Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Few Questions Answered

yep my Easter peeps are still hanging out in my jars




Saturday I started to get a bunch of comments on my Counter tops post. I couldn't figure it out until one said they came from The Lettered Cottage. She linked my post, um hello The Lettered Cottage (!) I've loved their blog since the beginning!

So I've gotten lots of comments and emails over the past few days will pretty much the same questions. I think I've responded to everyone that left a way for me to contact them. But for the others that didn't leave contact info hope this answers those questions.

It has been almost a year and we still love our counter tops. Since we had them in our old house for 3 years we have just become use to living with wood on a heavily used surface in our house. I have noticed that the finish has held up better with the Waterlox as opposed to the Tung Oil in our old house. And I think you pretty much have to order the Waterlox, no one can find it in stores.

I am a clean and organized person by nature. I go to work every day so that I can pay for my house which happens to be the most expensive thing I own (duh shocker!) So if I am putting money into something I want it to be taken care of so I really enjoy cleaning and taking care of my home.


So we don't keep junk sitting on our counters. When we do the dishes I wipe up the water around the sink because that is what I would do no matter what my counter tops were made out of. That is just me. Someone else that lives in our house isn't always as conscious about water on wood so there are some splashes left on the counter tops and so far so good. I won't name any names but since our dog doesn't have opposible thumbs to turn on the faucet you may be able to figure it out.

Our kitchen is small and closed off from the house so we don't really spend time in there unless we are preparing food. So I don't ever use it as a work space like for paying bills. So to answer the question of if I wrote on a piece of paper would the pen marks go through and etch the wood, I don't know but I would guess not, it is a pretty solid piece of wood.

Since the butcher block is stained, the dark color doesn't run all the way thru. I have had a scratch, it looked like a paper clip scratched the wood. I just dabbed some stain on my finger touched it up and wiped off the excess. That is it. Since it was so small I didn't seal it. There is one spot by the scratch that looked sort of like a meat tenderizer had hit the wood but it didn't go through the stain so I'm not sure what happened, but it just adds character so I'm fine with it. That character I can take. The counter tops looking like a cutting board I can't deal with.


A lot of people said they had children so they couldn't have butcher block counter tops. I don't have children so I may be naive but if I ever do have children I'm not planning on getting a new counter top. Like I said we don't spend a lot of time in our kitchen so I don't think my kids could destroy my counters. And we all know that little Pepper and Birdie will be perfect neat little angels and take pride in respecting their home.

But I love butcher block and I hope to one day have a huge island full of it. And there may be kids doing homework at that island and that will be ok. And I hope that if there is a pen mark on it that I will be ok with a little bit of "character"

Several people wanted to know why we went with the Ikea butcher block. Simple, it was cheap and I didn't want to put a lot of money into our renovations. We went with the Numerar over the Pronomen (I think it was replaced with Lagan) because it is what they had in stock. It is thicker more expensive. And everyone I told that I was going to do the under mount sink told me that I was a moron. But please don't listen to most people. There are a lot of people that think just because they didn't think of it or can't do it that it can't be done. They also want you to go with their idea instead of yours. Don't give in! I work with people like this everyday so I am speaking from experience.

We get so many house projects done because we I make a list and a schedule and do everything we can to stick to it. That doesn't always happen but it works most of the time. May not work for everyone but it works for us. And we don't call it a "to do" list but a "goals" list, makes it sound a little nicer.

Ok I think that about covers it. Hope this was helpful to the people that wanted help. Again thanks for the sweet comments I am SO happy that so many of you are inspired to do something a little different in your homes!!! And thanks Layla for the link.

74 comments:

Nikki said...

They are beautiful. I'm kicking myself right now because I accidently used my SIL butcher block counter top as a cutting board once. We had a piece on a very small island in our kitchen and used it as such. I think I should buy her a new section.

Natalie said...

ooo wee darlin youre famous :) i think your kitchen is beautiful and even though i have no idea what you are talking about {bc ive never done it before} it has a wonderful result and i definitely know where to go if i DO ever decide to have one!

samanthakae12 said...

this is gorgeous! did you use the ikea numerar beech, birch, or oak?

Mrs. D said...

I'm so jealous, I'm dying for a butcher block! Thanks for sharing the details! And I agree, getting a new countertop because you kids? What? A minivan maybe, but a new countertop?

