How to Seal Wood Kitchen Countertops

What You'll Need
Mineral oil

If you have wood kitchen countertops, you will need to seal them regularly in order to keep them looking good. If you do not seal the wood, it will begin to break down and look bad after only a short time. The process of sealing your wood, depending on what type of sealer you use, may need to be performed every week or month. Here are the basics of how to seal your wood kitchen countertops.

Step 1 - Apply Mineral Oil

One of the most popular ways to seal a wood kitchen countertop is with mineral oil. Mineral oil can be purchased at any home improvement store, and can help seal up your wood kitchen countertops. When you use mineral oil for this process, you need to apply it to that countertop with a rag. Apply a layer of mineral oil to the top of the counter and allow it to soak in. Continue putting mineral oil on the counter until the wood will not absorb any more. At that point, allow the oil to soak in as much as possible and then wipe off the excess with a dry rag. 

Step 2 - Apply Wax

After you put mineral oil in the wood, then apply wax to the surface. This will help block out water and other liquids, and provide a bit of protection for the wood surface. Wax can be very effective, as it will enter into the pores of the hardwood and seal it up. This way, when you spill water or anything else on the counter, it will simply bead up and not soak down into the wood.

For this job, you should most likely use bees wax or paraffin wax. When you are ready to apply it to the countertop, take a clean paintbrush and dip it into the wax. At that point, you can apply the wax to the counter, as if you were painting it. The wax will be thicker than working with paint, so you have to be very slow and deliberate with this process. Cover the entire surface of the wood countertop with the wax.

Step 3 - Dry

After you finish putting wax on the countertop, you need to allow it to dry. During this process, it will sink down into the pores of the wood and begin to harden. Before using the countertop, allow the wax to sit on the wood for some time to dry. After you apply the wax, you need to be careful about putting hot pans and other items on the counter. When you put a hot pan on the counter, you will find that the wax can melt relatively easily.

Step 4 - Reapplication

Most homeowners find that the mineral oil and wax need to be reapplied frequently for best results. You should plan on doing this approximately once a month, to keep your counter looking like new.