For today’s post I thought I would bring you something a little different so I am going to talk you through how I stain and maintain my kitchen worktops. When we moved in we fell in love with the real wooden worktops that went so nicely with our country decor. The only downside with them however is that they are quite high maintenance. We have to stain and oil them about 3-4 times a year to keep them from cracking and bowing.
The way I do this is firstly to remove all of the appliances and general clutter off the sides. I then clean them with a anti-bacterial surface spray and let them dry. Once dry, I give them a light sand with some P40 sandpaper to rough up the surface. This is also good for getting stains out like watermarks and rings. I then brush all the dust off with a dustpan and brush and begin working on the staining part.
In terms of the paint you can use it is completely up to you. Most DIY shops sell wood stains in a variety of colours and finishes. I like to use this one from IKEA although they no longer stock it in the traditional wooden tones so we stocked up on it last year. You could also use something like this however. I apply my stain in long even strokes using a flat 38mm brush. It is always best to apply the stain in the direction of the grain of the wood otherwise it doesn’t give it a natural look once dry. I would always say it is best to apply a lot of thin coats rather than one thick coat that you will come to regret later.
Depending on the stain you’re using, it can take up to 24 hours to dry. What I like about my one is it only takes 6 hours so you can paint the worktops in the evening and they’ll be dry by the morning. So that the worktops last longer I also like to oil mine. This works a bit like a wax or varnish on furniture and fittings but is more like a big glass of water for your worktops. Wood is a natural material and therefore needs looking after. This clear mineral oil from IKEA is specifically for surfaces coming into contact with foods as it is food safe. I pour some onto a normal kitchen cloth and then just rub it in in the direction of the grain until the whole surface is covered.
Again you will need to check the instructions on your specific oil but mine takes 24-36 hours to absorb into the wood completely. Once fully dry the surfaces are then good to use as normal. I love having real wooden worktops and despite their difficulties they just look so beautiful! Let me know if you have equally difficult worktops as I’d love to hear your experiences also. Thanks all for reading!