Worktop still sticky a year after oiling

13 Dec 2004
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United Kingdom
I re-oiled my (previously installed in my house) wooden worktop with Tung oil last November. Took my time, sanded down to bare for the first coat, then 4 coats wiping excess off after 20 minutes then leaving 24 hours till the next (with a 180 or 240 grit rub down before).

It's still sticky however. I've since learned that I shouldn't have been using normal kitchen spray to clean the surfaces after food prep and this may have preserved the stickiness.

So I have two questions:

1. Is there anything I can do to remedy the stickiness? It's barely tacky and useable at the moment but I'd like it to be silky smooth if possible
2. What cleaning products/methods should I be using in future/

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I’ve used tung oil before, it’s hard wearing but I’ve only used it externally.

If you want a nice finish, I can recommend osmo worktop oil.

the finish is lovely, really smooth.

I don’t know what your worktop wood is, but on my oak tops, they look/feel good.

From what I remember you don’t want to sand finer than 150 grit As your final grade, as anything finer stops the Finish soaking in properly.

Perhaps this was your problem??

As for removing the tung, if it was me, I’d probably sand it off, I realise this may be easier said than done.

Will be interested if others have suggestions.
As for future cleaning,I just wipe mine down with soap and water... and a bit of bleach every so often.
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I know this is a very old post but people still learn from the lessons of others mistakes. I also made the mistake of using spray detergent on my oak worktops and they ended up very tacky, almost sticky. Re-oiling without any preparation made matters worse. I tried sanding down a small area but the sandpaper clogged up instantly so that was not an option. But I did eventually find the perfect solution. I used some white spirit on a cloth and, although it was very hard work, it did improve things slightly. So I took it up one step and used one of those brown scotch brite pads with white spirit, still quite hard work, but reduced the tackiness significantly. So I then decided to go for it and bought a kit off of eBay that included a 5 inch hook and loop sponge backed round scouring pad (for use with a drill) and a small strip of scotch brite pad for use in the small gaps behind the sink and the hob etc. Cost about £3 plus delivery. Using plenty of white spirit (in the end I was literally pouring about half a cup on to the work surface), start the drill of slowly at first and then build up speed. In no time the white spirit will turn to a light brown coffee colour. This is the top (sticky) layer of oil being broken down. After one full pass I wiped it all down with kitchen roll. The tackiness was all but gone. So I then repeated the process once more. I used the small scotch brite strip behind the sink and hob in the same way. I left it a couple of hours to dry and, as if by magic the tackiness had completely disappeared. There was also a slightly dull finish to the oak. I have about 7m of worktop and it took me about an hour (excluding drying time). I then used one coat of danish oil and "PERFECTION". Needless to say I no longer use spray detergent. I re-oil every six months and repeat the process with the pads and the white spirit.
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