Maria said...

LOve love your counter tops, especially that color wood, gorgeous. I may do this in the future, great idea! Im constantly chopping things in the kitchen and have to pull out the cutting board!

Maria said...

LOve love your counter tops, especially that color wood, gorgeous. I may do this in the future, great idea! Im constantly chopping things in the kitchen and have to pull out the cutting board!

Lissie24 said...

Hello! Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! I really love the paint color. Do you happen to remember the name? Thanks and looking forward to more posts!

Lynn said...

Can you believe that people are still commenting on your countertops after all this time? I have this page bookmarked because I hope to have butcher block too. I love it and I LOVE yours. I would have gone with a natural color too, but after seeing your stain....hmmmm, I might reconsider. Great job you two.

lsorum said...

I actually wanted to know what it was about waterlox that made you have to have it? I LOVE the finish and just wanted to know why that was better vs say a satin poly. My guess is that it's less shiny? Very interested.

I was just looking through an old American Woodworkers magazine of my grandpas last weekend and found a section on finishing which also said make sure to condition the wood. I had never hear of that before and was super excited to learn something new. Looks like you're one step ahead of the game :)

lsorum said...

Oh and per a comment on the original post - did you purchase satin or original waterlox? Inquiring minds want to know.

vanessa said...

Isorum - I went with Waterlox because unlike poly it isn't suppose to chip and crack over time. It is made to handle moisture over time where poly eventually will crack and get brittle. I can just tell the difference by touching the countertops and know I made the right choice. I went with the satin Waterlox. I think you are suppose to do an original coat first but I didn't want to spend the money on both so I took the chance, no signs of regret.

Amy said...

My husband and I absolutely LOVE your counter tops. I've had the initial page bookmarked for months, knowing we wanted to redo our kitchen.

What I'd not counted on was my husband reading this second follow up page and zeroing in on the GREAT idea of using bead board as a back splash! That idea is the perfect compromise for us. (I hate the tile that came with the kitchen when we moved in; hubby didn't want to fuss with changing it, but because of the new layout, we'd be missing a section of tile.)

So thank you for that! We are doing both the counter tops like you did (the stain perfectly matches our kitchen table) and the bead board back splash. I hope you don't mind!

My question is: What do you use to clean the counter tops? Our reno plans are happening in steps, so we're doing the island first and it gets a lot of use, so it's a good test. Do you use regular household cleaners/cleansers, or something special?

Thanks so much!

vanessa said...

Amy - Thank you, I am glad you have some ideas for your kitchen reno! I usually use dish soap and water after I do the dishes. I also use Caldrea countertop spray because I love the way it smells. I haven't tried bleach or a product containing bleach so I'm not sure how that would work. If you have a scrap you should finish it to test products on if you are uncertain. But no matte what I always dry the counters after I wipe them down if there is any standing water. Not sure if that is necessary but it doesn't hurt I'm sure!

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

I just got through reading your original post, and then hopped over here to read the follow up.

Just wanted to give my own two cents. It's interesting that Layla referenced my countertops in that same post, as you and I seem to be complete opposites. I am, by nature, quite a messy person. I'm quite content leaving dishes on my countertop all day, and even overnight (yikes!) and I've also gone in there at times to find standing water on my countertops, like when my cat knocked over a vase, and I had no idea how long it had been there.

But I can testify to the fact that Waterlox is fantastic even for us messy people. My countertops (Ikea Numerar in oak) still look great after a year.

The one problem I had was with lemon juice (I think). I had a couple of drips on my countertop, and didn't wipe it up for several hours. The drips of lemon juice actually left bleached spots on my countertop. I tried re-applying stain, but it didn't work. I'm still not sure what to do.

But aside from acidic stuff (and even granite isn't impervious to acidic juices like lemon juice), the Waterlox and butcherblock countertops are really very durable.

Kim said...

Vanessa, I know it has been AGES since you did your kitchen counter post, but I have a question regarding your faucet. Would you happen to remember where it is from, and the style/manufacturer? I absolutely adore it! Thanks!

Trista said...

I'm pretty sure I want to marry your countertops. I HAVE always wanted butcher block countertops and now that I know they are affordable, I am going to be all over my husband (who is very handy) to make them a reality.

