Ongoing Care and Maintenance of Wood Countertops

Maintaining your custom wood countertop is simple and straight forward. And one of the other amazing things about these beautiful tops is that if something negative does happen, your wood countertop can quickly and easily be refreshed and made to look brand new again!

Do NOT use products with ammonia or chlorine bleach or 409 type cleaners on your wood top. Soap and water cleanup is all that is needed. See specific directions below:

Waterlox®

African Mahogany Vanity Top

These tops receive a minimum of four coats on the visible side of the top and three coats on sides that are not visible. Six coats are typical for tops with cut-outs for sinks or cook tops and for satin finish tops. Waterlox® is waterproof. It is also heat and stain-resistant for a tough, hard finish.

Cleaning Your Top

Wash your top with mild soap and water, and then rinse. Disinfect with a weak solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, if desired. Be sure to dry the top thoroughly.

Do NOT use ammonia, chlorine bleach or 409 type cleaners on the Waterlox® finish. If these products come in contact with the Waterlox® finish, they should be wiped up immediately. If allowed to sit, it can harm the finish. See Nicks, Scratches, etc. below for information on how to repair this type of problem.

Maintaining Your Top

Do not chop directly on this surface. This finish is safe for contact with food, but use a cutting board to protect your surface from knife marks.

Waterlox® is a tough, hard finish, but depending on wear and usage, this finish will need to be refreshed over time (typically 5-8 years). The finish can be reapplied by the home owner or you may prefer to have it done by a professional.

Nicks, Scratches, Fresh Topcoat

Touch ups can be done at any time. Lightly sand the area, wipe with a tack cloth, and apply more Waterlox® to the top. Sanding down to bare wood is not required for touch ups. Feather out the finish around area being touched up.

With continual use, the finish on your top will begin to look worn and water may no longer bead up. When this happens, a fresh top coat of Waterlox® should be applied to the top. To do this, lightly sand the entire surface and edges of the top, going with the grain. Do not sand through the finish, just scuff the surface. Wipe the top with a tack cloth then apply a fresh coat of finish to the top. If you sanded to bare wood, multiple coats of finish will be required.

For additional information about the Waterlox® finish, visit the Waterlox® website at www.waterlox.com.

Tung Oil/Citrus Finish

Hard Maple Island Top

These tops receive four coats of finish on all surfaces of the top to ensure a well-oiled finish. The Tung Oil/Citrus finish penetrates into the wood. It needs to be reapplied periodically, but after the break-in period, this will only need to be done every 6 months to a year, depending on usage of the top. The Tung Oil/Citrus Finish is waterproof, heat and stain-resistant as long as the surface is maintained properly.

Cleaning Your Top

Wash your top with mild soap and water, and then rinse. Disinfect with a weak solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, if desired. Be sure to dry the top thoroughly.

Do NOT use ammonia, chlorine bleach or 409 type cleaners on the Tung Oil/Citrus finish. If these products come in contact with the finish, they should be wiped up immediately. If allowed to sit, it can harm the finish. See Nicks, Scratches, etc. below for information on how to repair this type of problem.

Maintaining Your Top

A Tung-Oil/Citrus kit is shipped with every top that has this finish. A coat of finish should be applied within 2 weeks of receiving the top. This will complete the break-in period and after that you will not need to reapply this finish for 6 months to a year or more, depending on usage. Simply dribbling a few drops of water onto the surface of the top will tell you whether it is time to reapply the finish. If the water beads up, the top is still protected; if the water soaks into the surface, it's time to renew your finish.

  1. To renew your finish, repair any gouges or cuts by sanding lightly, then clean the surface thoroughly and dry it.
  2. After the top has dried completely, apply a generous layer of the Tung Oil/Citrus finish to all exposed surfaces with a sponge or brush.
  3. Let the finish soak into the wood for 10 minutes, then take a disposable sanding pad and sand the wet surface thoroughly (sand with the grain of the wood). Note: You do not need to wet-sand the surface every time, but doing so will provide an even smoother finish.
  4. Take a clean rag (or paper towels) and wipe off every bit of the remaining finish.
  5. Take another clean rag (or paper towels) and using plenty of elbow grease, rub the surface until all of the finish is completely rubbed into the wood.
  6. Let the wood top set overnight before putting items back on the countertop.

It is so easy to reapply this finish! And, every time you do this, you are refreshing the finish of the top making it more beautiful each time.

The Tung Oil/Citrus Solvent finish is a 50:50 mixture of pure Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent. Pre-mixed "Half and Half" Tung Oil/Citrus Solvent from The Real Milk Paint Co. is available through DeVos Custom Woodworking. Or, you can order the Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent in separate containers from The Real Milk Paint Co.

For additional information about the Tung Oil/Citrus Solvent finish, visit The Real Milk Paint Co. website at www.realmilkpaint.com/oil.html