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What is the best way to sand my solid wood kitchen countertops

Question

“I bought my wooden worktops from you a few years ago and – whilst I oil them regularly and they are still looking excellent – over time I have managed to make a number of small scorch marks on the wood with hot saucepans. I would like to sand these areas back and re-oil to restore them to their former glory, and I was hoping you could please advise me on how best to do this?”

Answer

For the highest-quality finish, we recommend sanding by hand. If you wish to begin by using an orbital sander, this should then be followed by additional sanding by hand. The use of belt sanders is not recommended as it can be difficult to achieve an even surface on wooden worktops.

It is important to remember to wear an appropriate face mask before starting to strip back your worktops: this will prevent sawdust from being inhaled or irritating your eyes.

How to sand solid wood worktops

Start by using 240-grit sandpaper. This is an extra fine grit, perfect for gently removing surface marks on timber. Sand the scorched area lightly – using a circular motion – until the mark is gone. If it is a major burn that goes beyond the surface (and may even have caused an indentation in the wood) you will need to use a 120-180 fine grit first to remove the worst of the damage, before progressing to the extra fine grit.

Once the mark has disappeared, re-sand the area with even finer sandpaper (up to 400 grit) for an ultra-smooth work surface. Next, wipe over the work surface with a damp, lint-free cloth, to remove any sawdust.

Using Rustins Danish Oil, re-oil the area you have been working on and wipe down with a dry, lint-free cloth, and leave to dry. It is likely that you will need to repeat the oiling process several times for the newly oiled area to match the surrounding worktop. For more information, please read our ’Oiling Worktops Nutshell Guide’.

If the scorches are recurrent across the whole worktop, you may yield better results by sanding the entire work surface and re-oiling, to prevent patchiness and ensure a uniform overall finish.

For more help on removing other small marks or stains, take a look at our ‘How to Mend Small Scratches and Marks on a Real Wood Worktop’ information guide.

Please do get in touch if you have any more questions and our team will be delighted to help.