Published on October 2nd, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Solid wood countertop for lazy families

Materials: Numerar countertop

Description: Ikea recommends to handle solid wood countertops this way:
“Wipe clean with a soft cloth dampened with water and a mild dish detergent or soap, if necessary. Wipe dry with a clean cloth…. Regular treatment with BEHANDLA wood treatment oil prolongs the life of the countertop.”

And what if you are lazy and forget to wipe it down every day and forget to oil it for one year? Moisture appears and you start to think solid wooden is beautiful, though not for you.

As we did not find any better countertop in the near, we decided to change a bit on the recent one.

Pull off countertop, excise around the sink, and lay mosaic tiles.
It is more resistant and persistent.

~ Márta Czirók

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

10 Responses to Solid wood countertop for lazy families

  1. Laurel says:

    How lovely — looks great!

  2. Traci says:

    Pure tung oil is completely food safe. It is a natural oil that is pressed from a nut. The citrus solvent I used is also food safe. It is made from citrus peel oil. You do have to make sure you are buying pure versions of these and not versions that are just mixed with the typical chemicals used in hardware store varnishes and solvents.

  3. Thom says:

    Wood is a very nice surface for cutting and other prep. However, I understand the issue of water and wood, too. In my [soon to be] renovation of my kitchen I am planing to put a tile border between sink and counter top, too. For me though, I will be using a ceramic sink that also has an apron (not a under or over counter top insert). Coupled with a backsplash of tile, I only have two counter top ends exposed to water.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not sure all the above-mentioned finishes are food-safe. Might want to check that out before using them on food prep areas.

  5. Keter says:

    I used Numerar under a glass cooktop. I sanded the Numerar thoroughly and stained it to match the color of Adel Medium Brown, then sealed with 6 coats of GymSeal floor lacquer, fine sanding between each coat. It took 10 days to dry thoroughly, but five years later, it still looks brand new.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a clever fix. And it looks good.
    We used helmsman waterproof varnish on our ikea butcherblock. It produced a fine semi-gloss finish, looks good, and it’s holding up great a year later.

  7. Traci says:

    Or you could get some pure tung oil and put a bunch of layers on it so that water simply beads up when spilled on it…That’s what we did and they’re great! We have the numerer (sp?) birch countertops and they are doing great after a year. And we are not always the best about wiping things up right away either. I will probably put an extra coat of tung oil on it once a year just for good measure.

    I mixed the tung oil with citrus solvent for the first two coats to make sure it penetrated deeply and then put 6 more coats of just tung oil to build up a good protective coat on top. The added bonus is that it is all natural and safe and does not use petroleum based products.

    Here is where I got the tung oil:

    You cannot buy pure tung oil at the hardware store. The stuff at Lowes and Home Depot are half chemicals.

    • I’ve been wondering how to better protect my wooden countertops AND ensure they are food safe. This is a great idea Traci.

      (And I like your solution too Márta!)


    • Whitney says:

      Traci, do you have any photographs of your birch countertop? I also birch (currently unfinished and uninstalled) and debating between tung oil, dark tung oil, and walnut oil/beeswax mix. How have your counters held up?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great idea. My husband isn’t into the faux granite kitchen countertops this house came with. He wants to change them all out for wood planks from IKEA, but having working in a restaurant, and having watched how messy he is splashing water around doing dishes, that idea freaks out. Your example is idea for us. I’m stealing it. Thanks! ;-)


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