Before deciding upon a wooden worktop for your kitchen, it is important you know how to maintain one. So many of our clients opt for a timber worktop, which always looks fabulous and adds character to any kitchen. Whether you choose a reclaimed timber, bamboo or a classic oak, it’s important to look after it properly. 

Why do I need to maintain my timber worktop?

This will maximise the worktops lifespan and ensure it can continue to work hard for you. The kitchen worktop is undoubtedly the workhorse in the busiest room in the house and it does need regular maintenance. A well-maintained kitchen worksurface will increase the longevity of your whole kitchen, as you won’t be taking the kitchen apart to replace just one part

To help you look after your wooden worktop, we have produced this quick guide. When we supply timber worktops, we finish them with three coats hard wax oil and recommend you use this same product for upkeep. If you have purchased your wooden worktop from Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens, you will have been given a care kit to start you off on this process of replenishing the finish. If you need a new kit or fresh supply, please do get in touch. We sell maintenance kits in various different sizes.

Tips for caring for your wooden worktop

Try to clean any spills up as quickly as possible to avoid possible staining. For cleaning use a damp cloth, if necessary very mildly soapy water can be used. Try not to leave water or hot mugs sat on the worktops for prolonged periods, over time it will save on maintenance and keep your worktops looking lovely for longer. Additionally, please avoid leaving oil bottles and soap dishes on the worktops, as these can also leave marks on the surface.

Replenishing your wooden worktops

From time to time your worktops will need topping up with finish. If they’re looking a bit worn, or water droplets fail to bead-up on the surface then they probably need a top-up. Areas around sinks and draining boards and those of heavy usage are the bits most likely to need topping up.

We recommend giving your worktop a coat of hard wax oil every 3 months for the first year. After that, it only needs to be oiled once a year, unless your worktop is looking particularly worn. 

Please follow the instructions below:

  1. Assess which areas are in need of topping up, it may just be around the sink, or the whole worktops may need a top up.
  1. Make sure areas to be topped up are clean and dry. A damp cloth should be sufficient for cleaning, if necessary use very mildly soapy water.
  1. Give the tops a very light sand with a sanding pad. We supply you a Mirka Abralon 1000 sanding pad, but something similar is fine.
  1. Clean off the dust with a tack cloth to leave a clean dry surface ready for finishing.
  1. Apply a very thin coat of the enclosed Saicos Premium Hard Wax Oil 3200 with a lint free cotton cloth provided; apply in line with the wood grain. Wipe off any excess as you go.
  1. Worktops should be dry within 3-4 hours, but the wax will be fully hardened within 24 hours. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours before using the surfaces again.

Repairing damaged tops

From time to time the odd accident may happen, creating a but for damage to your timber worktop. Don’t panic – it may well be easily resolved as shown below. If you’re unsure, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Dints and Bumps – if something heavy has been dropped on the surface, these may be possible to ‘lift out’ using a damp cloth and an iron. The steam created within the wood lifts the fibres back up into place.

Burning; black mould and more significant damage – It may be best to get in touch with us in this scenario. Some sanding back will be required to remove the damage before re-applying finish to blend back in with the rest of your worktops. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Start by sanding back the area with an 80 grit sandpaper
  2. Once the damage is removed, work up the grits in series, 120, 150 and up to 180 grit.
  3. Clean with the tack cloth and then apply a very thin coat of the Hard Wax Oil with the provided lint free cloth.
  4. Once dry (3-4 hours) ‘knock back’ extremely lightly with a fine grit sand paper (600+) or the Mirka Abralon 1000 pad provided.
  5. Repeat step 3 for the final coat.
  6. The finish should blend in with the rest of the worktops and leave no visible overlaps.


Don’t despair!

If you’re really struggling to revive your worktop, do get in touch, as we offer a refurbishment service. We will happily give you a quote, whether you originally bought the worktop from Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens or not. Don’t let yourself fall out of love with your wooden work surface – remind yourself what a fantastic natural product it is and how amazing it can look with a bit of TLC. 

We hope that this post has been helpful in telling you how to maintain a wooden kitchen worktop. If you are considering a wooden worktop for your kitchen, read six reasons why they are a favourite among our clients.

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