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Oiling Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide

29 Responses to “Oiling Worktops: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide”

  1. Hi,

    I bought iron worktops from you several years ago when you used Woca oil for pre oiled worktops. You now use Rustins Danish oil. Can I change over to using Rustins next time I oil them and if so do I need to do any extra preparation?



  2. In my previous comment I should have said iroko, not iron!

    Your help with my enquiry would be appreciated.


  3. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for getting in touch regarding the oiling of your worktops. WOCA Danish Oil and Rustins Danish Oil are fully compatible, and switching between the two should not present an issue. However, we would always recommend sticking to one type of oil where possible for the ongoing maintenance of your worktops.

    Sometimes when changing oil types, it is recommended to first give the worktop a light sanding before the new brand of oil is applied.

    Kind regards,

    Ben @ Worktop Express

  4. Good morning I really like the look of your caramel bamboo worktops. Do they require the same maintenance (oiling) as oak please? I’m going to ask my builder re rounding the edge slightly …. I imagine the edges need as much if not more oiling? Also if ordered quickly, could I please order at sale price as I’ve just discovered your lovely site? Thank you Christine

  5. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for your comment on our information guide and apologies for the time taken to respond. We recommend the same oiling guidelines for all the timber worktops in our collection – whether oak or bamboo.

    Bamboo is naturally more water-resistant than some of the timbers in our collection, so after the initial treatments of oil in the months following installation, it may require less regular oiling than some other woods. You are right in suggesting that the edges may need more oiling, as they are quite porous. We would recommend six coats to fully protect the exposed ends of the bamboo staves.

    Though we don’t currently have an offer on bamboo worktops, we hope that you’ll find our prices to be very competitive.

    Kind regards,

    Ben @ Worktop express.

  6. Hi, I will shortly be ordering some lengths of oak worktop but need some advice on a few things before I do.
    I understand that both sides of the worktop must be oiled. After oiling the underside for the first time, can this be placed in situ after drying and would the underside ever need treated again in its lifetime.
    Also, if I’m placing a moisture barrier underneath would it still need to be varnished.
    I will be using 40mm for main worktop and 27mm worktop cut to size as side panels on base and wall cabinets, also 150mm Plynth as upstand. Would the side panels and upstand need there hidden side oiled before fixing them permanently into place.
    Thanks Gary

  7. Hi, I just ordered a European Walnut worktop to match up to the existing one in my new home. I bought a sample off you first and it is the same colour as the worktop I have already got when untreated but then the one on already is a lot darker when treated. Will the previous owners have just used Rustins Danish oil? Does european walnut darken a lot when oiled?

  8. Hi Mike,

    Walnut worktops will darken when oiled, and will also naturally mature into a richer, deeper hue over time. It is difficult to know what the previous owner would have treated the surface with, but Danish Oil is the most common treatment for wooden worktops.

    To achieve a similar finish, you could lightly sand the existing worktops and use Rustins Danish Oil on them to achieve a consistent finish. Even so, the new worktops are likely to be lighter for a period of time until they have matured (a process accelerated by UV from sunlight in lighter rooms).

    I hope this answers your query, but don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat or email if you have any other questions.

    All the best,

    Ben @ Worktop Express.

  9. I have a solid oak workbench. I am going to sand and re oil for the first time. I have two queries. One end of my bench feels ‘sticky’ as if the wrong oil/ varnish has been used in the past. Will this just sand off or do I need to try and remove it first with some kind of liquid stripper/ product?
    Also there is a black burnt pan ring – hoping this will just sand away?

  10. Hi Lesley,

    Thanks for getting in touch regarding your worktops. If you have oiled them and they have developed a sticky surface, this usually means that that either two different oils have been used on the worktop, or the timber has reached it’s maximum absorption and has been over-oiled. To rectify this, we would recommend you give the worktop a light sanding and allow it to thoroughly dry. Then give the worktop a very light oiling to protect the newly-exposed top layer. Be careful not to oil too regularly following this, as too much oil will lead to a sticky surface once again.

    For further information on oiling worktops, please refer to our dedicated Nutshell Guide:

    As for the pan burn mark, it should disappear with a light sanding, after which the affected area will need to be oiled.

    Kind regards,

    Ben @ Worktop Express.

  11. Hi Gary,

    Sorry for not responding to your query sooner – for some reason we were not notified of it.

    In answer to your first question, we recommend that the worktop is oiled with multiple coats on both the top and underside before installation. Once installed it would only need to be re-oiled on the visible surfaces (top and sides) to maintain it during its lifetime.

    Secondly, we recommend that the moisture barrier is installed on the surface after it has been oiled (not varnished). The moisture barrier helps to provide an additional layer of protection against both heat and water ingress when the worktop is positioned above an appliance.

