Do I need to oil my wooden worktop?


Wooden worktopDeciding on a kitchen style is a big decision and so is the worktop that is going to adorn your beautiful looking kitchen for many years to come! By reading this article, you are either planning on getting a wooden worktop or you already have one!

Wooden worktops differ a little to laminate and granite as they need a little more love and attention. Don’t get me wrong, wooden worktops are fabulous but as with all great things they do require a little maintenance to keep them in tip top condition.

Wooden worktop preparation

Before you install your worktop for the first time, it is recommended that you oil it about 4 times with some protective wood oil. As each thin coat of oil is absorbed and dries, rinse and repeat until complete. Any cut outs in the worktop like sinks, tap holes  and the ends need more attention to ensure they are water tight, as these sections will have bare wood showing, so they will need more layers of oil than the top surface.

One thing to remember is that oiling your worktop will not make it shiny like a gloss kitchen door, it is purely giving your worktop a waterproof coating and to keep it looking great!

Ongoing maintenance

Once your worktop is fitted, it is recommended that you oil it about 3 times a year. You’ll be able to visibly see if it needs any additional oiling during the year.

In order to ensure that your wooden worktop stays in tip condition, please look at the points below. Remember, prevention is always better than the cure.

  • Don’t use chemical cleaners on the worktops.
  • If water is dropped on the worktop and water beads are left on the surface then your worktop is still waterproof. If it starts to get absorbed or no beads form then it’s time for another oiling session!
  • If you want to clean your wooden worktop then use some washing up liquid and a little warm water and quickly wipe it dry.
  • Use a T-shirt or lint free cloth to oil your wooden worktop.
  • Quite an obvious one but use a chopping board for cutting food.
  • Don’t place hot pans onto wooden worktops. The best option is to get a granite chopping board. They are pretty solid & will handle the heat well.

Kitchen with wooden worktop

Sanding your wooden worktop

After a few years of usage, your worktop may have a couple of “features”, i.e. marks, stains or burns but, this is not the end of the world. With wooden worktops, you are able to sand them down to get a nice clean looking surface again.

To sand your worktop down, you’ll need to get yourself a selection of sandpaper, a sanding block or an orbital sander. You will need to start off with around 150 grit sandpaper to get any worktop blemishes out then use a finer sandpaper near the end of the sanding, around 350-400 grit to get a smooth finish. Any scratches that came from using the 150 grit sandpaper will be rubbed out with the finer sandpaper. It is also advisable to keep a vacuum cleaner close to hand to suck up all the dust created.

Remember, when sanding down your wooden worktops, always sand along the grain of the worktop to prevent any unnecessary scratches that will be hard to remove.

Wooden worktop oils

Most wooden worktop oils are made from vegetable oils. As there are a few different types of oils out there, here is a short list of some of the most common ones.

Danish Oil – Easiest to use – mixture of oils and dries quickly and leaves a gleaming satin finish. Favoured by many.

Teak oil – Natural, extracted from  vegetable and dries quickly and will leave a slight sheen.

Tung oil – Thicker oil that takes much longer to dry but leaves a solid finish. Some say that this oil, which originated in China, is the best one to use!

Linseed oil – This oil is taken from the seeds of the flax plant. The oil is usually boiled so that it becomes thinner and easier to apply. It also dries quicker too. Linseed oil is also edible!


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4 thoughts on “Do I need to oil my wooden worktop?”
  • David says:

    An experienced kitchen fitter advised me to use three coats of hardwax oil on wooden worktops. Although used mainly for oak floors, I found this to be FAR more durable on my oak worktops than any other surface finish. It lasted 5 years in a heavily used family kitchen without needing any further treatment.

    January 23, 2021 at 7:57 pm
  • Lucy says:

    Hi, we would like a wooden worktop on our large island (1940mm x 1160mm), which will require two pieces of oak. How can the two pieces be joined so that the join is as unnoticeable as possible? (Would we be better off going with another supplier who can produce a single piece for us?) Thank you!

    October 30, 2018 at 4:29 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi Lucy, if you are joining the worktops together you would need to use the wood filler to make the joins less visible, We have this available on the solid wood worktop page, within the accessories section. It would be your own preference if you would prefer to find a supplier that could offer a larger worktop.

      October 31, 2018 at 9:52 am
    • chas says:

      Best result will be to get a super stave ( full staves of wood ) and these will be made to measure so you will have no joints and the entire worktop will be made up of only 2 or 3 pieces of wood, rather than worktops that are made up of small pieces (jenga as my girlfriend calls it ), then the joints look terrible . I was in fitted kitchens for yrs and this is the only way you will get an almost single piece of wood look.

      November 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm
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