As I mentioned yesterday, I found your blog while browsing your MIL's (who used to teach me) Facebook page and I am so glad I did. I love your home and even blogged about it! :)
http://www.motherhoodunabridged.com/2011/03/have-inspiration-will-decorate.html

Erin said...

Amazing tutorial! All year my husband and I have been debating on butcher block vs. granite..I even did a post on it here on my blog: http://stillwaterstory.blogspot.com/2011/02/granite-vs-butcher-block-round-1301.html
My question for you is, how soon after opening your butcher block out of the wrapping did you apply the wood conditioner, and/or did you apply anything else after taking it out of the package? I have read a few stories online that the wood needs to be treated as soon as you purchase it. Did you have a problem with this? And my last Q - you didn't use any of the IKEA wood treatment, right? You used just wood conditioner, then stain and finally water lox?

Thanks again so much for this amazingly helpful step-by-step. Your blog rocks!! :-)

- Erin @ Stillwater Story

Jami said...

Just stumbled on your blog and have to comment because we had wood counters in our old house for 3 years and we LOVED it. We are saving to replace the grody tile counters with Ikea wood ones, hopefully this summer.

And I love when the nicks happen and they gain character!
Yours look great - wonderful. :-)

Jami
An Oregon Cottage

Michelle said...

Hi Vanessa,
I just found your blog through Hooked on Houses and had to comment before I go back and read through the whole thing!
We are doing our kitchen ourselves right now, and are going to put in the IKEA butcher block on one side, so your details are really helpful.
The hubs does everything himself even when people tell him it's not a good idea, and it always ends up amazing. I am so proud of him and I just wanted to say I relate to this post.
Here is the laundry room we just finished and we are onto the kitchen now!
http://brickandbrack.net/2011/05/08/no-more-dirty-laundry/
Thanks again for your details!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

don't you just love it when people tell you that "you can't do that" for home improvement projects?! people told us we "couldn't" paint our cabinets white, and that we "shouldn't" put wood floors in a kitchen.

we did both. (gasp!) and we are going to add butcher block counters soon. I'm sure people will tell us we "can't" do that, either. lol!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Just stopping by again, your countertop posts are so great and helpful. We decided on IKEA butcher block countertops as well and everyone keeps telling us we're crazy. Still trying to get ahold of some Waterlox to seal it before installing.

Thanks again for all the tips and thoughts!

Sarah (Blog Guidebook) Bradford said...

I adore your countertops and your entire kitchen. It's a dream!
Staying within a budget is super smart and I admire that you didn't fall into buying something you couldn't afford. Butcher block rocks and so does beadboard!

Keep up the good work and love your blog!

Sarah

Carla said...

I have a butcher block top on my island,(not IKEA) but it is in need of a face lift and I want to the darkside LOL, as it is light beech. I am so grateful for your instructions that I think I now hav the courage to do it! Your kitchen looks fabulous@ I look forward to reading more of your blogs- keep 'em coming!

Carla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

I have been wanting new countertops since I moved into our home over 2 years ago. I never thought butcher block was a viable option... I am now reconsidering and can not wait to show my husband your kitchen!!! He is a very project oriented person and loves wood... i think he would be down for going with the butcher block!

Kristy said...

Ok.. so I have read thru all the comments but there are 2 questions left unanswered (I think)...

1. What color stain did you use? and did the Waterlox make it food safe?

2. Is your counter top Oak??

I am just finding you after all this time.. sorry if it seems redundant :\ Your kitchen is truly beautiful! Nice job!!

Thank you for your time!!!! :)

Nick's Mom said...

This is a fantastic blog, thanks so much for the photos and all of the information! Your counters are beautiful. We bought a Numerar beech top for an island and are getting ready to cut/stain/protect and install it, so I found this information from your blog just in time. I think I can answer Kristy's questions (from http://kleypas.blogspot.com/2009/06/countertops.html): The wood is the beech, and she used Minwax Special Walnut stain (after using wood conditioner on the sanded wood). I'd love to hear an update and/or information from others who have used the IKEA butcher block counters.

vanessa said...