    Lastly, we would recommend that the panels you are using on the sides of the base and wall cabinets be treated with an oil or lacquer before installation to protect them throughout their life. It is best to seal all sides of any wooden furnishings in your kitchen to ensure that they are protected against moisture in the air.

    If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat or email.

    All the best,

    Ben @ Worktop Express.

  12. A quick query I bought an oak worktop that I am using for a table but it is in Spain. I have obtained the rustin Danish oil but here they dont have the type of sponges to apply it. What could I ask instead?

    What sort of sponges, or paint brush or a clean cloth – lint free? Would really appreciate perhaps advice on what i could use to apply the oil before using the worktop.

    Thank you.

  13. Hello Alex,

    Thank you for getting in touch. If you are unable to purchase one of our aftercare kits, any sponge will be suitable, or a lint free cloth can be used.

    Kind regards,

    Stephanie @ Worktop Express.

  14. Morning,

    I have just bought a house with oak kitchen work tops. The areas of high use dont look like the have been oiled for a while as look quite dull. So i have cleaned, lightly sanded a small section (as a trial) and applied a very light coat of danish oil. My question is: how many coats will i likely require and how long do i leave it between coats to bring the worktop back to life?
    Thank you

  15. Hello Grant,

    Thank you for your query.

    As you believe that the worktops have not been oiled in a long time, it may be best to follow the same oiling routine that is advised for new worktops post installation. I would advise that you give the worktop a good sand over first of all (if you are not sure of the product that has been used, a full sand to the raw timber will be best before applying danish oil in case of any issues with compatibility), followed by 3 coats of Rustins Danish Oil (6 – 8 hours drying time), then apply a further coat of oil once a week for 6 weeks and every 6 – 8 weeks for the rest of the year. You may find a light sand between coats is required as oiling can lift the grain slightly.

    Going forward, it is best to apply a coat of oil every 3 months or so to keep these well maintained.

    Best Regards,

    Leanne @ Worktop Express.

  16. Hi bought oak worktops from you last year, they are due another coat of oil very soon, I have used osmo matt oil on it, it is not damaged in any way, will it need a light sanding before applying more oil or just a coat straight on?
    They still look great BTW.
    Regards Dave

  17. Hello Dave,

    Glad to hear your worktops look fantastic still, oiling regularly is a great way to keep them well protected and ensure they look their best.

    A light sanding will help keep your worktop smooth and ensure the surface is free from nibs that may have developed on the surface, whilst providing a better the surface key for the oil to grip to. It is not completely necessary, the most important thing to ensure when re-oiling your worktops is that they are completely clean and free of dust – we recommend wiping with a lint free cloth to clean prior to application of oil.

    Let us know if you have any further questions,

    Stephanie @ Worktop Express.

  18. Hi Worktop express team

    I’ve bought American Walnut worktops (pre-oiled) from you 2 years ago and have been re-oiling them every 3-4 months since they were installed. Only using Rustins Danish oil, spill a little on the worktop and spreading evenly with a cloth then after 5 minutes wiping excess with another cloth.
    Issue I have is that they are quite sticky for some time after each oiling in days as if the oil wasn’t fully soaking into the wood. I usually have to almost polish them with a clean cloth to the point that stickiness goes away. Am I putting too much or should I leave it longer before wiping excess after application (or shorter?). Maybe I should sand all of the worktop gently before next application of oil?
    Also some areas around back of the gas hob are faded so I don’t know whether they’re not getting enough oil or they’re fading quicker because of heat from the hob.
    I love the look of them when they’re oiled and clean but they do require quite a lot of maintenance unless I’m doing something wrong.
    Finally whats your view on using Osmo Wood Wax Finish Extra Thin (1101) on top of Danish Oil? I was thinking maybe change in product would make maintenance easier?

  19. Hello Maciek,

    It sounds like you may be applying a little too much oil, and that – as you have suggested – the oil is not being fully absorbed into the timber. Next time you apply the oil, you may need to use less to prevent the stickiness from occurring.

    You also mention sanding and this would be another option to try to help ensure the oil sinks in properly. A fine sandpaper – around 240 grit would be ideal – should be used to ensure a smooth finish.

    We recommend Rustins Danish oil because it is a high-quality option that is readily available, and it can be used in conjunction with the oil we use on our fabricated orders – HABiol. Changing to an alternative treatment following 2 years of oil applications may not have the desired results – if you do decide to use wax, you may need to sand the work surface back down to bare timber before you do. Rustins Danish oil is food safe and designed for use on worktops, whilst the Osmo Wood Wax you mentioned below may not be suitable for this purpose.

    If you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate in contacting us.

    Kind regards,

    Stephanie @ Worktop Express.

