Wooden worksurfaces in the kitchen look and feel wonderful as well as being a great sustainable solution (if sourced from FSC certified wood). Many people are put off wooden worktops because of stories of black stains appearing around the sink, or the idea of having to reapply an oil every 6 months, or surfaces ruined because of hot pans being placed directly on the wood.
Here are a couple of solutions that take the hassle out of protecting and maintaining wooden worktops and leave you with a beautiful, natural finish that will last.
When fitting new wooden worktops, begin as you mean to go on. Osmo TopOil from Celtic Sustainables is an oil and wax mix which is specially formulated for use on wooden kitchen worktops. As it is water repellent, it prevents liquids from permeating the worktop and encouraging germs to grow. With clear, natural, and tinted finishes to suit all interiors, TopOil is certified as Food Safe under European law and is harmless to people, animals, and plants.
For areas that might get particularly wet, for example around the sink, it’s recommended to put a base coat of Osmo Wood Protector on first (this is not usually necessary for exotic hardwoods). Osmo Wood Protector is a wood wax primer. It’s natural oils and waxes penetrate deeply into the wood, keeping it elastic and healthy, which prevents the wood from getting dry and brittle.
Alternatively you could use Treatex Hardwax Oil which is manufactured on a base of natural sustainable raw materials: jojoba oil, linseed oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, candelilla wax and carnauba wax. It’s easy to apply, drys quickly, water resistant and able to withstand high temperatures.
On kitchen worktops pay particular attention to the wood end grain. If using Treatex keep applying the the Hardwax Oil while the oil is still wet until the oil is no longer absorbed by the wood. This will ensure that the oil has penetrated deeply into the wood grain and keep those unsightly black water marks at bay.