@Nick's Mom
I did recently have some damage to the counter top. A bottle of grout cleaner spilled and ate the Waterlox finish. It didn't mess up the stain, but I scratched it with my fingernail and the stain came off. I sanded with steel wool and restained that scratch. I still have to seal again with Waterlox but that has been the only issue in almost 3 years. I hope to post a video soon on the repair.

Suz said...

Gorgeous counter top. I want to do the ikea butcher block and was wondering if the Waterlox is food grade. Also, how has the wood held up around the sink? I am planning on a farm sink but still have concerns about water damage and was contemplating stone type counters on the sink side and butcher block on the island side.

vanessa said...

Suz the Waterlox has held up great around the sink. I did apply extra coats in that area and I do wipe up water around the faucet but the area still looks new. As far as WL being food grade I'm not sure. I don't eat or cut off of my countertops so it wasn't a huge concern for me.

Laura said...

Quick question - I am not going to stain my ikea countertop so do I need to use a wood conditioner? Or do I go straight to the waterlox?

Pushrod 140 said...

Love the idea of using butcher block. We recently did hardwood floors in our kitchen and dining room and are now in the process of doing cabinets. You've inspired us to go one more step and replace our tile countertops with butcher block. Wonderful and inspiring! Thanks.

June said...

Hi, my husband and I are currently redoing our counters with butcher block. We purchased ours through Lumber Liquidators since the nearest Ikea is 5 hours away and we have a LL in our town. I read you Waterloxed your counters every 12 hours? We have been waiting every 24 hours, but I'm a bit impatient and would like to cut that time in half so we can get our counters done a wee bit faster. Did you have any problems with the Waterlox curing if you didn't wait the full 24 hours? We are waiting on the rest of our butcher block to finish up the kitchen counter tops.

Vanillabean said...

Those look so beautiful! I love them with the brick floor.

Linda said...

This may sound like a naive question, but, do you ever use your butcher block counters as actual butcher blocks, and cut food on them? I keep having visions of knife marks in the finish if you did.

I guess if you don't want the scars, you pull out a butcher block to cut on the butcher block counters, huh?

Linda

Linda said...

Thanks!

Dawna said...

I think it looks great. I'm not sure it's for me but that doesn't negate that you guys did a great job. I LOVE the undermount sink!!! Your house your rules. I love the idea of list making. I'm going to sit down an do that since I have some stuff that needs done.

If you use your counters and they show wear then it's character. Not like laminate doesn't show wear especially like my offwhite hideous laminate. Do what you like and enjoy and thanks for sharing and the tips!!!

Anonymous said...

I make lists, too. I make lists and then put them down and forget where I put them. I find lists from long ago, "Oh yeah, I have to do that..." then I promptly misplace it again. ;)

Vicki said...

I love your countertops! I want to do that in my kitchen. Did the Waterlox smell when you applied it? I'm asking because I have chemical sensitivities.

vanessa said...

Vicki - the Minwax does have an odor. I would suggest running a fan and opening the doors and windows. That should take care of it!

Elizabeth Nowik said...

I LOVE your butcher block countertops.I checked IKEA and their butcherblock is the best price on market. I had a countertop priced with a contractor and his quote was $2400.00 , so I think I will rather go with IKEA. Will save lot of $$.
My sink is also undermount, it is white ,huge and old porcelain sink.
I have every intention of keeping it and every one tells me - no, but I'm going to do it.

marcia conway said...

I think these countertops are stunning!!! Gonna price out some butcher block for my house today! Thanks for sharing all your tips!

Nellie said...

hi! i am looking to put these counters in my kitchen but i am worried about mold, rot and mildew if i did an undermounted sink. we get mineral deposits around the base of the faucet too. have you had problems with that at all? thanks!

thegreensheep said...

I keep coming back to your blog to look at your lovely countertops! You've persuaded me to use a Waterlox finish on the BB countertops we installed in March. (Here're photos: http://thegreensheep.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/something-old-something-new-something-borrowed-and-im-not-blue-part-iii/.) I have one question. Did you use the regular finish (i.e., the Original Sealer/Finish for all coats) or the satin finish? Thank you!

Veronica said...

Love..love..love the counter tops and can't wait to try it!!

thegreensheep said...