  20. Hi we recently bought oak worktops from you, they were fitted before we oiled them and the tiler has got dark water marks around the sides and they don’t seem to be fading when we sand it. What is the best solution to use to remove these marks? Thank you

  21. Hello Katherine,

    I am sorry to hear your tiler has left water marks on your new worktops. We do recommend oiling wooden worktops prior to installation, which may be part of the reason that the water marks are so stubborn. Unfortunately, as the worktops will need oiling on both sides it may be best that these are uninstalled, oiled, and reinstalled. Failure to do this will mean the surfaces are more likely to absorb moisture (especially on the underside) and could eventually warp.

    To remove the water marks, the worktops will need to be sanded until the water marks have been removed. As there was no protective layer of oil on the surfaces, this may take some time as it is possible that the moisture has penetrated the worktops fairly deeply. Once the marks have been removed and the worktops are clean and dry, they will need to be oiled to build up sufficient protection – you can follow the instructions in this guide.

    Kind regards,
    Stephanie @ Worktop Express

  22. Hi, I have had a Walnut Worktop fitted, but the installer has not oiled the cutout where the sink is sat. (He has siliconed, which again I think is not correct). The tops were fitted before I argued that he had not oiled at least two coats on the base. he advises that he did, but also said there isnt a need as they are pre-treated with two coats anyway. is this correct? Also the hob has been fitted without the cuts being oiled. If they refuse to remove the worktops, and treat, what is the best method of resolution please?

  23. Hello Gary

    Thank you for your message regarding your walnut worktop. All of our standard wooden worktops come untreated unless you have purchased a fabricated one in which case it will have been fully treated with HABiol Oil before we dispatched it.

    If your fitter made the cut outs, it is imperative that they are oiled with Danish oil or similar before the sink is installed – this is due to the high moisture levels around the sink. Although the silicone sealant offers some protection from moisture ingress, we strongly recommend applying oil to the top and edges, specifically the end grain which tends to be the most absorbent part. This will need to be done regardless if you purchased a standard walnut worktop.

    The same information applies regarding your hob cut out. If you purchased a fabricated walnut worktop it will have already been treated. If your fitter made the cut, we recommend insisting that the hob and sink be removed and the end grains oiled before reinstallation. If the fitter who is doing the work refuses, the consequences may be a split worktop, so we cannot recommend another course of action.

    We hope that this issue gets resolved. Please note that you will need to re-oil your worktops immediately after installation and once a month thereafter.

    Kind regards,
    Stephen @ Worktop Express

  24. Hi – if I apply several coats of oil to the oak worktops soon after delivery as suggested, is it OK if the kitchen fitter then cuts the oiled worktops about 7-14 days later? I’ve been told the oil may cause burning marks when the worktop is being cut.

    Also, I assume I have to oil the newly-cut edges after the worktop has been cut by the kitchen fitter, but how do I get several coats of oil onto the cut edges in a short space of time? After he’s fitted the units, then he’ll cut the worktop, then he’ll fit the worktop.

  25. Hello Martyn,

    Thank you for getting in touch. You should be fine to oil the worktop before it is cut by your fitter, as long as a sharp blade is used to make the cuts and the cut is not forced. Forced cuts are generally what causes burn marks and this will occur whether the wood has been oiled or not. End grain absorbs oil much faster than the surface and you should be able to apply several coats quickly as it will soak in more quickly.

    Kind regards,
    Stephanie @ Worktop Express

  26. I bought caramel bamboo worktops from you. Sadly in a couple of places they look like they have bleached – one area was a splash of lemon juice that was wiped quickly but left obvious light spots, the other lighter area is around the sink where i have always been careful with clenaing products but may be from splashes of fairy liquid but again i would never leave wet marks.
    My question is can these ‘bleached’/light areas be restored? If I sand and re-oil will sanding take the colour lighter overall then oil restore the caramel colour?? Im scared to do anything as don’t want to make it worse. Really need some clear advice on how to proceed. Thanks

  27. Hi, I have Iroko kitchen counters from you, bought a few years ago. I generally, sand the counters, wipe clean then oil. You say in your instructions to ‘repeat the process’. Does this mean I have to sand before each oil?
    I would normally wait 24 hours then resend an oil again, around 3 times. It would be great to cut out the sanding after the initial sand.
    Hope this makes sense!

  28. Hi Jenny,
    Sanding is not always necessary before oiling, but helps to allow for an even coat of oil to be applied all over the worktop. For routine oilings after installation, you shouldn’t need to sand again.
    Many thanks,
    Adam @ Worktop Express

  29. Hi Amy, I’m sorry to hear your worktops are showing differences in colour. It is common for areas around sinks to show marks from water damage. For these areas we recommend extra oiling to ensure the wood builds up a strong enough barrier to moisture. If you send photos to [email protected] of the damage, the team will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed in rectifying the issue.
    Many thanks,
    Adam @ Worktop Express

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