beech work tops varnish or linseed oil help please !!!

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hi this is my first post. just seperated from my partner loads of jobs to finish!!! he built me a new kitchen 2 years ago with beech tops which we used special varnish on. they should have been rubbed down and re done 6 monthly. suprise suprise havent been done once.the man in the wood shop says i need to rub down the old varnish and use linseed oil instead. is it as good? will it transfere to food? how often will i need to re do? and what sand paper do i use to rub down with.
sorry to sound thick but after 2 years i am determined to get this kitchen finished!
only the edging on laminate and work tops to do next ahhhhhhhhhhhh :cry:
 
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Jane - always oil these tops. Liberon Tung Oil, Chestnut Food Safe Oil or similar specialist w/top oil is what to use. Other oils may (do) have toxic additives and can honk a bit.

To avoid terrible blisters on your hands hire a belt sander to remove the old varnish.

Maintenance with oil - quick wipe over with oil occasionally and the w/t will always look great. Varnished surfaces will get that worn-out & grubby look that can only be fixed by sanding the old stuff off and applying a new surface finish. Any marks on an oiled surface can be rubbed-out with steel wool and then 'locally' re-oiled.
 
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cheap belt sanders in Lidl this week if its any use to your hands :) not sure if its any good but i have had some DIY tools from ALDI and they are fine for DIY jobs but i know the pros would not want to use them
 
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thanks to you both will give it a go this weekend.
begining to realise its not as easy as it looks.
but guess i will learn to be self sufficient in time
thanks again
jane :p
 
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B&Q sell oil for £20 which is designed for solid wood worktops.

However a lot of my friends swear by veg oil! Much cheaper ;)

And yes they do have to be treated a couple of times a year!

And for edging laminate worktops its easy-you can get colour coordinated edging on a roll or buy metal end caps that you just screw into place :)
 
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thanks miss g do i have to rub them down eachtime i retreat?
the edging for the laminate was flooring but think i might have to take it up as there are some big gaps round door frames that i wont be able to edge.
thanks again
jane
 
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If you're anywhere near an IKEA, you might like to try their special oil for worktops. It's cheap but does the job. I bought a bottle last year for some beech kitchen worktops and it seems to work just fine.
 
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Nope if you use oil you dont HAVE to rub it down before you treat it.. just make sure its clean. I normally give it a quick rub down with a sand block before i oil it though and works fine![/i]
 
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I'd avoid vegetable oils as they can get fungal growth in a damp environment and they don't contain any of the drier additives you need to ensure that the oil dries (unless of course you add terebenzine driers like those used by professional decorators). Instead use either a worktop oil such as those sold by Liberon, Junkers, etc (and they are proper professional products and in no way second rate) or alternatively go for a traditional oil finish such as polymerised tung oil or boiled linseed oil (although check the label for suitability).

To remove a lacquer or varnish finish first, though, I'd recommend scraping with a paint scraper such as a Skarsten hook scraper or similar (available from trade decorator stores such as McDougall-Rose or Dulux Trade Centres), cleaning up with a cabinet scraper then and only then sanding to a finish (grade P120). Scraping will remove the heaviest coating much more effectively and probably a lot faster than sanding can and is the way a cabinet restorer decorator would approach the problem to start with. To remove a finish by sanding alone you need something like the green or yellow aluminium oxide (alox) paper sold for decorators - P80 grit will probably remove the stubborn stuff with P120 to finish always remembering to sand in the same direction as the grain, but remember to wrap your abrasive paper round a piece of wood, or even buy a sanding block, as it will save your hands a lot. You will need to do a certain amount of hand work in any case as any machine will not be able to get into corners, etc.

Once the surfaces have been cleared of original finish wipe over with a clean cloth dampened with something like white spirits to pick-up any dust and leave to dry. Apply the oil generously using a clean, well-washed cotton rag cloth (again decorator stores sell bags of the stuff), rubbing in then wiping off any excess before it starts to become tacky (i.e. within 10 to 15 minutes of the original application). You'll need 3 or 4 coats like this, a day apart to start with, then one coat a week for a couple of weeks, finally one coat a month for a couple of months. Thereafter every 6 months. I'd recommend using a Scotch grey or maroon abrasive cloth before periodic oiling as this will smooth the surface out nicely

Note: cloths used to apply oil finishes need to be opened out flat and left to dry outside after use. This is because oils with driers added (most commercial oil finishes) dry exothermically, i.e. they heat up whilst dying out. so if you screw them into a ball and throw them into a bin you are risking a fire. Really!

Scrit
 
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thanks scrit that is very helpful.
i might get it better though if you'd like to pop down and show me by the time you have done them all i will have got the hang of it .!!!!! :D :D
 
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Hope I'm not jumping in but I have a similar question but for a new oak table - would linseed oil or similar also be appropriate? There's currently no finish on it yet. And one final question - how likely is any oil to repel stains???

thanks so much
 
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Hope I'm not jumping in but I have a similar question but for a new oak table - would linseed oil or similar also be appropriate? There's currently no finish on it yet. And one final question - how likely is any oil to repel stains???
Perhaps I'd better warn you that there are several kinds of linseed oil. The most common are raw linseed oil, boiled linseed oil and stand oil. The latter two are similar in use, the former (raw) never really dries and so is only of use for cricket bats......... There are, however, a number of oils which are suitable for furniture. The best known are boiled linseed oil, stand oil, polymerised tung oil and various commercial worktop/wood/teak oils such as Junckers, Liberon, etc These almost all contain terebenzine or aluminium driers (or sometimes both) to speed up the drying action. Of them polymerised tung oil is possibly the most durable, although oil finishes are not completely waterproof, nor are they terribly durable, however they make up for that in being extremely easy to repair without "expert" assistance. They also tend to enhance the wood grain at the cost of some slight darkening in colour. Over time they can become grubby, but at least they can be cleaned off (Scotch grey or maroon abrasive cloth - similar in texture to a green scouring pad but NOT the same) and re-applied. Personally I like them because they can be repaired and cleaned so easily, but they aren't a "wipe clean" approach

Scrit
 
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Hi scrit

which of these oils is also called Chinese beech nut oil and would you recommend its use on a worktop?

thanks

damson
 
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