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Tell me please why can i not varnish a wooden kitchen worktop?

(15 Posts)
mrsbleasdale Sat 13-Aug-11 07:56:45

We're busy planning our new kitchen - there's sooooo much to do!!

Granite looks fab, but the cost is of concern (waiting for quotes to come in) normal worktops just don't seem to do it for me, esp as we're after a light coloured worktop, and we have ruled out wood due to the faff of oiling....I have 3 kids under 5 so seriously can't be doing with that.

It's dawned on me that we have a solid wood table from Ikea that we varnished with Dulux Diamond tough varnish 5 years ago. Its been battered by 3 kids, used 3 times a day for meals, playing lego, craft stuff etc - and is as perfect as the day it was done.

So can i use this on a lovely wooden kitchen work surface? If not why not? And why does everyone use oil?

Thistledew Sat 13-Aug-11 08:46:54

Varnish is much more susceptible to damage from heat and scratches from kitchen knives etc.

If you properly oil a work surface when you first install it, you will only need to redo it 2-3 times a year (I do mine about every 4 months).

The trick is to really saturate the wood with oil. I have had two wooden work tops and each time started them off by over about 4 days soaking them with about 500ml of ordinary vegetable cooking oil per sq metre. It really does make the surface water resistant: even around the sink it just sits on the surface.

QuintessentialShadow Sat 13-Aug-11 08:50:53

My cousin has a lovely wooden worktop. She used the wrong oil, and now her worktop looks like her floor, and is much more durable....

Thumbwitch Sat 13-Aug-11 08:51:15

Water can get under varnish, the slightest bit of damage to the varnished surface and it's vulnerable, leaving water bloom (whitish areas). Heat will also mark varnished surfaces (like tables) - do you not use coasters/table mats on it? I bet you don't put pots from the oven on it, anyway.

Oil actively repels the water, so thoroughly oil-saturated wood will not allow water to enter.

teta Sat 13-Aug-11 09:24:28

I have used an acrylic sealer on mine which came ready oiled with danish oil.My Iroko is brilliant ,shrugs off all dirt and doesn't stain even with food on on it all night [also have 4 dc's].I have oak in the utility which is terrible.Forever going black and staining -even with water.The trick is to treat the wood right away before any use [i didn't with the oak].The sealer i used is Liberon Worktop Sealer but there are others that work equally well.I find granite looks very hard [and expensive],so i have a combination of wood and slate.Wood is not impossible for large families [also have a friend with walnut worktops and several dc's].

cyb Sat 13-Aug-11 09:25:55

doesnt vegetable oil start to niff?

teta Sat 13-Aug-11 09:30:02

i use olive oil on my slate and it doesn't.Progressively gets wiped off and has to be redone about every 2 weeks.Don't know about wood.

talkingnonsense Sat 13-Aug-11 09:41:40

Just to add I inherited granite in my kitchen, and although I don't particularly like the look of it, it is fantastic for not marking, put hot pans on, etc and still ( at least 10 years on, probably more) looks like new.

Thumbwitch Sat 13-Aug-11 11:24:47

talkingnonsense, is your granite high gloss dark stuff? Just asking cos a friend of mine got high gloss dark green granite for her kitchen, looked fantastic but she hated it so much she had to change it after a couple of years because it needed wiping all the time - every little drop of water or mark showed up and it drove her mad.

mrsbleasdale Sat 13-Aug-11 13:31:36

Thanks for the tips. Interesting about the wood.

We put plates and very warm dishes on the wooden table. But straight out the oven goes on a hotstand. But I do that and always have done on any worksurface. Wouldn't not use them really.

I;ve heard that dark granite can be a pain but we want a really light one.

I;ve just been to IKEA and their 'stone' tops which are ontop of chipboard/mdf stuff are £400 a meter!!!! Seems a lot for not even a solid slab of the stuff????

Iroko looks and sounds good but too dark for what we're after from what i've seen online when quickly looked.

mistressploppy Sat 13-Aug-11 13:36:33

My mum's work tops are the backs of church pews grin. They are varnished wood and seem to work well. She has a glass workstop saver thingy next to the sink where most of the messy stuff goes on, always chops on a board (doesn't everyone) and puts hot things on a trivet (ditto)

I say give it a go!

talkingnonsense Sat 13-Aug-11 13:37:04

Tbh, I don't know what ours is! It is very dark grey and speckly. Nothing so far has marked it.

mrsbleasdale Sat 13-Aug-11 13:39:54

Yes, always always chop on boards too......and hot things stay on hob or go on the chopping boards etc.

Thumbwitch Sat 13-Aug-11 13:44:35

The only other thing I would say about having stone/granite/marble surfaces is that they're very unforgiving if you drop something. I moved into a house once that had quarry-tiled work benches (weird!) and that caused me problems! A bottle of milk slipped from my hand, about 5" above the surface, and smashed. Wouldn't have happened on anything but a stone/tiled surface. Wood would have just absorbed the impact, I'm sure.

If you are at all accident prone, don't go stone. smile

JennyPiccolo Sat 13-Aug-11 13:44:40

If you are getting a new kitchen then look up a French polisher/sprayer and get it sprayed with pu or acrylic matt lacquer. It will last The lifetime of your kitchen and you'll be able to put hot stuff on it without marks.

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