Thanks for your note, Vanessa. After leaving that last question for you, I actually took the time :) to read up further in the earlier comments on your blog -- learned that you had used the satin finish without their regular sealer/finisher underneath. You're brave! It looks like it has served you well. I refinish a lot of wood, so decided to buy both finishes and just use it up over time. Just put the satin coat on this a.m.! --Joanie

Brat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seth said...

Vanessa - I'm about to undertake this project and deciding on a sink. Can you shed some light on why many seem opposed to the undermount sink? I hate drop in sinks with the gunk that builds up around the edges!

Laura Davies said...

I found a link to your blog on Pinterest and I love how your countertops have turned out. We also put butcher block counters from Ikea in our kitchen, but I just kept ours natural and just keep applying the standard wax sealant. We have 3 kids and a husband who also leaves wet puddles on the counter and I have never had any trouble. Love the undermounted sink. Looks beautiful!

Dennis Lynch said...

We are going to Ikea in the next couple days for these butcher block countertops, and plan on doing the same thing. Yours look beautiful and we will be stealing your technique.
Are they still holding up well?
Thanks and GREAT JOB!!!

lcasner said...

We just completed our kitchen renovation and we installed the Ikea Numerar Oak butcher block and I am totally obsessed with it! We have a galley style kitchen so I chose to do granite in the sink side and butcher block on the stove side to bring balance and warmth. I looks amazing, but what I'm stuck on is the finish? I bought oil while at Ikea, but it doesn't seem like enough protection for the wood. Is the Waterlox JUST to protect from water? Or could I use it regardless? I wish I could post a pic! :)

Lauren A said...

Thank you for your follow up, your attention to detail and for your confidence in going against what EVERYONE else says. Your the coolest;) I'm ending my long research streak here and tackling this with my husband this weekend... against everyone's advice

ssnphotography said...

Thank you so much for this post! My house was built in 1910 with original beadboard on the walls. I wanted something that would fit the era of my home. Whenever I say Im doing stained butcher block people think Im crazy. Ha Can't wait to prove them wrong. We are doing the single bowl Domsjo sink. I have your original post book marked!

Cole Weeks said...

I've searched everywhere for info on installing an under mount in BB. Yeah everybody has told me I'll be sorry too :) Thanks SO much for documenting this reno, the results are absolutely beautiful.

becky Martinez said...

I am a die hard Ikea lover! I have the house that Ikea built... All my living room, kitchen, office and bedroom furniture (with the exception of my Sleep Number bed) are from Ikea, including shelves, cabinets, couches, you name it! After 8 years, a little boy, lots of holiday gatherings and rough boys and big people, all my stuff still looks great!! We are in the process of building a new home and plan to use the Ikea BB countertops to make a farmhouse table and I am so glad to hear that you can stain them b/c I want darker wood. We have had Ikea beech in most of our home for 8 years so I think a change to the darker wood will be nice.

Dianna Sweeney said...

We replaced our peninsula with the same Ikea counter that you used in your first kitchen. But we finished it with polyurethane and it came out gorgeous. Water doesn't hurt it and we can put hot things directly on it...though we don't.
I love your counters and I want to do the same with the rest of my kitchen too. I was so afraid to tackle the sink...but you just gave me the courage that I needed. Yes...it's a job and a half to do it right, but you have so much pride in the job when you are done. Again...yours are just beautiful, but you already know that, right? ;)

Christina said...

I know this is an older post but I have to say the Wood looks wonderful. I am redoing my counter tops with butcher block but am planning on making them myself( I am crazy that way lol). You have a beautiful kitchen, great work

Rhoni Tomlinson said...

We are right in the big middle of our kitchen remodel. So far we have made new cabinet doors (58 in all), the bases have all been primed and painted. As I am use my kitchen table and two saw horse for staging and painting, I am on my second round of cabinet doors. One more left, cause I can only do so many at a time. I think I jumped the gun last month when I found Ikea had in stock 10 sal slads of butcher block, and I ordered then. They where delivered in a huge moving truck by two guys that jumped right on unloading them, they came shrink wrapped on an extra long pallet. The delivery guys hauled them into my dining room and stacked them up nice and neat. And there they sit. We seriously thought we would be so much further along, but after a whole 4 day weekend dedicated to plumbing issues inherited from the previous owners, I have gotten back on track, as the hubs finished up plumbing. Fingers crossed!! Thanks so much for your inspiration and detailed tutorial.

