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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:49 pm 
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We fitted a sapele worktop in our kitchen. The supplier recommended oiling the worktop. The oiled finish has come out well but it requires a lot of maintenance. We have done 3 coats and it still hasn't made the surface water/oil proof. Oil splatter falls onto the worktop and leaves dark spots on it which we have to put layer of danish oil over to blend in.

I want to put some sort of top sealer or maybe even sadolin pv67. I'm just curious as to whether it can be done or have I ruled that out after oiling?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:45 am 
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The problem with oiling a wooden surface is that a lot of finishes simply won't adhere to the surface afterwards. You could strip the top and "de-oil" it, but it can be a bit hit and miss, I'm afraid, and in normal circumstances I'd have suggested an inter-coat of white, dewaxed French polish between the wood and any further coating, but in an environment such as yours (i.e. a kitchen) it's hard to guarantee 100% that it will work without seeing the top in person.

If you want to go ahead then the procedure is as follows:-

1. Using clean cotton rag (or stockinette) rub turpentine over the surface of the wood. Make sure that you protect the floors, etc around the units

2. Abrade the surfaces with steel wool or bronze wool (4/0 grade), using a small amount of turpentine as a lubricant as and when required

3. Wipe off the wood oil with a clean cotton rag or stockinette. Keep using a clean rag until the entire surface has been wiped down.

4. Repeat the abrading process and wipe down after each session with the steel/bronze wool making sure that you pick-up any loose metal fibres. Always abrade in the direction of the grain and replace the balls of wool periodically as they clog with oil quite quickly. The wool needs to have its' strands oriented in the same direction as the wood grain. This may take several sessions during which time you need to ensure that the surface is not splashed with water or oil. At the end of using steel wool you really do need to lift every last bit of fibre of metal off the wood as it will cause major problems later on if you don't

5. Heavy spots of oil contamination (fat splashes) can be difficult to remove. They can sometimes be lifted out by rubbing in some crushed Fuller's earth (the clay-type cat litter is a readily available version of this) into the affected area and allowing to stand overnight. It can take a couple of sessions to work fully.

6. When you are satisfied that all the oil is out (you'll have a dry looking surface) the top can be sanded with something like P100 grit alox paper, again working in the direction of the grain. Work up through the grits to about P240 grit, dusting off between each grit (vacuum, wipe off with a clean cotton rag dampened with white spirits or tack cloth)

7. You can now apply your new finish. I'd suggest trying a small corner first to see if the finish adheres properly before coating the rest.

I know it's a bit of a faff, but it's far safer than using methyl chloride-type strippers (e.g. Nitromors) which are completely unsuitable for use in a food preparation area.

You may have problems dealing with the oil in areas such as where the top abuts tiling, sinks, etc as there will doubtless be silicone sealing in those areas. I'd suggest that it may be as well to try to remove the silicone as far as possible with a removal tool and recaulk after refinishing the top

Your choice of Sadolin PV67 is interesting. I've used it on floors and other woodwork where heavy traffic is expected and it works well in that situation

"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

"I too will something make, And joy in the making" - Robert Bridges, 1844~1930

"Success is 99% failure" - Soichiro Honda

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