August 10, 2016

How to stain and seal your wooden countertops

How to stain and seal wooden counter tops

Hi peeps,

So here we got with another kitchen related post.  Let’s talk counter tops.  As the title says we decided to go with wooden counter tops instead of stone countertops.  Simply just because we wanted to save some money, but I also wanted them.  Wooden counter tops are much more common in Germany, and I really like the look of it.  I think it adds some warmth to it, and in our case, I felt like it would round up the entire design of our kitchen.


Where we bought our countertops.

So we went ahead and bought 3 pieces of the birch HAMMARP butcher blocks from Ikea.  We bought one 98″ and two 74″ pieces and stained them in a dark walnut to match our floors.  We also bought another 74″ piece for open shelving to match the counter tops.  For everyone that might think “whoa this must have been a lot of work,” let me assure you, it really wasn’t.  The work itself didn’t take long, and the only thing that did take a while was the time it took for the Waterlox to dry.  It is recommended to wait 24 hours before you apply the next coat which we did for the main coats but not for the additional coats around the sink cutout.   Just because we went the extra mile and applied 5 additional coats around the sink.  So let me give you an overview of how to stain and seal your counter tops.

Tools and material you need to stain and seal wooden counter tops:

How to stain your countertops:

  1. Sand the counter tops to smoothen the wood and clean/ dust off the counter tops afterwards.  Note:  You want to use different grades of sandpapers depending how smooth you want the surface to look.  We started with a 120 grit since the counter tops were already somewhat smooth.  We then moved on to 180 grit and finished with a 220 grit.  If you want the wood to be especially smooth & want to go even further, you can sand it one more time by hand with 320 git.
  2. Apply first coat of stain with a brush.  Note: You can also apply the stain with a cloth, in that case you can skip step 3-4.
  3. Let it sit: for how long depends on how dark you want your counter tops to be.  We wanted to go with darker counter tops so we decided to let it sit for 2 minutes each time.
  4. Once the time is up, use a small towel or cloth to wipe of the excess.
  5. Let the wood dry and then repeat steps 2. – 4. to get a darker outcome.
Pro Tip:  Do your cut before you stain your counter tops. We decided after we stained the wood to cut one a little bit shorter.  Unfortunately the saw left some scratches on the wood.  We were able to fix that but it would have been easier if we made that cut beforehand.

How to seal your counter tops:

  1. Wipe off counter tops before you apply first coat of Waterlox.
  2. Use a new brush and apply Waterlox evenly.
  3. Let it dry for 24 hours between coats.
  4. Repeat steps 1. – 3. multiple times, especially around wet areas.  We decided to do 4 coats on all the counter tops and do 5 additional coats in the sink cut out.  We have an under-mount kitchen sink and wanted to make sure it’s really sealed.
Voila, now you are done and you will have beautiful and inexpensive counter tops.  We didn’t take pictures of the counter tops at the time we stained them but I do have a picture of our kitchen with the counter tops.
How to stain and seal wooden counter tops
Looks pretty nice, doesn’t it?  Best part we ended up spending $850 on our counter tops and shelves instead of $2,300 for quartz counter tops.  Pretty neat.  So I hope this has been helpful for you guys.  Let me know what type of counter tops do you guys have and have you ever seen wooden counter tops?  I know it’s not that common on this side of the pond.
Are you looking for some kitchen tips?  Click here
As always, thanks so much for stopping by and happy updating!
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  • Reply Leslie August 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks so much for the info! We’re not going to re-do our kitchen for a while, but I’ve already got plans for butcher block counter tops. I agree that they add warmth.

    • Reply Sabrina August 21, 2016 at 12:03 am

      You are welcome! Thank you for stopping by! That is so awesome that you are thinking of using butcher block! I am still super in love with them! Let me know how your reno is going to turn out once you are going to start 🙂

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