Rhoni Tomlinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhoni Tomlinson said...

We are right in the big middle of our kitchen remodel. So far we have made new cabinet doors (58 in all), the bases have all been primed and painted. As I am useing my kitchen table and two saw horse for staging and painting, I am on my second round of cabinet doors. One more left, cause I can only do so many at a time. I think I jumped the gun last month when I found Ikea had in stock 10 slads of butcher block, and I ordered then. They where delivered in a huge moving truck by two guys that jumped right on unloading them, they came shrink wrapped on an extra long pallet. The delivery guys hauled them into my dining room and stacked them up nice and neat. And there they sit. We seriously thought we would be so much further along, but after a whole 4 day weekend dedicated to plumbing issues inherited from the previous owners, I have gotten back on track, as the hubs finished up plumbing. Fingers crossed!! Thanks so much for your inspiration and detailed tutorial. 58 doors as we are replacing all our cabinet door thru out the house, 10 slabs of BB for kitchen and both baths.

Abby and Jacob said...

My husband and I are currently building a home and we are strongly considering wood countertops, but we (my hubby mostly) have reservations about it since we do spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we have 3 little boys, and we want to entertain our friends who also have families. I know you said you don't have kids and you don't spend much time in the kitchen, but you've lived with the countertops for some time now, so how do you think they'd hold up with an average amount of care? My biggest concern would be our island which has a sink and a bar where kids will eat and do homework. Also, when entertaining, do you stress over what guests will do to your countertops? Thanks for any insight! Your kitchen is beautiful!

Amy H said...

Abby & Jacob - I'm not Vanessa, but my husband and I did our countertops and island with the wood butcherblock and Waterlox as she showed here. That was 4 years ago and we still love it. My island get a LOT of abuse, from me and our two small boys and it has held up beautifully. I really don't worry about it at all when wait is just family or when we have visitors. I think part of the reason people respect it is because we did stain it dark, so it looks more like furniture than plain butcherblock.

I think the only two sports that drive my husband a bt crazy are one where he missed a spot when putting on the Waterlox on the last pass ;) and another where the butcherblock split a bit. It's gotten a little bit bigger, but then, we probably should have been a bit more careful we when choosing the slab at IKEA and returned it for another. I really don't mind either of them.

I must say that the Waterlox has held up BEAUTFULLY. There have been times when there was a stain from a glass, or where a sticker, or part of a piece of paper has gotten stuck to it and I was worried those spots wouldn't come out, but they all did!

So happy we did it, overall.

Abby and Jacob said...

Thank you so much, Amy H! I think my husband and I are going to go for it. The only difference is that we think we will be going with face grain (I think that is the right term) boards rather than end grain(?) butcher block. I hope it wears as well!

Stephen Swann said...

I have the same counter tops and we are hard on things, have children and cook/ live/ do homework, etc in our kitchen. I have had mine for three years and while we reseal them every two or three months, we are not religious about doing so. AND... I would not change them. They are tough, resilient, and beautiful. Thanks for sharing your great post about yours.

Kathy Fick said...

I am looking into wood countertops from Ikea also. Did you purchase the ones that are solid wood or the particle board underneath? I would need to do a lot of cutting for sizing and cannot find a solid surface for an island that I would need. Yours looks beautiful!

Rhonda Tomlinson said...

I purchased 10 slabs of Ikea Birch butcher block countertops. I ordered online and had them shiipped to my house. I live out out so I was more than uncertain about them being shipped,but the guys you delivered them were great. They were unloaded on a palette and arrived in perfect shape. Our first cut and trial piece was for our guest bath. We purchased a fine tooth saw blade for the table saw to insure we had no splintering. I sanded the finish that came on the butcher block and filled in imperfection with wood filler, I choice the side with the knots to be the finished side, that is way the wood filler. I wiped all the saw dust with a wet rag, which I think helped open up the wood grain. I used General Finsh Antique Walnut Gel Stain, then applied 7 coats of Waterlox. I can not be more pleased with the finish and love the look of the wood.

LeahV said...

