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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My first post here.

I recently bought and installed a butcher block countertop from Ikea. I gave it a light sand, cleaned it, and have been putting food grade mineral oil on it every day now for about a week and a half.

Problem is, it still doesn't seem sealed to me. I try putting some drops of water on it after I've let the last coat dry for 24 hours and it's not beading up like I've read it should be if it's ready to use.

Everything I've read basically says "you really should only need 3-4 coats and you should be good to go!" After the first full week of oiling I thought it was ready to use (before I found out about the water-beading test) and we used it to make dinner on. When we cleaned up we found the grain had raised where we has some things on it.

Anyways, I thought this would be pretty straight forward, but I can't imagine what I'm doing wrong. Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's Birch. I'm not warming the oil up. Nothing I read ever said to warm it up. Would it absorb better?

When I put it on its thick, and I just leave it on there. About 6-8 hours later it's mostly all soaked in. Doing this for a week and a half every day I would think it would be pretty saturated by now.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, it's been 24 hours since the last application and when I feel it it has a slight oily residue still. When I put a couple drops of water on it, it still doesn't bead up though.

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Try water lox. Any finish is "Food safe" as long as it has been cured properly. If you want a film finish for the water to bead up on, you'll need to move to a different product. Wood cutting boards are often treated with mineral oil, but this in no way protects the wood from cuts or physical damage. Rather, it helps to slow the penetration of food and liquids, hopefully reducing any science experiments that may start. And you'll see the grain raise in reaction to water.

Your choice, but the oil isn't doing much to protect your countertop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply 1acre.

I'm not necessarily looking for protection from cuts or damage, but just what the oil is supposed to do. Like you said just slow down the penetration of food and liquid.

Maybe I have the wrong idea of what it's supposed to actually behave when fully oiled though. Is it not supposed to bead up? Is the grain raising a little normal when there's water on it? Can that be taken care of by just cleaning it with a rough sponge?

I was just under the impression that it would act like a sealed countertop when fully oiled. I'm OK if it doesn't, I just want it to be right.

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For more protection you may want to try Watco Danish oil.i have used that on oak trim in my house. It does not give you a layer of finish on top of the wood, it penetrates in. The difference is that penetrating oil cures while i believe mineral oil does not.

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Those products from Ikea would have already had something on it to protect it. Wooden cutting boards are not made for preparing anything that has moisture in it. Every wood cutting board is going to absorb moisture, you made it worst by sanding it.

Also they are supposed to be wiped down with a damp towel, not soaked in a sink or washed in a sink. You will get fibers raising. As for putting the oil on it, it is not always going to work, especially with cheap IKEA stuff.
 

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For more protection you may want to try Watco Danish oil.i have used that on oak trim in my house. It does not give you a layer of finish on top of the wood, it penetrates in. The difference is that penetrating oil cures while i believe mineral oil does not.

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While we will never know for sure, my guess is Danish Oil is some combination of a petroleum distillate, boiled linseed oil and varnish. It builds really small film. But, I go back to, if you put wood in your kitchen, why not properly treat it and do your cutting on a cutting board? It's what those who have nice knives do regardless what their countertop surface is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I went to the store yesterday after work and picked up a bottle of mineral oil plus beeswax (as opposed to just plain mineral oil like I was using.)

I warmed it up, put a layer on and let it sit for a few hours. Wiped the excess off, then buffed it with a new clean rag. So far it seems like it's way better than just the oil by itself.

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Instructions
Applying Mineral Oil or Walnut Oil
Remove stains and dirt: Clean countertop surface and remove stains by following the steps in our recent posts.
Apply two coats of mineral oil: Once dry, apply one coat of oil. Oil may settle into pools, redistribute as needed. Let soak in for half an hour or so before second application
Wipe surface: After allowing second coat to soak, wipe any excess oil with a clean cloth.
Applying Butcher Block Conditioners
Remove stains and dirt: Clean countertop surface and remove stains by following the steps in our recent posts.
Sand if necessary: Most conditioners recommended sanding prior to the first application if the conditioner contains beeswax.
Apply conditioner as directed: For additional applications, simply follow the directions on your chosen conditioner (usually application and a soaking period of around half an hour before wiping off excess.)

Read here how to care for butcher block countertops!
 
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