be cautious if you have someone allergic to nuts in your household.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterlox


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

Beautiful counters!!

We have varnished wood all around the galley in our sailboat. Our galley is directly under the main hatch. It is a VERY wet environment. The wood looks awesome. Every few years we sand a little and apply a couple more coats to keep it looking great.

Get marine spar varnish. You can get any finish you like. The low gloss versions look lovely.


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

jenswrens,

that looks like a really nice finish! does the waterlox have a strong odor or last a long time after applying? (finishes often give me headaches....)

also, where did you get your counters?

thanks


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

Jen - is the countertop still holding up? We have butcher block countertops too (actually an old bowling alley) and I want something other than vegetable oil to put on them too.

Great pictures!


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

We too used Waterlox on our butcher block island (from Ikea) and love the finish. Waterlox is great in that it comes in different finishes (Satin, Semi-Gloss, Gloss), can be applied over stains (most people feel safest using food-grade types), and is really impervious to water when it dries. It is very easy to apply however there is a little odor that quickly fades as the finish cures.

DeVos Woodworking used to have a webpage loaded with pictures of their wood countertops with Waterlox but the site seems to be down at the moment.


 o
RE: Does anyone have VARNISHED (not oiled/waxed) wooden counterto

Waterlox here too on teak. You will never regret putting it on. Takes a minute to wipe on and smells for a couple hours and then gone. Never sand again . We have it all around the gas cooktop, deppfat fryer and sink. Here is the link to info.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterlox


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here