Hi Vanessa! I found your post by doing a search on staining butcher block countertops. I am having new maple BB installed in my kitchen very soon. I did not want to use a natural, oiled finish on my BB so the instructions in your earlier post on how you finished yours are very helpful. I am having a carpenter do my installation, and he has never stained BB before, so he has some concerns about whether this surface is "food safe". Have you ever addressed this concern before? Also, since you have been using your counter for 5 more years, I am wondering if you are still happy with how they are holding up? Mine will not be installed by my sink, so I'm not worried about water damage, but I do wonder about warping, cracking, and scratching. Have you had to sand/refinish yours since this post? Thanks!

Toulouse Lautrec said...

Thank you for the article and photos. I am in the middle of putting in an Island Counter with Butcher Block purchased from a Lumber Yard. It is a beautiful piece of wood. I pretreated with wood conditioner, stained with the Minwax Provincial Oil base stain, one coat, as it is dark without adding more. Had to wait 24 hours to dry because I experienced weeping of the stain coming out of the wood grain, Every three hours I would wipe down the spots until finally in the 23rd hour they stopped. I did sand down the BB with 220 gr. before treating . The ends that were particularly rough. I also tried to do the underside, sanding it but it was quite rough. I got it smoother but stained it on the back which we used for our test area, both with prestain and without. We liked the look with the prestained better. Then I varnished with two coats of Rustoleum Ultimate Poly Satin. I had used it before on a Kitchen table of Oak I had finished three years ago and that table has taken an unbelievable beating over the years and that Poly has stood up. It is hard as a rock and I used a foam brush to apply it. Put five coats on it and plan to do the same with the Butcher Block Counter Top. I put each coat on thinly, so it dries within two hours and I do not have to sand it at all. Just continue to stay with it and apply a thin coat every two hours. Just have four more coats to go. So far it looks great. Your attention to detail in reporting has helped me in my process. I had forgotten what I had done to that table and other pieces I had worked on in the past. Each piece of wood has its own characteristic and it seems each project its own difficulties. This has been going quite smoothly however.

Kim said...

Hello Vanessa,

I would love to hear if you still live in this home and have these countertops? Are they still going strong? I love them so much - we are building a farmhouse and I plan to use yours as my inspiration.

Kimberly

Rhonda Tomlinson said...

Kim, we've had ours in for a year now. They are still as beautiful as they day we installed them. I have them in both baths and the kitchen. I am not easy on them, either. The only thing I have had issues with, and it was not the counters -it was all me- was sliding a jar across them that had little nubs on the bottom. It didn't scratch them but left impressions on the counter. And if you write on paper it needs to be a pad, or else you again leave impressions. I just think it adds to the charm of having wooden countertops. We live on a ranch so there all kinds of things thrown on the bar, and 7 grandkids that leave water all over the counter after washing their hands. Not to mention the husband never wipes up after himself. I've had many visitors ask if I would do it again, and my answer is always the same. YES!!! 100 times over YES!
Vanessa was my inspiration as well, and I am thankful she shared this on her blog.

Amy H said...

We've had ours for 5+ years now and love them! No issues here either.

Kim said...

Aww - thanks so much for responding, Rhonda! Can I ask, did you deal them the same as Vanessa here? I have read mostly praise for Waterlox, but a few dissenting views with bad results left me wondering. So I hope to figure out the best way to go. We have 6 children still at home; we will put it to good use!! But they also have learned how important it is to be good stewards, so I am not afraid! I just want to make sure we seal it the most durable way possible. :)
Thanks again!

Rhonda Tomlinson said...

Go up about 4 post, I wrote out how I did it.
Yes to the Waterlox, over a year later and the water still beads up. It does make your stain look a little darker, make sure you test it on a scrape piece. I can email you pix if you'd like. The one think I thought ahead on was staining and waterloxing the underside of the overhang on the bar. I raised 3 boys so I knew that someone one day would wipe there fingers on there. Dried ketchup I found a week later came right off with soap and water.

Unknown said...

Lov8reno. I have a question. I just installed walnut butcher block on my island. I've sanded 3 times and applied a mineral oil and beeswax conditioner on it. It is not as finished nor will clean up like I like. I would have put a poly on it, but at the store, they said I shouldn't put anything that wasn't food grade on the counters. Now I'm thinking they were nuts! It's not like we'll be eating sushi off of them. So can I now apply waterlox over all the mineral oil i have applied? And would I need to sand after each application? Thanks so much. Hannah

 
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